Mon, 15 April 2024

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Keir Starmer pledges to be a ‘radical’ Labour leader in pitch to party’s left-wing members

3 min read

Keir Starmer will promise to boost Labour’s “radicalism” under his leadership in a pitch to members for the top job.

The Shadow Brexit Secretary will say that defending Labour’s radical values is his top priority in the leadership contest, as well as winning back power at the next election in 2024.

Mr Starmer, who has stormed ahead with 68 nominations from MPs - the most so far in the race - is set to officially launch his bid to succeed Jeremy Corbyn in Manchester.

Ahead of his speech, he said: “The challenge for Labour today is to defend our values, retain our radicalism, and to make that relevant to people’s everyday lives. People desperately need and want us to win...
“We have to rebuild people’s trust in Labour as a force for good and real change. We have to take the fight to the Tories and make the case for how our values and ideas can deliver the change Britain so desperately needs.”

The pro-EU candidate also talked up his plans to tackle low pay, insecure work and the climate emergency as well as rebuilding public services.

And he will tell voters: “My campaign will be about defending Labour’s radical values and winning for the majority in 2024 – not either one without the other.”

On Saturday he will also visit a food bank project in Oldham as he urges the party to win back voters lost to Boris Johnson in the December poll.

“Our sights will be on every person in the UK whose support we need to win back. England, Scotland and Wales, in towns and cities alike. And in fighting this internal election we must not lose our focus on the elections this spring,” he said.
“Boris Johnson said that many voters in the North had lent their votes to the Conservatives. We must set ourselves the task of winning those votes back.
“If elected leader, I will pursue Boris Johnson relentlessly in Parliament. We will connect our opposition in Parliament to Labour’s mass movement and to the wider forces in our country who do not want five more years of Tory misrule.”

Mr Starmer has already secured a place in the next round of the leadership race, joined by Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips and Rebecca Long Bailey ahead of the 13 January deadline.

Candidates who make it through to the next stage must receive the backing of either 5% of local party branches or three affiliates, including two trade unions.

The UK’s largest trade union Unison has already pledged its support to Mr Starmer.

The new leader will be announced at a special conference on 4 April. 

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