Guernsey Press

Starmer to say his changes to Labour have been ‘for working people’

The party leader will say he has made Labour ‘once again the party of service’.

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Sir Keir Starmer will say his changes to Labour have been to “restore the party to the service of working people”, as he gives a keynote speech marking the four-year anniversary of the 2019 election.

The Labour leader will on Tuesday appeal directly to Tory voters, promising a government dedicated to economic stability and the rule of law.

Seeking to further distance himself from his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn while attacking the Conservative Government, he will say that only his changed Labour can deliver the transformation that Britain needs.

“Working people up and down our country looked at my party, looked at the journey we’d been on – not just under Jeremy Corbyn, but for a while. And they said ‘no’,” he is expected to say.

“We’d taken a leave of absence from our job description. Reneged on an old partnership – the Labour bargain that we serve working people – as they drive our country forward.

“Everything I’ve done as leader, every fight I’ve had, has been to reconnect us to that purpose.

Sir Keir will also seize on the threat to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s authority posed this week by a Tory Party bitterly divided over his Rwanda Bill, a piece of emergency legislation aimed at reviving the Government’s flagship asylum policy.

“We’re all stuck in their psychodrama, all being dragged down to their level,” he is expected to say.

“While they’re all swanning around self-importantly with their factions and their ‘star chambers’, fighting like rats in a sack, there’s a country out here that isn’t being governed.”

He will urge parts of the electorate who have previously voted Conservative that the change they hope for “will not (come) from a Tory fifth term”.

“It’s about doing the basics better. The mundane stuff. The bureaucratic stuff. Busting the backlogs, rebuilding a functioning asylum system, removing people more quickly so you don’t have to run up hotel bills, and cross-border police force that can smash the smuggler gangs at source.”

Sir Keir’s leadership has seen Labour shift away from the left-leaning Opposition headed by Mr Corbyn after the party suffered a landslide defeat in 2019.

He recently appeared to attempt to court traditionally Tory voters by writing for the Conservative-supporting Telegraph newspaper that Margaret Thatcher had sought to “drag Britain out of its stupor by setting loose our natural entrepreneurialism”.

Sir Keir later sought to calm criticism of the move by telling a Scottish Labour gala dinner that she did “terrible things” and he “profoundly disagrees” with some of her actions.

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