Sir Keir Starmer will vow to boost growth across the UK as he set outs his five “national missions” for a Labour government if they win the next general election.
In a keynote speech in Manchester, the Labour leader will say the country needs a “serious plan” to fix some of the deep-seated problems it is facing.
He is expected to contrast his own programme – with measures ranging from tackling the stalled economy to the NHS crisis – with the “sticking plaster politics” of Rishi Sunak’s five priorities set out in his new year address.
Sir Keir is expected to use a speech on Thursday to set out “missions” on the economy, the NHS, crime, climate change and education as part of his push to win the general election expected in 2024.
The Independent understands the Labour leader will focus on economic growth – promising to boost prosperity in every region of the UK – while holding back the details of the other pledges for the months ahead.
Sir Keir is also set to stress that he wants a Labour government to create stronger partnerships with the private sector – and will say he doesn’t care “whether investment or expertise comes from the public or private sector”.
The Labour leader drew criticism from the left last month when he said Labour wanted the NHS to use the private sector more to tackle waiting lists, saying private providers were “under-used and we could do more of it”.
With an election potentially little over a year away, party officials said the “mission” plan will form the backbone of their manifesto.
A party spokesperson said they will draw on Sir Keir’s experience of having run the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for five years to establish a set of clear objectives for what they want to achieve in office.
In his speech, Sir Keir will say that he wants a different approach to government – neither state control nor pure free markets – but a genuine “sleeves rolled up” partnership working in the national interest.
“It means providing a clear set of priorities,” he will say, according to advance extracts of his speech. “A relentless focus on the things that matter most … Without a serious plan, there will be no light at the end of a very long tunnel for the British people.”
Sir Keir is expected to say that each mission will be “laser-targeted” at addressing the root causes of a series of complex problems which demand new thinking.
“Government can prevent problems, as well as fix them. Can shape markets rather than serving them. Can lead a collective national effort on growth and innovation,” he will say.
“But without reforming the role of government – none of that will happen. Equally, I’m not concerned about whether investment or expertise comes from the public or private sector – just want to get the job done.”
The left-wing pressure group Momentum accused Labour of a lack of ambition. A spokesperson said Sir Keir had ditched “cast-iron pledges” on public ownership “in favour of the reheated third-way Blairism typified by these latest, vapid ‘missions’”.