xi's moments
Home | Europe

Labour Party reveals election manifesto

By Julian Shea in London | China Daily Global | Updated: 2024-06-14 05:04

British opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer speaks at a campaign event, in Crewe, Britain on June 13. [Photo/Agencies]

British Labour Party leader Keir Starmer has said his party "is pro-business and pro-worker, the party of wealth creation" at the launch of its manifesto for the general election taking place on July 4.

He said a promise not to raise income tax, National Insurance, or VAT, was "a manifesto commitment", but acknowledged that should his party form the next government, it would face "hard choices" after what he called "14 years of chaos and division" under the Conservative Party.

"You cannot play fast and loose with the public finances, we've lived through the damage that this does," he added.

He identified higher growth, safer streets, cleaner energy, widening opportunity, and the revival of the National Health Service as the key planks of his party's platform, with growth through wealth creation its first priority.

The Labour election slogan is the word "Change" and he said that under the Conservatives, the country had "lost its balance", but a Labour government would mean a "total change of direction".

He vowed there would never be a return to the politics of austerity that followed the global financial crisis, and in a nod to his former role as head of the Crown Prosecution Service, said "I lived through austerity, and I am never going to allow a Labour government to do that to a public service."

With Labour regularly scoring way ahead of the Conservatives in opinion polls, he acknowledged "Yes we are enjoying the campaign, I cannot deny that…we have waited four-and-a-half years to get to this point.

"This is the chance for us to do what we came into politics to do, which is to change the lives of millions of people with a Labour government."

Other notable policies include changing the voting age from the current 18 to 16 and scrapping the Rwanda asylum seeker deportation program.

Funds released by this would allow for the setting up of a new Border Security Command, and Labour would also seek to come to a new security agreement with the European Union.

This would be part of a process of rebuilding the country's relationship with the EU — but not rejoining it or its single market. The manifesto also mentioned developing "a long-term strategy to manage the relationship with China… we will cooperate where we can, compete where we need to and challenge when we must", after what the manifesto described as "14 years of damaging Conservative inconsistency".

When quizzed by journalists, Starmer was asked if the surprise-free 132-page document was a "Captain Caution manifesto", aimed at preserving Labour's strong opinion poll lead.

"No. It is a serious plan for the future of our country," he replied, adding that every policy in the document "has been carefully thought through and tested to ensure we can deliver it".

"I am not going to do what Rishi Sunak did, which is to offer things that he can't deliver because they're unfunded," he said, adding "I'm running as a candidate to be prime minister, not a candidate to run the circus."

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349