Just seven minutes into the Labour Party conference and one thing was clear: Jeremy Corbyn’s party is dead. In the two and a half years Sir Keir Starmer has been at the helm of the Opposition he appears to now well and truly have rooted out the rot and banished the left-wingers to the sidelines.
Last year, Sir Keir was repeatedly heckled as he gave his main speech to members to close the conference.
He was subjected to chants of “oh Jeremy Corbyn” and “free Palestine” as he attempted to set out his stall as leader.
So it was a massive gamble to open the event in Liverpool this year by asking members to hold a minute of silence in memory of the Queen and then sing the national anthem.
“Conference, the late Queen Elizabeth II was this great country’s greatest monarch.
READ MORE: Keir Starmer approval rate – Liz Truss overtakes Labour leader in poll
“She created a special, personal relationship with all of us,” said Sir Keir standing in front of a great big Union Jack backdrop ahead of the silent tribute.
“For us, the Late Queen has always been simply the Queen, the only Queen. Above all else, our Queen.
“And I am proud to lead our party’s tribute to her today.
“Because our Queen’s devotion to Britain was underpinned by one crucial understanding – she knew that the country she came to symbolise is bigger than any one individual or institution.”
The speech was met with applause, the minute of silence impeccably observed, and the national anthem sung load and broad.
Plenty of people at the conference were anticipating more radical left-wingers to boo, jeer and maybe even stage a walkout during the anthem.
Corbyn hits out at Labour’s national anthem decision [REACTION]
Awkward moment Labour MP insists Starmer is ‘very exciting’ [UPDATE]
Angela Rayner opens up on note handed to her in Commons about Queen [INSIGHT]
The fact that the tribute passed without incident is proof of just how different the Labour Party is now from when Jeremy Corbyn was in charge.
Plenty of supporters of the Islington North MP remain members of the party, but they are no longer the heart and soul of it.
Plenty of left-wing MPs continue to undermine Sir Keir and continue to humiliate him, but their influence is diminishing by the day.
There is a different feeling at the Labour Party conference of 2022, Labour is acting with confidence about its abilities in a general election.
Sir Keir admitted as much on the BBC this morning, saying: “Something has happened in the Labour Party this year, which is the hope of a Labour government has turned into a belief in a Labour government.
“That change, that switch, is worth its weight in gold.
“If you consider where we were in 2019, to now be in a position where there’s a belief that Labour will win the next general election is real progress for our party.”
Of course, with the party still very light on policy and with Sir Keir up against the ideologically self-confident Liz Truss it remains to be seen if voters will be willing to take the gamble on Labour at the next election.