Sir Keir Starmer was mocked last night ahead of a speech in which he is expected to try to dodge the issue of small boat Channel crossings.
The Labour leader will set out five ‘national missions’ at a keynote speech in Manchester today in a push to cement the party’s 28-point poll lead.
They are an attempt to challenge the five pledges announced by Rishi Sunak last month and will form the backbone of Labour’s election manifesto. But the broad themes will be the economy, the NHS, crime, climate change and education – with immigration absent.
By contrast, one of Mr Sunak’s five pledges was to ‘stop the boats’, with new laws to ban those using the Channel route from claiming asylum and deport them swiftly.
The issue could become a key battleground in the next general election, expected to be towards the end of next year.
Sir Keir Starmer was mocked last night ahead of a speech in which he is expected to try to dodge the issue of small boat Channel crossings
Yesterday Mr Sunak mocked Sir Keir at Prime Minister’s Questions over the plan. He said: ‘We have heard that tomorrow he’s going to announce five missions.
‘But we already know what they are – it’s uncontrolled immigration, it’s reckless spending, it’s higher debt and it’s softer sentences. And for the fifth pledge, Mr Speaker, it’s that he reserves the right to change his mind on the other four.’
And last night Conservative Party chairman Greg Hands said: ‘Keir Starmer will say anything if the politics suit him. He lacks principles and has no new ideas.’
Sir Keir will only outline his five pledges in his speech this morning before fully launching two of them for May’s local elections, with the remainder staggered in the run-up to the general election.
He will focus on economic growth and is expected to say that the party should be judged against every region of the UK seeing greater prosperity. His five missions will generate ‘a decade of national renewal’ and provide ‘long-term solutions’ to the ‘long-term problems’ facing the country, he will say.
Sir Keir will again accuse the Tory government of only temporarily fixing problems with ‘sticking plaster’ solutions.
Mr Sunak’s five pledges was to ‘stop the boats’, with new laws to ban those using the Channel route from claiming asylum and deport them swiftly
Labour poll lead climbs to 28%
By Chief Political Correspondent
Labour has surged 28 points ahead of the Tories, according to a poll yesterday.
The YouGov voting intention survey showed the Tories on just 22 per cent of the vote, down two points from two weeks ago.
Labour was on 50 per cent of the vote, an increase of three percentage points. The Lib Dems were on 9 per cent, down one point, the Greens were unchanged on 6 per cent and Reform UK were on 7 per cent, up one point.
Critics said the survey contained many in the 24 to 49-year-old age bracket, who are more likely to vote Labour.
But it followed other polls published in the previous 48 hours that also put Labour well ahead. A Deltapoll survey found Labour had a 22-point lead while a Redfield & Wilton survey put the party on a 27-point lead.