The open letter written by Keir Starmer, the Leader of the Opposition, on 4 May 2021.
In a couple of days’ time our country faces important elections. I wanted to write to you directly about the choice facing your community.
This is a changed Labour Party. Under new leadership, we are putting working people and their communities first, focusing on creating jobs, tackling crime and protecting the NHS.
My dad was a toolmaker who spent his life working on the factory floor. I’ve always believed in the importance of having a good, secure, local job you can be proud of. But these days, that kind of work is difficult to find for too many people. I want to change that. That’s why Labour will back local businesses and entrepreneurs to create jobs that boost the economy and your community.
I am proud that my mum, sister and wife have all worked for the NHS. I know the value of our amazing key workers – from nurses and police officers to supermarket workers and delivery drivers, they have kept our country going during this pandemic. Under my leadership, they’d get the rewards they deserve.
As Director of Public Prosecutions, I led a criminal justice system that prosecuted criminals and protected victims of crime. I know what it takes to get things done to make our country a safer and better place, reversing the rise in violent crime and anti-social behaviour we have seen in recent years.
As we emerge out of this pandemic, my burning desire is to build a brighter future for our country. My vision for Britain is simple: I want this to be the best place to grow up in and the best place to grow old in, whoever you are and wherever you live. That can start with this week’s elections. Labour in your area has a plan to deliver that future by:
Investing £30bn to support the creation of hundreds of thousands new jobs in the industries of the future, including steel and manufacturing.
Introducing a guarantee for young people to get them into work, training or education and end long-term unemployment.
Getting police out from behind desks and back on our streets to tackle the recent rise in violent crime and anti-social behaviour.
Guaranteeing the proper pay rise our NHS heroes were promised.
Under my leadership, the country’s priorities will always be Labour’s priorities. Labour councils, councillors and mayors who are utterly focused on delivering the secure jobs, safer streets and health services we all want to see. We are focused on those issues because they matter most. They are the first step of Labour’s plan to rebuild Britain, based on security and opportunities across the country
Under the Conservatives, it is one rule for them, another for everyone else. I get angry when I hear how the friend and neighbour of a Tory minister gets £30million of taxpayers’ money, while towns and communities across the country see their local services cut. Or when I see the British people’s money wasted on government contracts that don’t deliver.
If I were Prime Minister, I would stop the abuse of taxpayers’ money, stop the wasteful approach to outsourcing contracts and clean up our politics. When I was Director of Public Prosecutions, I was not afraid to prosecute MPs who had broken the rules over MPs’ expenses. As Prime Minister, I would not be afraid to overhaul a system that still allows power to be abused.
But it is not just about fixing things, it’s about a restless, relentless focus on change. Improving people’s lives and the country we all love. There’s no reason we can’t have better jobs, better schools, more opportunities, high streets we are proud of, public services that put people first and an NHS that is the envy of the world again: we just have to prioritise them.
That means a Labour Government, councils and mayors who are focused on the country, not a Conservative Government busy providing favours for those who have ministers in their WhatsApp contacts. A Labour Government that can deliver a better future for our children, not one cutting pupil premium or that has to be dragged kicking and screaming to provide free school meals for families.
On Thursday, you have a chance to vote for the first step in that change towards a brighter future and a Britain that works for you. A vote for Labour on Thursday is a vote for more jobs, more police on the streets and to protect our NHS. That’s the change Labour will deliver for you locally and it’s the change I am focused on delivering nationally. It’s the future our country deserves.