The Liberal Democrats have said they will use their autumn conference to “fire the starting pistol” for their general election campaign to “smash down the blue wall”.

Speaking ahead of the event in Bournemouth this weekend, deputy leader Daisy Cooper said the party will target traditionally Tory seats in southern England in its bid to “get rid of Rishi Sunak’s out-of-touch Conservative Government for good”.

On Friday, the party will hold a “blue wall summit” with candidates in marginal constituencies to discuss strategy.

Health is expected to feature prominently in the party’s election campaign as an issue of importance to “blue wall” voters.

On Sunday, it will adopt an early version of its manifesto for the election expected next year, including policies on the NHS, the cost of living and water pollution.

Ms Cooper said: “The Liberal Democrats are on the up after our four incredible by-election victories against the Conservatives and our sweeping gains in local elections across the country.

Daisy Cooper
Deputy Lib Dem leader Daisy Cooper said voters are ‘furious’ with the Conservatives (PA)

“But we know this is just the beginning. Our conference this weekend will fire the starting pistol for our campaign to smash down the blue wall and get rid of Rishi Sunak’s out-of-touch Conservative Government for good.

“People are furious with this Conservative Government for crashing the economy, running the NHS into the ground and allowing our rivers and beaches to be ruined by raw sewage.

“We will put forward the compelling ideas needed to improve local health services, get the economy growing strongly again and deliver the fair deal that people deserve.”