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UK Labor leader Keir Starmer says he will end era of 'gestures and gimmicks' if he comes to power

UK Labor leader Keir Starmer says he will end era of 'gestures and gimmicks' if he comes to power
UK Labor leader Keir Starmer says he will end era of 'gestures and gimmicks' if he comes to power


MANCHESTER, England (AP) The center-left politician aiming to become Britain's prime minister in three weeks said Thursday he would lead a government that is both pro-business and pro-worker and restore stability after years of economic and political turmoil.

Labor Party leader Keir Starmer said that if he was elected on 4th Julyit will end the desperate era of gestures and gimmicks of the Conservative Party's turbulent tenure.

Launching Labour's election manifesto in Manchester, northwest England, Starmer said a Labor government would end the chaos, turn the page and start rebuilding our country.

Next month, British voters will elect lawmakers to fill the 650 seats in the House of Commons, and the party leader who can secure a majority, alone or in a coalition, will become prime minister. Labor currently has a double-digit lead in opinion polls Prime Minister Rishi Sunak The ruling Conservatives, who have been in power for 14 years under five different prime ministers.

The Conservatives dumped two Prime Ministers without elections in quick succession in 2022: first Boris Johnson, dejected by scandalsthen Liz Truss, who shook the economy with drastic plans for tax cuts and only lasted seven weeks in the office.

Starmer, a former chief prosecutor widely seen as competent but boring, is trying to turn his bland image into an asset. His main message is that he has transformed Labor from a high-tax, high-spending era under former leader Jeremy Corbyn to a stable center party.

Starmer said his program was a manifesto for wealth creation and acknowledged that a Labor government would face difficult choices about public spending.

We cannot play fast and loose with public finances, he said. He said he rejected the idea that the only levers were tax and spending to revive the economy after years of sluggish growth.

Starmer's cautious economic approach dismays some in his party, who want bolder changes, but has won the support of many business leaders.

Starmer called the party's program a manifesto for wealth creation, and its ambitious goals were largely long-term goals: establishing a new industrial policy, developing a 10-year infrastructure strategy, building 1.5 million new housing.

Labor has pledged to improve ties with Britain's former partners in the European Union, but has ruled out a frictionless return to the bloc's single market and customs union.

The plan's spending commitments were modest. The manifesto predicts that taxes will rise by 7.4 billion pounds ($9.25 billion) by 2028-29, thanks in part to measures to close loopholes linked to the recent removal of non-tax status. domiciled, which allowed some wealthy individuals to avoid paying taxes in the United Kingdom. . The party is also considering extending a windfall tax to energy companies.

Starmer said personal taxes would not rise under a Labor government, but that did not stop the Conservatives from portraying Labor as the party that imposes the highest taxes.

If you think they will win, start saving, Sunak wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Starmer spoke at the headquarters of the Co-op, a cooperative society founded in Manchester which has grown into a large retail and services empire. He introduced several voters, including a father whose family of four lives in a one-bedroom apartment, and Nathaniel Dye, a man with terminal cancer who is campaigning for faster treatment.

The only unforeseen moment came from a protester calling on Labor to impose tougher measures. climate change politicians, who was quickly removed from office.

Sunak published the Conservative manifesto On Tuesday, the party's main playbook of promises pledges to cut taxes and immigration if the Conservative Party is re-elected.

Labor's 131-page manifesto included previously announced plans, with few last-minute freebies to woo voters.

This is not rabbits out of a hat, nor pantomime, Starmer said. I am presenting myself as a candidate for the post of Prime Minister, not as a candidate for the leadership of the circus.


Lawless reported from London. Associated Press writer Pan Pylas in London contributed to this story.

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