Yesterday, Keir Starmer launched Labour’s ‘first steps for change’ at a major event in our region, setting out six commitments which form part of a long-term plan to get Britain back on its feet.

His speech outlined Labour’s offer to the country after 14 years of failure and decline under the Conservatives, showing how Labour would offer serious change, not more sticking plasters.

As Starmer said, each step would be gimmick free, fully costed and funded, and make a tangible difference to the lives of working people.

Every time I go out and speak to people, they tell me how desperate they are for those in government to get a grip, take the job seriously, and get things done.

Each of the steps announced yesterday chime with the issues that are brought up with me time and time again:


● Delivering economic stability with tough spending rules, so we can grow our economy and keep taxes, inflation and mortgages as low as possible.

● Cutting NHS waiting times with 40,000 more appointments each week, during evenings and weekends, paid for by cracking down on tax avoidance and non-dom loopholes.

● Launching a new Border Security Command with hundreds of new specialist investigators and using counter-terror powers to smash the criminal boat gangs.

● Establishing Great British Energy, a publicly-owned clean power company, to cut bills for good and boost energy security, paid for by a windfall tax on oil and gas giants.

● Cracking down on antisocial behaviour with more neighbourhood police paid for by ending wasteful contracts, tough new penalties for offenders, and a new network of youth hubs.

● Recruiting 6,500 new teachers in key subjects to prepare children for life, work and the future, paid for by ending tax breaks for private schools.


Alongside these priorities are the commitments to build 1.5 million homes with the biggest boost to affordable, social and council housing for a generation; to make work pay with a new deal for working people; to introduce a new modern UK industrial strategy; to give local communities greater powers and flexibility to turbocharge local growth; and to reform our skills system to meet the needs of the coming decade.

The Labour leader’s speech was in stark contrast with the current Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, who tried to make a 7th ‘reset’ in 18 months earlier in the week. As has been so often the case, the speech fell flat, and was devoid of energy and ideas. Fatally for the beleaguered PM, it was almost instantly forgotten about – people have simply stopped listening to him and his party. It is

little wonder after the damage they have caused to Ipswich and our country over the past 14 years.

It now looks like the Conservatives will try and stumble along until at least November, irrespective of the cost to our country. People are desperate for a General Election, but Rishi Sunak and co. hope that a miracle will come along to save them.

Yet, while the Conservatives reach for gimmicks, Labour have given a glimpse of what it would be like to have a government focused on governing once again. Our party is ready to serve, and these steps show our priorities, what we care about and what people in Ipswich and across the country care about too. Country first, party second.


These first steps will make a real difference to people’s lives. If you’re waiting in pain for NHS treatment, if your child is at school and you want higher standards, if your local area is plagued by anti-social behaviour, if you want cheaper energy bills for good, these first steps show what a Labour Government will do to help you.

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