Theresa May made an upbeat start to her keynote speech to the Conservative Party conference by shimmying on stage to Abba’s Dancing Queen today.

Mocking the dance moves she made during a recent visit to Africa, which went viral, the British Prime Minister arrived in the hall throwing some shapes as the crowd cheered.

Mrs May’s speech last year was beset by a series of disasters – a prankster served her with a joke P45, she suffered a coughing fit and the letters on the set behind her fell off as she ploughed on with her address.

The PM told Tory activists: “Can I just say, you will have to excuse me if I cough during the speech.

“I’ve been up all night super-gluing the backdrop.”

She used the speech to pay tribute to those who died in the First World War, which ended 100 years ago and also highlighted the efforts to rebuild in the wake of the Second World War “where former enemies become friends”.

Mrs May said: “We must recapture that spirit of common purpose because the lesson of that remarkable generation is clear: if we come together there is no limit to what we can achieve.  Our future is in our hands.”

She also joked: “It’s not always glamorous. I have seen the trailers for Bodyguard – and let me tell you it was not like that in my day.”

The PM highlighted abuse faced by politicians, including the high volume of racist and misogynistic messages sent to shadow home secretary Diane Abbott.

She said: “You don’t have to agree with a word Diane Abbott says (in order) to believe passionately in her right to say it free from threats and abuse.”

Mrs May warned polarised politics can result in “good people being put off” public service, adding: “It doesn’t have to be this way.”

She added: “Let’s rise above the abuse, let’s make a positive case for our values that will cut through the bitterness and bile that is poisoning our politics – and let’s say it loud and clear, Conservatives will always stand up for a politics that unites us rather than divides us.”

The British Prime Minister used the speech to lash out at Labour, highlighting the anti-Semitism row which has hit the party under Jeremy Corbyn.

“What has befallen Labour is a national tragedy,” she said. “What has it come to when Jewish families today seriously discuss where they should go if Jeremy Corbyn becomes prime minister?  When a leading Labour MP says his party is ‘institutionally racist’?

“When the leader of the Labour Party is happy to appear on Iranian state TV but attacks our free media here in Britain? That is what Jeremy Corbyn has done to the Labour Party. It is our duty, in this Conservative Party, to make sure he can never do it to our country.”

The Conservatives would be “a party for the whole country”.

She said: “A party not for the few, not even for the many, but for everyone who is willing to work hard and do their best.”

The Conservatives “must be a party that is not in thrall to ideology, but motivated instead by enduring principles”.

The British Prime Minister said her principles could be summed up in three words: security, freedom and opportunity.

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