Labour to water-down manifesto in attempt to shrink target of Tories attacks at general election

3 February 2024, 23:34

Labour Unveil Its City Policy At Business Conference
Labour are planning a no-risk manifesto they seek to dull Conservative attacks and deliver the party to power for the first time in 14 years. Picture: Getty

By Chay Quinn

Labour are planning a no-risk manifesto they seek to dull Conservative attacks and deliver the party to power for the first time in 14 years.

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Shadow cabinet ministers have until February 8 to submit policy to the manifesto, as Sir Keir Starmer gears up for an election expected to take place in the second half of this year.

Key pledges such as House of Lords reforms and social care policy are expected to be watered down as Sir Keir attempts to make his manifesto "bombproof".

Read More: Labour’s Peter Kyle set for AI talks with tech giants during Washington visit

The backing off comes after reports that the party has ditched its £28 billion pledge to fund climate infrastructure.

Labour Unveil Its City Policy At Business Conference
Labour Unveil Its City Policy At Business Conference. Picture: Getty

The scrapping of social care reforms has irked union backers of the party, with Unison’s general secretary, Christina McAnea, telling the Observer: “Care is in crisis and the need for a national service has never been greater. But the sector is complex and, with many thousands of care employers, creating a new system isn’t a five-minute job.

“In stark contrast to the litany of broken promises from this government, Labour is committed to reforming care. Under the proposed fair pay agreement, wages will rise and care workers earn the same no matter where they work in England.

“Care jobs will immediately become more attractive, and the sector be able to start filling the huge hole in its workforce. That will boost support to everyone needing care and begin to lift the pressure on the NHS.”

Labour will water-down its proposal to reform the House of Lords
Labour will water-down its proposal to reform the House of Lords. Picture: Getty

Despite the cautious approach, Starmer's party will back a pledge to build 300,000 homes in Britain each year - a pledge previously made by Tories, but has yet to be fulfilled.

Labour currently enjoy a large polling lead over the Tories, and are widely expected to win the next general election by a landslide.

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