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by Ruaraidh Gilmour
04 January 2024
Sir Keir Starmer promises to 'tilt Britain back towards working people'

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer gives a speech, at the National Composites Centre at Bristol and Bath Science Park in Bristol | Alamy

Sir Keir Starmer promises to 'tilt Britain back towards working people'

Sir Keir Starmer has promised to “tilt Britain back towards the working people” if his party wins this year's general election.

During his speech, which set out his party’s ambitions as the country prepares to go to the polls in a vote widely expected to take place in the spring, the Labour leader said the party is “no longer a party of protest” but now “a party of service”.

Describing 2024 as representing “a clock that is ticking on this government”, he said that Labour’s focus has changed in the last four years since he became leader, describing it as “rebuilt, renewed, reconnected to an old partnership, a Labour partnership, that we serve working people as they drive Britain forward”.  

Service to the UK was a main theme of Starmer’s speech. He told workers that “the opportunity to shape our country's future rests in your hands” and the general election will be “a chance to unite as a country and get our future back”.

He promised that if his party is elected to government this year he will “drag politics back to service” and “tilt the economy back to the interests of working people and reward their efforts fairly”.

Labour’s plan, he said, “will sweep away the era of Tory division” and will look to “the long term” with higher growth, a reformed planning system, safer streets with more police on them to crack down on anti-social behaviour, and a nationalised clean energy company, GB Energy, all of which will be at the heart of what Labour aims to achieve over the next five years if elected, Starmer claimed.  

The Labour leader said: “Four years I have been working for this, four years I have been working to tilt this country firmly and decisively back towards the interests of working people.

“It has been a long hard slog, and I won’t lie, I have hated the futility of opposition, the powerlessness and the pain that comes from watching the Tories drive the country that I love into the rocks of decline.”

He continued: “I came into politics to serve, to get things done, to strive each and every day to make a difference to the lives of working people.”

The Labour leader also took aim at “divisive politics”, saying: “You can see that with the SNP in Scotland, or the Tories here in England.”

He continued to focus on the Conservatives’ time in power, arguing that after 14 years they have “nothing to show” and that “they can’t change Britain”.

Speaking directly to voters he said he is under no illusion that this year will be difficult, and he warned that any opportunity for division “will be exploited” by the Tories in the run-up to the general election.  

Starmer said: “This year at the general election, against the tide of cynicism in Westminster, the gauntlet of fear the Tories will unleash, and most of all the understandable despair of a downtrodden country, I will ask the British people to believe in it again.

“I will say you are right to be anti-Westminster, right to be angry about what politics has become, but hold on to the flickering hope in your heart that things can be better.”  

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Read the most recent article written by Ruaraidh Gilmour - 1,800 affordable homes stalled due to Scottish Government funding cuts, says trade body.

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