Keir Starmer last night issued fresh demands for a general election and said that tax levels for working people would be as “low” as possible under a Labour government.
The Labour leader criticised the lack of “any meaningful growth for 13 years” under the Tory party and said that people “certainly can’t afford for Rishi Sunak to cling on to power for as long as he cares to do so”.
He told the Daily Mirror: “It’s not just the economy. The NHS is broken, the criminal justice system is broken. There’s almost nothing that isn’t broken.”
Labour’s huge poll lead has diminished slightly since the 25-year high seen during the collapse of Liz Truss’s shortlived premiership, but Mr Starmer remains the bookmakers’ favourite to enter No 10, despite the next election not being expected until 2024.
Mr Starmer said he recognised a Labour government would “inherit a very difficult set of circumstances” if it gets into power, which “makes it all the more important that we hit the ground running and restore the sense of hope that has been lost”.
Asked whether he wanted to cut taxes for those on the lowest incomes, the Labour leader said: “I want to keep the burden on working people as low as we can.”
In a speech on Saturday, Mr Starmer claimed his project of reforming the party in the aftermath of the Corbyn era meant the next government would be New Labour “on steroids”.
Warning that Labour must change its “entire culture”, going even further than Tony Blair’s symbolic rewriting of Clause Four in 1995 to abandon the party’s longstanding commitment to public ownership, Sir Keir said he didn’t care if people thought he was conservative.
Insisting that his party must understand “precious” parts of Britain’s “way of life”, communities, and environment are worth preserving”, he added: “If that sounds conservative, then let me tell you: I don’t care.”
It comes as the Labour leader is also considering plans to allow millions of EU citizens to vote in general elections under a Labour government.