Keir Starmer launching Labour's 'steps to change Britain' in Essex

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer speaking during a visit
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer -Credit:Gareth Fuller/PA

Sir Keir Starmer will launch Labour's doorstep offer to voters ahead of the general election, with a set of "first steps" for government. In a launch event at a potential electoral battleground in Essex, the Labour leader will set out his party's offer, building on the missions for what it has branded a "decade of national renewal" should it win when voters go to the polls.

Among its first steps "to change Britain" the opposition will aim to deliver economic stability, cut NHS waiting times, launch a new border security command, set up publicly-owned energy firm Great British Energy, crack down on antisocial behaviour and recruit 6,500 new teachers.

The steps are aimed at providing "gimmick-free", fully costed and funded pledges to the electorate that could be implemented within the five years a Parliament usually sits, and are expected to be foregrounded in campaigning material ahead of the general election.

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The proposals will be provided to voters in physical form, but Labour steered away from directly comparing this to the pledge card given out by Sir Tony Blair ahead of the 1997 general election. The launch will also be accompanied by an advertising campaign, which a Labour spokesman billed as their largest ad spend since the previous general election.

This is set to include ad vans and billboards featuring Sir Keir Starmer alongside the six steps, as well as material in local and regional newspapers located in key battleground seats. The Labour spokesman insisted the steps were "not the sum total" of the party's election offer when asked whether its other promises, including a new package of workers' rights, would be side-lined.

"I do want to stress to you the other policy commitments that we have made stand," he said. "I would remind you for example... the national minimum wage was not on the pledge card in 1997, but it was one of the most important achievements of the Labour government, and in a similar vein, our manifesto will be our full offering."

The first steps are "very clear and simple" he insisted, and will not cause confusion among voters with the previously announced longer term five national missions. Distinct Scottish and Welsh launches are expected in coming weeks with offers aimed at voters in the devolved nations.

Ahead of the launch, Sir Keir said: "These first steps make real our claim that a changed Labour Party is back in service of working people. They show our priorities, what we care about and what the British public cares about. Country first, party second."

"These first steps will make a real difference to people's lives. If you're waiting in pain for NHS treatment, if your child is at school and you want higher standards, if your local area is plagued by anti-social behaviour, if you want cheaper energy bills for good, these first steps show what a Labour government will do to help you."

Writing in the Daily Mirror, the Opposition leader described the steps as a "down payment on change" designed to "make Britain work again for working people".

Conservative Party chairman Richard Holden said Labour had "no coherent plan" and described Thursday's announcement as Sir Keir's "sixteenth relaunch" that "won't amount to a hill of beans".

Mr Holden added: "Rishi Sunak and the Conservatives are sticking to the plan which is working to strengthen the economy with inflation down from 11.1% to 3.2% and £900 back in hard-working people's pockets and a fair immigration system with boat crossings down."