Keir Starmer: "Send Labour government to Westminster with Scotland beating at its heart"

Dear Daily Record reader,

This election is a chance to change Scotland and shape the country’s future for a generation.

While you and your family are making plans to cast your vote tomorrow, I am writing this letter to set out my plan for Scotland.

Unlike other parties, I don’t want Scots to use this election to just send a message.

I want you to send a government to Westminster – a Labour government with Scotland at its beating heart.

When you walk into your local polling station tomorrow, there are two futures on the ballot paper.

The Tory and SNP candidates offer more of the same – more sleaze and scandal, and more division and decline.

The last Labour government transformed Scotland - investing in our NHS, creating the national minimum wage, lifting hundreds of thousands of Scots out of poverty, and creating the Scottish Parliament.

And now we seek to transform our country again.

The Scottish Labour candidate on your ballot paper stands for change.

They offer a different future – a brighter future.

With Labour, Scotland will finally have a government that works with Scotland and for Scotland, from Holyrood to Whitehall. I want to be crystal clear: with Labour, Scotland will be at the heart of government.

We have a plan for Scotland that is fully funded, fully costed and ready to go – with six ‘first steps’ to deliver real change for the people of Scotland.

The first step is to deliver economic stability – the foundation of growth. Because if you crash the economy, like the Tories did, working people pay the price.

At a food bank in Glasgow I saw working people queueing up for food parcels. These were people who had jobs, but still couldn’t afford the weekly shop. That’s simply unacceptable.

I remember growing up in a cost-of-living crisis; I remember when our phone got cut off because we couldn’t pay the bills. I know how it feels for families when a pay check won’t see you through the month, which is why I’ll never play fast and loose with working people’s money.

Step two is to cut NHS waiting times in Scotland. I can’t overstate how bad this problem has become under the SNP and the Tories. One-in-six people is on a waiting list in Scotland. That means everyone reading this is likely to either be on a waiting list themselves or know someone who is.

We will get to work on this immediately, cracking down on tax avoidance and non-doms to fund 160,000 extra appointments every year in Scotland – bringing down waiting lists and getting people the treatment they need. But this is just the first step towards saving our NHS – we also need reform, and an end to SNP waste and mismanagement.

Step three is to make work pay, with our new deal for working people. That means a genuine living wage, banning exploitative zero hour contracts, and ending fire and rehire.

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer (L) and Leader of the Scottish Labour party Anas Sarwar
Labour Party leader Keir Starmer (L) and Leader of the Scottish Labour party Anas Sarwar -Credit:AFP via Getty Images

It means a pay rise for over 200,000 Scots – including 140,000 of the lowest paid women in Scotland.

Step four is creating Great British Energy – a publicly owned clean energy company, headquartered here in Scotland.

We won’t be turning off the taps – oil and gas will be part of the mix for decades to come. But the transition is coming, and we can’t stick our heads in the sand.

Clean energy is the opportunity of our generation – it will cut our bills, boost energy security and provide the next generation of good jobs.

Our plan will create 69,000 good jobs across Scotland, including more than 50,000 new clean energy jobs in sectors like carbon capture, hydrogen, and offshore wind.

Step five is to maximise Scotland’s influence on the world stage. We’ll promote Scottish business abroad, boost exports and attract the investment need for good jobs here in Scotland.

And finally, step six. Jobs and opportunities for young people. We will give young people the jobs and opportunities they deserve.

From boosting apprenticeships to better support for first time buyers to get on the property ladder.

So when you cast your vote tomorrow, a vote for Scottish Labour is not only a vote for a better future for you and your community – it’s also a vote for the next generation of Scots.

But if you want change, you have to vote for it.

Never forget what the Tories have done to our country – and don’t risk waking up to another five years of the Conservatives.

The only way to make sure we have a Labour government is to vote for your local Scottish Labour candidate.

I know that in previous elections some who wanted rid of the Tories might have thought twice about voting for Labour because they didn’t think we could win.

At this election, we can.

Your ballot paper is a ticket to a future where the Tories are out of office, and we embark on a decade of national renewal.

Tomorrow’s election is our chance to restore hope for Scotland.

But only if you vote for it.

I hope you will join me on this journey.

Best wishes,

Keir Starmer

Leader of the Labour Party

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