What Starmer’s first 100 days would look like

Sir Keir Starmer
Sir Keir Starmer would make changes in areas including immigration, energy and private schools

Labour’s first 100 days in office will set the tone for what a government led by Sir Keir Starmer will do.

Yet relatively little has been disclosed about the party’s plans for office should it win the general election on July 4.

Sir Keir has adopted a “ming vase” strategy, cautiously revealing as little about his policy platform as he can get away with to avoid denting his 20-point lead in the polls.

But hints of what a Labour Government will mean for Britain have started to drip out now that the election campaign is under way.

Day one

Royal permission

If his party wins the election, Sir Keir’s first port of call will be Buckingham Palace, where he will ask the King for his permission to form a government.

Immediately afterwards he would be whisked to No 10, where traditionally he would deliver a brief speech to the public from a podium in Downing Street.

He would then head behind the famous black door to meet and greet the staff, before inviting inside those Labour MPs who will be appointed to his first Cabinet.

Axe Rwanda

Labour has said it will axe Rishi Sunak’s flagship Rwanda migrant deportation scheme “on day one” if it is elected.

Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow paymaster general, said on Thursday that Labour would ditch the scheme even if flights were scheduled because it was an “expensive gimmick”.

Mr Sunak has said he does not expect to get flights off the ground before the election but the Home Office is continuing to work to the previous target of June 24 for the first deportations.

In its place, Labour has said it will create a “border security command”, appoint “hundreds” of investigators and give counter-terror powers to Border Force to “smash criminal gangs”.

Week one

Nato alliance summit

Just four days after his appointment, Sir Keir would take his first foreign trip, attending a summit of the Nato alliance in Washington alongside Joe Biden, the US president, and other world leaders.

Tax private schools

Sir Keir pledged on Friday morning that Labour’s plan to impose VAT on private school fees would be rolled out “straight away” if he won the election.

The Labour leader said the exact timing would depend on “the timetable in Parliament” but committed to bringing in the policy “as soon as it can be done”.

Labour has previously said that the change will pay for one of its six “first steps for change” – the recruitment of 6,500 new teachers. It has not committed to a date by which it will have recruited them.

Rachel Reeves, Labour’s shadow chancellor, said at last year’s party conference that she would implement the policy in her first budget.

Week two

EU Political Community summit

On July 18, as Prime Minister, Sir Keir would host major EU leaders including Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz for the European Political Community summit at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

First 100 days

Expand workers’ rights

Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, has been spearheading the party’s plans to introduce new workers’ rights through legislation.

This would likely be done at the beginning of the new Parliament in line with Labour’s pledge to bring a “new deal for working people”.

That involves an end to zero-hours contracts, fire-and-rehire practices and easing “restrictions on union activity”.

Businesses have criticised the plans, with the Confederation of British Industry warning that the “European model” they represent would make companies reluctant to take on new workers.

The Institute of Directors has warned that “there can be a really valid role for zero-hours contracts”, which Labour wants to scrap.

No National Service

Labour has wholly rejected the Tories’ plans to bring back National Service, claiming the Conservatives have been driven to take “desperate” action because they have “hollowed out the Armed Forces to their smallest size since Napoleon”.

Income tax

Rachel Reeves has ruled out further tax increases beyond what the party has already announced, pledging not to raise income tax or national insurance in her clearest commitment on the matter to date.

The shadow chancellor promised never to “play fast and loose” with the country’s finances at her first event of the election campaign and previously insisted she wants the burden on working people to be “lower”.

Ms Reeves said: “I want, and Keir wants, taxes on working people to be lower, and we certainly won’t be increasing income tax or national insurance if we win the election.”

100-day security review

Labour has also said it will conduct a 100-day review of the security threats facing Britain upon entering government.

The joint “security sprint” exercise will be conducted with the input of MI5, the police and the civil service, Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, has said.

She claimed that without the review, Britain risks being “outpaced by its adversaries”, citing Russia and Iran as well as broader issues like extremism and artificial intelligence.

Ms Cooper, a minister under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, has also said Labour would come up with a new strategy to fight anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

Resurrect Sunak’s smoking ban

Rishi Sunak’s flagship smoking ban has not been included in the legislation being rushed through before Parliament is dissolved on Thursday, May 30.

The Prime Minister had previously hailed it as an example of “the bold action that I’m prepared to take”.

The policy, which would have made it illegal to sell tobacco to anyone born after Jan 1 2009 and aimed to gradually abolish smoking, was supported by Labour.

Sir Keir said on Friday that the party was “committed” to the legislation, indicating that his party would reintroduce the legislation if elected.

It is therefore likely to be another of the first measures Labour brings to Parliament.

Set up Great British Energy

Labour has said it wants to “make Britain a clean energy superpower” by setting up Great British Energy, a state-owned generator of green electricity.

One of its six “first steps”, the party has said the company’s creation will cost £8.3 billion and be paid for by a windfall tax on oil and gas companies.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), however, has claimed that it would actually need between £61 billion and £82 billion of public investment over 10 years – nearly ten times more than Labour has pledged for the project.

The formal creation of the company is likely to be one of Labour’s first decisions in Government.

Strategic defence review

Labour has announced it could boost the size of the Army following an official review of Britain’s defences, which the party has committed to undertake within its first year in power.

The review would look at three areas, Labour has said. First, it would assess new “hybrid threats” such as cyber attacks, disinformation campaigns and attacks on critical underwater infrastructure, and how to prepare Britain to defend against them.

Second, the party said the review would ensure Britain’s armed forces are fit and equipped to fight in war and that the Army is the right size to confront any military challenge.

Third, it would aim to bolster homeland protection, considering such capabilities as air defences to stop possible air strikes and the security of undersea cables in order to protect critical infrastructure from being targeted by hostile actors.