Starmer pledges to end political ‘pantomime’ and ‘rebuild Britain’ in Labour manifesto launch


Sir Keir Starmer has promised to “end to the desperate era of gestures and gimmicks” with a “credible” long-term plan from Labour to “rebuild our country”.

There were no surprises at the party’s manifesto launch in Manchester, with the leader sticking to the “five missions” for government he set out last year – if they win the election on 4 July.

But Sir Keir made no apology for it.

Pointing to the seat where Nigel Farage is running to become an MP, he told the audience: “If you want politics as pantomime, I hear Clacton is nice this time of year.

“We have to come to terms with this – Britain needs stability not more chaos.”

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The Labour leader also doubled down on his pledge not to raise taxes on working people after much rumour around his plans for power.

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“This is an issue of conviction,” he said. “I don’t believe it’s fair to raise taxes on working people when they’re already paying this month, particularly with a cost of living crisis.

“So let me spell it out. We will not raise income tax. We will not raise national insurance. We will not raise VAT. That is a manifesto commitment.”

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After a brief interruption from a protester – who Sir Keir told, “we gave up on being a party of protest five years ago, we want to be a party of power” – the leader again laid out his “five missions to rebuild Britain”, namely:

• Kickstarting economic growth
• Making the country a clean energy “superpower”
• “Taking back our streets” by halving serious crime
• “Breaking down barriers to opportunity” with reforms to childcare and education
• Building an NHS “fit for the future”.

He said the pledges “remain at the core” of his 131-page manifesto, adding: “If they are to offer hope and clarity through these times, if they are to show, despite the hard road, the light of the certain destination, then we must keep to that road, no matter the short term ebbs and flows of politics, even in a campaign.

“That is what mission-driven government means. A chance to stop us bobbing along until the next crisis blows us off course and instead make sure we can keep going through the storm.

“Stability over chaos. Long-term over short-term.”

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