'We Want To Be A Party Of Power': Keir Starmer Slaps Down Heckler At Labour Manifesto Launch

Keir Starmer speaks during the launch of Labour's general election manifesto.
Keir Starmer speaks during the launch of Labour's general election manifesto. Anthony Devlin via Getty Images

Keir Starmer declared Labour is now “a party of power” as he unveiled his election manifesto.

The Labour leader had to slap down a heckler who accused him of following “Tory policies”.

“We gave up being a party of protest five years ago,” Starmer said. “We want to be a party of power. That’s not in the script but that is part of the change.”

As expected, the 133-page manifesto contained no new policies as the Labour tries to protect its huge poll lead over the Conservatives with just three weeks to go until polling day on July 4.

Instead, it contained pre-announced pledges including plans to put VAT on private school fees, extend the windfall tax on oil and gas companies, and reform planning rules to build 1.5 million more homes.

Other policies include lowering the voting age to 16, recruiting 6,500 more teachers, delivering 40,000 more NHS appointments to bring down waiting lists and setting up a Border Security Command to tackle the small boats crisis.

Rejecting accusations that he is too boring, Starmer said: “It’s not about rabbits out the hat, it’s not about pantomime. We’ve had that.

“I’m running as a candidate to be prime minister, not a candidate to run the circus.”

The Labour boss said the election was a chance for voters to “stop the chaos” of the last 14 years of Tory rule.

“I have changed the Labour Party, and I am ready to change Britain,” he said.

“Labour’s first steps for change are a downpayment on our long-term plan for the country - an immediate repair job on the damage that has been caused under 14 years of Conservative chaos and decline.

“We know we can’t wave a magic wand and pretend that everything will be fixed overnight.

“But with Labour, our first steps for change will deliver economic stability, cut NHS waiting times, launch a new Border Security Command, create Great British Energy, crack down on ant-isocial behaviour and recruit 6,500 new teachers. They are the first steps towards our long-term plan.

“But to get change, you have to vote for it. The choice at this election is another five years of chaos under the Conservatives, with people paying £4,800 more on their mortgages, or change with Labour. It’s time to stop the chaos, turn the page and start rebuilding Britain.”