Labour would prioritise ‘growth, growth, growth’, Starmer to declare

In a speech in Liverpool on Monday, the Labour leader is also expected to accuse the Tory leadership candidates of ‘Thatcherite cosplay’.

24 July 2022

Sir Keir Starmer will use a speech in Liverpool on Monday to say that the priorities for the next Labour government will be “growth, growth, growth”.

Revealing plans for an Industrial Strategy Council as part of a wider speech on the economy, the Labour leader is expected to say that under his party, growth would be “strong, secure and fair”.

His visit to Liverpool comes as attention is focused on the Tory leadership contest and the race to Number 10, with the two candidates set to face-off in a televised BBC debate on Monday evening.

Sir Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves
Sir Keir Starmer said he and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves will provide ‘sound finances’ and ‘strong, secure and fair growth’ (PA)

Sir Keir will use the speech to condemn the record of the Conservative Government over the last decade, while also hitting out at the “Thatcherite cosplay” from Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss.

He will say: “Whether it’s the cost of living or recovering from the pandemic, our economy is weaker than its competitors. Less resilient. Brittle. And ultimately, we are all poorer for it.

“With me and with [shadow chancellor] Rachel Reeves, you will always get sound finances; careful spending; strong, secure and fair growth.

“There will be no magic money tree economics with us.”

Sir Keir will outline his vision for an Industrial Strategy Council, which Labour says will be placed on a statutory footing, as a “permanent part of the landscape that sets out strategic national priorities that go beyond the political cycle”.

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss
Sir Keir Starmer condemned the ‘Thatcherite cosplay’ from Tory leadership contenders Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss (PA)

It will, Sir Keir will say, hold the Government accountable for decision-making.

The Labour leader is also expected to hit back at any suggestion that economic growth and the UK’s push for net-zero are incompatible.

“An economy can grow and leave some of its people behind,” he will say. “But a nation based on contribution cannot grow in that way.

“We will not be distracted by the siren calls – from the right or the left – that say economic growth and net-zero do not go together.”

But Sir Keir also faced a challenge from the left of his party, after former leadership contender Rebecca Long-Bailey urged the party leadership to be more radical on economic policy.

She told The Guardian: “We are living through the worst cost-of-living crisis in decades, with household fuel and water bills soaring, while rail fares continue to rack up.

“It’s critical that Labour remains on the side of public opinion here, and that we go into the next election with our existing policies on public ownership.”

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