Sir Keir Starmer unveils promises to 'change Britain' - but warns it may take 10 years

Sir Keir Starmer has promised to change the country "for the better" if Labour wins the next election - but warned his plan for "national renewal" may take a decade to see through.

The leader was speaking at a major pre-election party event in Essex, setting out the "first steps" of a Labour government before the public heads to the polls later this year.

The pledges are to:

- Deliver economic stability
- Cut NHS waiting lists
- Crack down on anti-social behaviour
- Recruit 6,500 new teachers
- Launch a new border security command
- Set up publicly-owned Great British Energy

Sir Keir said the programme "is going to be hard" to achieve, adding that the public could expect to see the promises materialise within two terms of a Labour government

What are Labour's pledges for government?

He said: "We can deliver this over five or 10 years, a decade of national renewal".

Politics latest: Asylum seekers detained for removal to Rwanda

The headline speech came as Labour continues to dominate the polls over the Conservatives, and after a set of local elections that saw them win key battleground seats - including taking the West Midlands mayoralty from their rivals.

But there are still questions over whether Sir Keir himself or his party's policies will be popular enough with the public to secure victory when the general election is called - making today's speech, and the "evolution of its traditional pledge card" made famous during Tony Blair's 1997 landslide win, an important moment in the campaign.

Along with the NHS, crime and education pledges, the leader reiterated his promises to deliver "economic stability" - including a pledge to keep taxes "as low as possible" - and to set up a publicly-owned power company, Great British Energy.

Sir Keir also highlighted his sixth priority for government, which he launched last week - setting up a new Border Security Command with hundreds of new specialist investigators, using counter-terror powers "to smash the criminal boat gangs" behind Channel crossings.

In what is being dubbed "Labour's doorstep offer to the British people", a fresh advertising campaign is now being launched as the party ramps up its election offering.

A party spokesman described it as the largest spend since the previous general election that will see the Labour leader appear on ad vans and billboards, alongside his six priorities - though they stressed those pledges would not be the "sum total" of the party's election offer.

Presenting the "first steps" pledges on a card to the room, Sir Keir said: "So here we are. One card, six steps, in your hand, a plan to change the country.

"This is a message that we can take to every doorstep across the country and make the argument that decline is not inevitable, politics can make a difference.

"Britain will have a better future and you can choose it with Labour. Stop the chaos with Labour. Turn the page with Labour. Return politics to service with Labour.

"And with patience, with determination, with these first steps, we can rebuild our country with Labour."

But the Tories hit out at what they said was Labour's "16th relaunch", adding it "won't amount to a hill of beans".

Chair of the party Richard Holden said: "Today's speech was devoid of any plan for Britain.

"Sir Keir Starmer is a serial promise breaker who doesn't have the courage or conviction to stick to a single a pledge he has ever made.

"His unfunded spending, higher taxes and amnesty for illegal migrants would take Britain back to square one."

👉 Listen above then tap here to follow Electoral Dysfunction wherever you get your podcasts 👈

The SNP's deputy Westminster leader Mhairi Black also claimed the speech was "was full of broken promises and empty slogans".

She added: "The problem for Sir Keir is that he has u-turned on nearly every policy he has ever promised - so it's little wonder the public don't trust a single promise he now makes."