Keir Starmer announces five 'national missions' to 'fix' Britain as he reveals Labour is already planning second term

23 February 2023, 14:29 | Updated: 23 February 2023, 18:02

Sir Keir spoke about his five "national missions" for Britain at a speech in Manchester on Thursday
Sir Keir spoke about his five "national missions" for Britain at a speech in Manchester on Thursday. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Sir Keir Starmer said the Labour Party is already planning its second term in government as he laid the party's five “national missions” to fix Britain.

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Sir Keir said the pledges, which will be at the centre of Labour's next election manifesto, will bring an end to "sticking plaster politics" and said he hoped his "mission-driven government" would "ruffle feathers across Whitehall".

"Pick any of the current problems: energy security, productivity, immigration, we could be here all day, but it wouldn't matter: the pattern is always the same," the Labour leader said.

"Distracted by the short-term obsessions that fixate Westminster, held back by a cynicism, which uses low trust in politics as an excuse to narrow our ambitions, blinkered to the potential of an active government setting the direction, we lurch from crisis to crisis, always reacting, always behind the curve."

Sir Keir Starmer speaking in Manchester on Thursday
Sir Keir Starmer speaking in Manchester on Thursday. Picture: Alamy

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Sir Keir's five "national missions" centred around the economy, the NHS, crime, childcare and the environment.

His first pledge was to make Britain the fastest growing economy in the G7 secure through "good jobs, productivity growth in every part of the country growth that makes everyone, not just a few, better off".

The Labour leader also promised reform in the NHS so to improve access to treatment, reduce illness, cut health inequality, all while "harnessing life sciences and technology".

Sir Keir evoked former prime minister Tony Blair when he announced the party's third pledge with the phrase "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime".

"You’ve heard it before, but its right," he said.

Keir Starmer Unveils Plans For A 'Mission-led' Labour Government
Keir Starmer Unveils Plans For A 'Mission-led' Labour Government. Picture: Getty

In his fourth mission to address childcare in Britain, Sir Keir said he wanted "break down the barriers to opportunity at every stage, for every child", while the fifth was to make Britain "a clean energy superpower".

The Labour leader denied dropping all the pledges that won him the party's leadership contest after the Conservative Party accused him of "11 rebrand and no new ideas".

"So far as the pledges when I ran for leader are concerned, they are important statements of value and principle," he told the Today programme.

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"And they haven't all been abandoned by any stretch of the imagination. But what I have had to do is adapt some of them to the circumstances we find ourselves in.

"Since I ran for leader, we've had Covid, we've had the conflict in Ukraine, we've had a Government that has done huge damage to our economy. Everybody recognises that."