PM: Labour will ‘change every rule to stay in government once they get power’

Labour will “change every rule they can” to ensure they stay in government once they gain power, Rishi Sunak will say as polls put the opposition party on course for a historic General Election victory.

The Prime Minister will concede that voters “want to make clear” their frustrations with him but warn that “once you hand Keir Starmer a blank cheque, you can’t get it back”.

Speaking at the launch of the Welsh Conservative manifesto, he will say the Labour administration in Cardiff Bay is a “blueprint” for how the party would govern from Westminster.

The Tories have frequently attacked the Welsh Labour government over its extension of the franchise in Senedd elections to people aged 16 and over as well as its legislation on 20mph speed limit zones and its handling of the NHS.

POLITICS Election Polls
(PA Graphics)

On his visit to Kinmel Bay on the north-east coast, Mr Sunak will claim Sir Keir’s party would give 16-year-olds the vote “not because they think they’re adults, but because they think they’ll vote for them”.

“If Labour gets in, they’ll change the rules so it is much harder to ever get them out,” the Prime Minister is expected to say.

“Once they have got power, they will change every rule they can to ensure they keep it.

“We can’t let that happen and only we Conservatives can stop it.

“I understand that people want to make clear to us, to me, their frustration. And I have heard you.

“But once you have handed Keir Starmer and Labour a blank cheque, you can’t get it back.”

Labour says it would seek to extend the franchise to 16 and 17-year-olds because people old enough to work and pay tax should have a say in how their money is spent.

Mr Sunak will also attack the Welsh government’s law to restrict motorists driving in built-up areas to a speed of 20 miles per hour, arguing the limit is “hurting you, hurting small business, hurting the economy.”

The Tories have pledged to introduce a “Backing Drivers Bill” that would use Westminster powers to curb the use of 20mph routes in Wales, as well as unilaterally reversing the expansion of London’s clean-air zone.

General Election campaign 2024
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (left) and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer (PA)

Speaking on Friday, Mr Sunak will say “Wales is a great country, but a country let down by Labour.”

“A generation of Labour rule has led to Wales having double the NHS waiting lists of England, the worst education results in Britain, and farmers being forced out of business by top-down eco targets,” the Prime Minister will say.

“Labour’s sole focus here is making sure that it stays in power, whether that is by introducing votes at 16, adding more members to the Senedd, or ignoring votes of no confidence in its First Minister.

“And to think, Labour Wales is what Keir Starmer calls his blueprint for Britain.

“So, let me speak directly to you both as your Prime Minister and as a fellow citizen and issue a warning: our country’s future is in danger.”

Mr Sunak will repeat accusations that Sir Keir’s party would hike taxes, “raid” pensions and put homeowners at risk of spending “thousands and thousands of pounds” on net-zero changes to their properties.

Four major polls this week predicting the worst Tory electoral result ever, combined with warnings from senior party figures of a Labour “supermajority”, have sparked speculation that the Conservatives are now focused on damage limitation rather than winning the vote on July 4.

But Cabinet minister Michael Gove insisted on Thursday that the party would “fight until the final whistle” and suggested it could pull off a poll-defying victory like Donald Trump and the Leave campaign at the Brexit referendum in 2016.

Mr Sunak will be joined by Wales Secretary David TC Davies and leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies as he touts the party’s plan for a “brighter future for Wales” on Friday.

Along with pledges on driving, he will talk up plans to draft in an additional neighbourhood policing officer in “every community across Wales” and delivering the UK’s third mega-nuclear power station at Wylfa.

Responding to the launch, shadow Welsh secretary Jo Stevens said: “The Welsh Conservative manifesto is a desperate fantasy wish-list of unfunded spending commitments, based on money that isn’t there and powers the UK Government doesn’t have.

“Their increasingly scattergun approach is Trussonomics on steroids, and threatens to add £4,800 to people’s mortgages and trample over devolution, as successive Tory governments have for the last 14 years.

“On 4 July, voters have the opportunity to vote for a true partnership between two Labour governments, working together to drive the improvements Wales and Britain need after 14 years of Tory decline.”