Labour pledges 100-day security review to tackle Putin, Iran and AI threats

26 May 2024, 22:55 | Updated: 27 May 2024, 08:53

Labour will pledge a 100-day 'sprint review' of threats to Britain if the party wins the general election - as Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak make security a key part of their manifestos.
Labour will pledge a 100-day 'sprint review' of threats to Britain if the party wins the general election - as Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak make security a key part of their manifestos. Picture: Alamy

By Chay Quinn

Labour will pledge a 100-day 'sprint review' of threats to Britain if the party wins the general election - as Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak make security a key part of their manifestos.

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In a keynote speech on Monday, Sir Keir Starmer will say that "economic security, border security, and national security" will form the "bedrock" of the party manifesto.

During the speech he will pledge a 100-day review on security threats including Russia, Iran, AI and other hostile actors.

The review will inform Labour plans to tighten legislation and rules to protect Brits in an increasingly dangerous world.

Elsewhere on Monday, Rishi Sunak will be hammering his message that the Conservatives will take "bold action" to deliver "a secure future for the next generation".

Read More: Royal children 'to face National Service under Sunak pledge' as new details emerge

The clash comes after Tories announced that they will revive National Service for all 18-year-olds if re-elected on July 4.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer speaking at the launch of Scottish Labour's General Election campaign at City Facilities in Glasgow. Picture date: Friday May 24, 2024.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer speaking at the launch of Scottish Labour's General Election campaign at City Facilities in Glasgow. Picture date: Friday May 24, 2024. Picture: Alamy
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his his wife Akshata Murty leave after a campaign event in Stanmore in north west London, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Sunday May 26, 2024.
The clash comes after Sunak's Tories announced that they will revive National Service for all 18-year-olds if re-elected on July 4. Picture: Alamy

The Prime Minister announced the new election pledge and confirmed all 18-year-olds will be made to enrol in a year-long military placement or spend one weekend each month volunteering under the plan.

Mr Sunak has received backlash to the proposal but said he wanted the changes to instil a "shared sense of purpose” in youngsters.

Opposition critics have dismissed the plans as "unserious", with Labour saying the pledge would never come to fruition and amounted to "another unfunded commitment".

Sir Keir will put security at the heart of his speech on Monday as the Prime Minister seeks to draw a dividing line with Labour over the issue, following his commitment to raise defence spending to 2.5% GDP by 2030.

"The very foundation of any good government is economic security, border security, and national security," the Labour leader is expected to say.

The Labour Leadership Launch Six Election Pledges To The Electorate
The Labour Leadership Launch Six Election Pledges To The Electorate. Picture: Getty

"This is the foundation, the bedrock that our manifesto and our first steps will be built upon."

It comes after Labour and the Tories traded insults about the party leaders on Sunday as each accused the other of absenteeism on the doorstep.

The Conservatives suggested Sir Keir lacked the "stamina" to campaign on Sunday, though pictures later emerged of him meeting voters in Brighton.

Meanwhile, Labour said the Prime Minister had been "holed up with his aides" and "hiding away in his mansion" after he returned to his Yorkshire constituency to meet local veterans on Saturday following a two-day tour of the UK.

Both shadow work and pensions secretary Liz Kendall and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves were on Sunday dispatched for Labour to broadcast studios, where they mocked the Tories' national service announcement.

Liz Kendall was among the Labour frontbenchers to mock Tory plans to bring back National Service
Liz Kendall was among the Labour frontbenchers to mock Tory plans to bring back National Service. Picture: Alamy

"This is an unfunded commitment, a headline-grabbing gimmick, it is not a proper plan to deliver it, it doesn't deal with the big challenges facing young people who are desperate to get the skills and qualifications they need to get good jobs, to have a home they can call their own," Ms Kendall told Sky News.

Home Secretary James Cleverly insisted the programme was aimed at getting teenagers "out of their bubble" because too many "don't mix with people of different religions, they don't mix with different viewpoints".

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