THERESA May has declared the age of austerity over with a message that “there are better days ahead” as she attempted to attract Labour voters put off by Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

In her crucial keynote speech to the Conservative conference in Birmingham yesterday, the Prime Minister said next year’s post-Brexit Spending Review will set out a programme of increased investment in public services, as a mark that the decade of cuts following the financial crash is coming to an end.

READ MORE: Coverage of May's incompetence exposes the UK's media bias

Appealing to voters weary of belt-tightening, she said: “Because you made sacrifices, there are better days ahead. A decade after the financial crash, people need to know that the austerity it led to is over and that their hard work has paid off."

READ MORE: Theresa May calls Nicola Sturgeon's wish to stay in the EU a 'betrayal of Scotland'

But shadow chancellor John McDonnell dismissed May’s austerity claim as “a complete con”, saying; “The Government has already told us that spending for the next four years will be hit by many more vicious cuts. Nothing, sadly, has changed.”

In an address designed to rally her party behind her after a conference riven by differences over Brexit, she warned squabbling over the details of EU withdrawal might mean “ending up with no Brexit at all”.

READ MORE: Labour brands Tories’ conference promise a ‘complete con’

Standing firmly by her Brexit plan, denounced by Boris Johnson as a “constitutional outrage” at a conference fringe event on Tuesday, she promised: “If we stick together and hold our nerve, I know we can get a deal that delivers for Britain.”

There was no mention of the ex-foreign secretary, who won thunderous applause from 1500 activists as he called on her to “chuck” the Brexit plan agreed at her country residence in July. But she delivered a stinging riposte to his reported “f*** business” comment, saying the business community should know that “there is a four-letter word to describe what we Conservatives want to do to you – it has a single syllable, it is of Anglo-Saxon derivation, it ends in the letter K. Back businesses.”

Less than an hour before taking the stage in Birmingham, May was hit by a call for her removal from former minister James Duddridge, who said she was “incapable” of providing the leadership Tories need.

But she did her best to appear relaxed as she sashayed on to the stage to Abba hit Dancing Queen and joked about the coughing fit and collapsing stage backdrop which marred her calamitous conference speech in Manchester last year.

The reprise of the dance steps from her recent African trip surprised not only Tory delegates and TV viewers but even her closest aides and husband Philip, as May had kept her plans secret. In an upbeat message to activists and voters, she declared: “If we come together, there is no limit to what we can achieve. Our future is in our hands.”

In a pitch for voters in the centre ground turned off by Corbyn’s leadership and the protracted rows over anti-Semitism, she said she wanted the “decent, moderate and patriotic” Conservatives to be “a party for the whole country”.

May also name-checked a range of Labour politicians – including Diane Abbott, Jo Cox, Neil Kinnock and Clement Attlee – as she tried to paint the Conservatives as the home for “moderate, patriotic” voters.

She attacked Corbyn personally over his handling of Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis and his response to the Salisbury chemical weapons attack, when he appeared to cast doubt on the intelligence services’ assessment that Russia was behind it.

May said: “What has befallen Labour is a national tragedy. 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?”

She also made a grab for traditional Labour territory by saying the NHS “embodies our principles as Conservatives” and boasting of the presence in the Tory front ranks of immigrant’s son Sajid Javid and mother-to-be Ruth Davidson, who is in a same-sex relationship.

Rejecting calls for another EU referendum, May said the Government was committed to delivering on the result of the first one.

She insisted that, despite criticism of her approach by many Tory MPs, only her blueprint would protect the economy while keeping an open border in Ireland.

In a speech light on new policy, she confirmed the fuel duty freeze will continue for a ninth year, unveiled a cancer strategy to speed up detection rates in England, and end the cap on how much councils south of the border can borrow to build new homes.