Party leader makes no mention of Northern Ireland or the Protocol in Liverpool address

The Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Kyle has defended his party leader after he made no mention of Northern Ireland in his party address.

Sir Keir Starmer was speaking at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool on Tuesday.

UTV asked Mr Kyle why Northern Ireland was omitted in the flagship speech.

Mr Kyle argued that Mr Starmer had taken account of Northern Ireland.

He said: "That was a winning speech by a winning leader, he's talking about rebuilding our country and our infrastructure and that includes Northern Ireland, it's getting the basics right it's about converting our economy to a green economy going forward and that means people in Northern Ireland as well."

He added: "Everything Keir talked about today included Northern Ireland, he talked about getting the core basics of running our country from the position of Westminster right and that includes the diplomacy around the United Kingdom including Northern Ireland.

"Just this summer Sir Keir spent three days on the island of Ireland, he cares very deeply about not just Northern Ireland but about the Anglo-Irish relationship which provides the framework for peace for Northern Ireland.

"All of these things Keir cares deeply about but what people in Northern Ireland want more than anything is that we get the basics of running our country again right.

"We tackle the challenges of converting to a net-zero economy but taking advantage of the opportunities that it presents, creating new industries, having publicly owned energy company which will start investing in the future and taking carbon out of our electricity."

Meanwhile, the Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy has said that Labour will get rid of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill if the party comes to power.

The Protocol did not feature in Sir Keir Starmer's speech either.

However, Mr Lammy addressed the issue and insisted it will be axed if his party is voted in.

He said: "Liz Truss' Protocol Bill is a shameless breach of international law and Labour will ditch it, we'll get around the negotiating table and fix the Tories damaging deal and we will strengthen European co-operation across the European Union and with us with a new security pact to complement NATO's role."

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