Theresa May: I will make Britain a fairer and united country
The Prime Minister urges the UK to 'seize the day' and grasp the opportunities of Brexit.
The Prime Minister has pledged make Britain a "fairer" and "united" country in her speech to the Conservative party conference.
Theresa May used her closing address to call on her party to embrace "the centre ground" of British politics.
She called on Britain to "seize the day" and grasp the opportunities that leaving the EU presents.
The Prime Minister reinforced her belief that the state can be a "force for good" in society.
May argued Labour should now be viewed as the "nasty party" and it was the Conservatives who would "stand up for the weak and up to the powerful".
The Conservative leader said: "It's time to remember the good that government can do.
"Time for a new approach that says while government does not have all the answers, government can and should be a force for good; that the state exists to provide what individual people, communities and markets cannot, and that we should employ the power of government for the good of the people.
"Time to reject the ideological templates provided by the socialist left and the libertarian right and to embrace a new centre ground in which government steps up - and not back - to act on behalf of the people."
The vote to leave the EU in June's referendum was a "quiet revolution" brought about by ordinary people feeling neglected by the "privileged and powerful" in British society, she said.
May told conference delegates: "It was not the wealthy who made the biggest sacrifices after the financial crisis, it was ordinary working class families.
"In June, people voted for a change and a change is going to come."
The Prime Minister voiced her support for the state to increase its level of intervention in the economy and wider society.
May's support for such an economic strategy will be viewed as a notable change from previous Conservative party leaders.
The Conservative leader also pledged to "go after" those who do not pay tax.
In a pitch for her party to win the support of "ordinary working class people" she offered her support for patriotism and the concerns of Leave voters.
May said: "Just listen to the way a lot of politicians and commentators talk about the public.
"They find their patriotism distasteful, their concerns about immigration parochial, their views about crime illiberal, their attachment to their job security inconvenient.
"They find the fact that more than 17 million people voted to leave the European Union simply bewildering."
Earlier in the conference, May pledged to trigger Article 50, the legal mechanism of leaving the EU, by the end of March next year. The negotiations to leave the organisation will begin then.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that Theresa May's pitch for the centre ground could not hide the "repellent reality" of her party's plans.
Sturgeon said: "Theresa May's speech comes as the Tories signal they are poised to target foreign workers in the most disgraceful display of reactionary right-wing politics in living memory.
"It is an appalling, regressive and hugely troubling development which will leave many people in Scotland - and across the rest of the UK and beyond - wondering, with real concern, what kind of country the Tories want us to be.
"The Prime Minister has claimed that she is seeking out the middle ground of politics - the repellent reality of the policies planned by her party could not be more different.
"Theresa May's vision of Brexit Britain is a deeply ugly one - a country where people are judged not by their ability or their contribution to the common good but by their birthplace or by their passport."
The First Minister added: "It is a vision the Scottish Government wants no part of, and one which we will never subscribe to. Ours is a vision of an inclusive, tolerant and just society, and we will do everything in our power to shape Scotland in that way."
Leader of the Labour party Jeremy Corbyn commented: "Conservative party leaders have sunk to a new low this week as they fan the flames of xenophobia and hatred in our communities and try to blame foreigners for their own failures.
"Drawing up lists of foreign workers won't stop unscrupulous employers undercutting wages in Britain. Shutting the door to international students won't pay young people's tuition fee debts, and ditching doctors from abroad won't cut NHS waiting lists.
"The Conservatives will instead foster division and discrimination in our workplaces and communities.
"Once again they are making false promises on immigration they can't deliver. Instead of turning people against each other, ministers should take action now to deal with the real impact of migration."