Labour manifesto: Keir Starmer vows to 'fire' up Britain so children are better off than their parents

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Sir Keir Starmer vowed on Thursday to “relight the fires of renewal” across Britain so that the nation’s children are once again better off than their parents.

Launching Labour’s manifesto in Manchester, he sought to reassure millions of voters across Middle England with a pledge of “stability” after years of Tory “chaos”. He also offered a message of hope with a “bond that reaches through the generations and says this country will be better for your children”.

Declaring Labour to be the “party of wealth creation”, after the political shackles of the Jeremy Corbyn years, Sir Keir outlined his Plan to Change Britain based on economic growth.

His party would be “pro-business and pro-worker”, he stressed, ruling out some tax rises, including on VAT, income tax and National Insurance.

However, his blueprint for Britain was heavily dependent on restoring healthy economic growth which has recently been elusive as the country has been hit by the Covid pandemic, Putin’s war in Ukraine and the political and economic turmoil of recent years, particularly the brief Liz Truss administration.

The speech, which lasted around 20 minutes, did not include any firework announcements. Instead, it sought to ram home Labour’s core message that it would restore stability.

Sir Keir said: “We have a plan in this manifesto. A total change in direction. Laser-focused on our cause — stability, growth, investment and reform. A government back in the service of your family, ready to change Britain.”

With Labour around 20 points in front in the polls, Sir Keir appeared to be heading to No10, unless there is a dramatic election gamechanger.

His speech did not seek to break new ground, which may spark fresh Tory accusations of Labour failing to outline a proper plan for government. But he had a strong message to younger people, and their parents worried about their children’s future.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer at the launch of the party’s manifesto at Co-op HQ in Manchester (PA Wire)
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer at the launch of the party’s manifesto at Co-op HQ in Manchester (PA Wire)

He said: “Do kids like those in Somers Town — a very poor part of my they look out of their window to the glittering success of London 300 yards and another world away and believe that success could belong to them?

“Do parents in Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff, Plymouth, Sunderland, Sussex, Stoke-on-Trent, do they believe, with the certainty they deserve, that the future will be better for their children?

“Because in the Britain I want to leave to my children, they do.”


Sir Keir pledged sweeping reforms, including to the planning system and public services. “Wealth creation is our number one priority,” he said. “Growth is our core business.”

He insisted that Labour now “totally rejects” the argument that the key question is “tax and spend” rather than economic growth. “We will create a new industrial strategy... back it with a national wealth fund to invest in clean steel, new ports, gigafactories, and we will create 650,000 new jobs for communities like yours to relight the fires of renewal across all four of our great nations,” he said.

Keir Starmer setting out his manifesto on Thursday (REUTERS)
Keir Starmer setting out his manifesto on Thursday (REUTERS)

Tax cuts

Sir Keir ruled out tax rises “on working people”. He pledged: “We will not raise income tax. We will not raise National Insurance. We will not raise VAT.” However, his comments left open the door to other tax rises, amid speculation that capital gains tax could increase. Labour is proposing to charge VAT on private school fees, abolish the non-dom tax status and close “loopholes” in the windfall tax on oil and gas companies.

Young people

Labour would restore the “dream of home ownership” to 1.5 million families, he added, promising a new generation of technical excellence colleges, a guarantee for young, out-of-work people of a job placement or apprenticeship, better mental health support, new youth hubs, and the prospect of the vote for 16-year-olds.


Sir Keir pledged to cut NHS waiting times, with 40,000 more appointments every week, as official figures showed the waiting list nudging up to 7.57 million. Labour’s plan includes doubling the number of cancer scanners, a new “dentistry rescue plan”, 8,500 more mental health staff, and an end to the “8am scramble” to get a GP appointment.

Thursday’s Standard front page (Evening Standard)
Thursday’s Standard front page (Evening Standard)


Labour is promising to recruit 6,500 new expert teachers in key subjects, 3,000 new primary school-based nurseries, and free breakfast clubs in every primary school.

Energy bills

The party, which has slowed down the implementation of its £28 billion green economy plan, would set up the publicly-owned Great British Energy in a drive to lower energy bills.

Law and order

More neighbourhood police officers would be recruited to tackle anti-social behaviour, with a fresh drive to “get knives off our streets”.


Labour is proposing a new border security command to tackle the “small boats” Channel crisis, though, it is not clear if this would be more successful than the Government’s failing Rwanda deportation scheme. Sir Keir also made an “unshakeable commitment” to Nato and Britain’s nuclear deterrent.