My plan for change

Keir Starmer speaking at a podium at a Labour Party event.

This election is about change.

A chance to stop the endless Conservative chaos that has directly harmed the finances of every family in Britain.

A moment where we can turn the page on a set of ideas that, over 14 years, have consistently left us more vulnerable in an increasingly volatile world.

And an opportunity to begin the work of national renewal. A rebuilding of our country, so that it once again serves the interests of working people.

Every great nation is held together by shared beliefs. To outsiders they may not seem exceptional or distinctive, but they are essential for a sense of collective national purpose. Britain is no different, but at this moment two of our most important beliefs are in grave danger.

First, that politics should be driven by a sense of service to the country, not considerations of party or self-interest.

Second, that if you work hard then – whoever you are, wherever you started in life – Britain is a country that will respect your contribution and give you a fair chance to get on.

When I consider these beliefs, it is hard not to think back to my childhood. Then, as now, Britain’s place in the world was uncertain. Then, as now, our economy was gripped by stuttering growth and a cost-of-living crisis that hurt working people.

Yet back then, there was at least a degree of security in being able to take those two fundamental beliefs for granted. For families like mine, this was a comfort. The knowledge that Britain would offer your children a better future gave us hope. A hope that may not sound high-minded or particularly idealistic, but which families like mine could build a life around.

To restore this hope, we must first end the Conservative chaos. The visible decline in our communities – families weighed down by soaring mortgages; people waiting on trolleys in A&E; sewage in our rivers – is not an accident. Rather, it is a direct result of a governing party that, time and again, puts its own interests and obsessions above the issues that affect families.

The result is a vicious cycle – decline feeding off chaos, chaos feeding off decline – that will continue if they return for five more years. Only a Labour government can break this cycle and stop the chaos.

We must turn the page decisively on the Conservative ideas that have caused the chaos.

The world has become increasingly volatile, with a major war in Europe for the first time in a generation and ever greater threats to the living standards of working people. This ‘age of insecurity’ requires the government to step up, not stand aside.

This means a return to the foundations of good government: national security, secure borders, and economic stability. But it also requires an enduring partnership with business to deliver the economic growth we need. It needs more focus on long- term strategy, not the short-term distractions that can animate Westminster. And it demands a final and total rejection of the toxic idea that economic growth is gifted from the few to the many.

Because whether it is crashing the pound to give tax cuts to the richest 1%; degrading public services because of a mess made by the banks; or the failure to invest in clean British energy that left us exposed when Putin invaded Ukraine – so much of what Britain has been through in the past 14 years is explained by a Conservative failure to face the future. Only Labour can turn the page.

Keir Starmer speaks to a group of people in a community hub, while holding a cup of tea.

We must rebuild our country. It will not be easy. Not only because there is no quick fix to the mess the Conservatives have made. But also, because their failures have sapped our collective confidence that Britain can still achieve great things. I reject this with every fibre of my being. Despite all the chaos inflicted on Britain, the country I see is one where working people never let each other down. They came together in the pandemic – missed weddings, funerals and last goodbyes – to save the lives of people they will never meet. They dug deep in the years of austerity, to keep delivering the public services people needed. And throughout the cost-of-living crisis, they found a way to support those less fortunate than themselves.

We are still a great nation. We can still achieve great things. What we lack is a government that can match the ambition working people have for their family and community, with a credible long-term plan.

This manifesto is that plan. Fully costed, fully funded – built on a rock of fiscal responsibility.

At its heart are five national missions – with clear first steps to begin the journey of rebuilding – that provide a clear destination for everyone invested in Britain’s future. A new Britain, where wealth is created in every community. Where the golden opportunity of clean British power is harnessed for lower bills. Where your town centre has been revitalised and everyone feels safe to walk the streets. Where you can go to work and know you will be treated with dignity and respect. Where our children are equipped with the skills to thrive in the future. Where our NHS is once again at the cutting edge of healthcare. And where we show that politics can be about serving the country.

Keir Starmer greeting a father and his small son in a high street.

I know some people will roll their eyes at this last sentence. Yet serving our country is the only reason I came into politics. The defining purpose of my Labour leadership has been to drag my party away from the dead end of gesture politics and return it once more to the service of working people. I have changed my party. Now I want the chance to bring that change to the country.

But to succeed we need everyone, every community, to play their part. I know, after everything you have been through in the past 14 years, that this is a hard request to make. But I also expect, deep down, that you know this is what our country needs now – an end to the chaos, a turning of the page, and a patient but determined rebuilding of our country.

So, I invite you to join us in this common endeavour of national renewal. It is time to change Britain.

Keir Starmer

Leader of the Labour Party

Keir Starmer signature