“It has changed the Labor Party permanently,” says Keir Starmer.

  • Written by Chas Geiger
  • Political reporter

Video explanation, Sir Keir Starmer: ‘The Conservatives have beaten people’s hope’

Sir Keir Starmer has promised voters he will “fight for you” and put “country first, party second”.

In his first major speech since the general election was called, the Labor leader said he could be trusted because he “changed this party forever”.

He urged people to trust him to achieve economic stability and protect national security.

Rishi Sunak said the country needed “bold action, not bullshit”.

Despite Labor’s significant lead in the opinion polls, Sir Keir acknowledged that many voters were not yet fully convinced by his party.

“I know there are countless people who have not yet decided how they will vote in this election. They are tired of the failure, the chaos and division among the Conservatives, but they still have questions about us: Has Labor changed enough?

“Do I trust them with my money, our borders, and our security? My answer is yes, you can, because I changed this party forever,” he said.

Sir Keir later told the BBC that he considered himself a “socialist”.

Many on the left in his party have accused him of abandoning the socialist vision of his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn, but Sir Keir said: “I would describe myself as a socialist. I describe myself as a progressive. I describe myself as someone.” He always puts the country first and the party second.”

Sir Keir also told the BBC that Labour’s plans did not mean there was a need to rise in taxes, including the main rate of VAT.

“Tax increases have burdened working people in recent years,” he said.

“We went through all of our plans, and none of them asked us to raise taxes.”

It comes after Labor shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves announced on Sunday that there would be no income tax or National Insurance increases under a Labor government.

Asked whether there was a lack of enthusiasm for Labour, Sir Keir pointed to the party’s performance in recent local and by-elections, saying: “It is quite clear to me that people who voted for other parties are now looking for change.” Labor Party.”

In a personal speech on Monday, Sir Keir spoke at length about his own background, growing up in the small town of Oxted in Surrey, during the “hard times” of the 1970s.

“My father was a tool maker, he worked in a factory. My mother was a nurse… She never complained, but her illness shaped our lives.

“I know what out-of-control inflation feels like, and how the rising cost of living can make you fearful of the next mailman on the way: ‘Is he going to bring another bill we can’t afford?’

The election was “about more than individual changes and policies, but about values, temperament, character and a bigger question: whose side are you on?” he added.

“Who do you keep in mind when you make decisions?

“Everything I have fought for has been shaped by my life, and every change I have made in this party has been around a cause, and the answer to that question, and the only answer: the working people of this country are fulfilling their aspirations, and earning their living.” Respect and serve their interests.”

Sir Keir, who became leader in April 2020, has been frustrated during the pandemic because he has not had a proper opportunity to introduce himself to voters.

With the election campaign now underway, he feels it is necessary to tell voters something about the person he wants to become prime minister.

The Labor Party leader said that his experiences “shaped the plan I drew for Britain and the importance of economic stability above all else.”

“But we are now at a dangerous new point, close to crossing the point of trust, not just in politics but in many of the institutions that aim to serve and protect the British people.”

Conservative Party Chairman Richard Holden rejected the Labor leader’s speech, describing it as “tedious and confusing” and “without policy, substance or plan.”

“Once again, Keir Starmer has stood up to tell the country absolutely nothing… The question remains: Will Starmer find the courage and conviction to tell us what he will do, or does he simply not know?

He added: “The choice is clear: stick to the successful plan and take bold action for a safer future with Rishi Sunak or return to square one with Labour.”

The Conservatives also claimed on Sunday that the Labor leader did not have the “stamina” to campaign, saying he was “resting at home”.

On Monday, Sir Keir dismissed it as “desperate”, saying: “I’ve wasted nine years of my life in opposition. I’ve worked four-and-a-half years to change this Labor Party, and now I’ve got the chance to take that to the country.”

“So we do it not only with energy, but with a smile and positivity for all of our candidates as we head into this election.”

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