A protester interrupts Keir Starmer’s Labor Party manifesto launch speech

Sir Keir Starmer promised Labor was preparing to be the “party of power” rather than the party of protest as a heckler interrupted his manifesto launch speech on Thursday.

When security guards chased away an anti-climate change protester at an event in Manchester, the Labor leader declared he had “turned the page” on the party’s devastating defeat under Jeremy Corbyn in 2019.

“Five years ago we stopped being a protest party. We want to be the party of power,” he said, sparking applause. “It’s not in the script, but it’s part of the change.” Sir Keir is a “sober and serious” leader who, as prime minister, would put economic growth at the heart of government, one of his closest allies has previously said.

Ahead of the launch of Labour’s manifesto ‘A Plan to Change the Country’, the party’s national campaign co-ordinator Pat McFadden stressed that voters would find out what it would do if Labor won the July 4 general election, amid accusations of Labor’s failure to draw up a clear plan.

McFadden told GB News: “He will set out a responsible and costly plan to change the country, start reducing waiting lists, increase the number of teachers in schools, secure our borders, start the transition to cleaner energy, start growing the economy.

“For us, this last point is the missing element in this election debate.

“We have had a lot of debates about the government’s budget, we haven’t really had a debate about how to have a stronger economy and that will be at the heart of the manifesto we are publishing.”

A protester holds a banner during the launch of the Labor Party’s manifesto in Manchester (REUTERS)

But under pressure from a debate on Sky TV, and when one viewer suggested Sir Keir was a “political robot” and claimed he was a “talentless Blair”, McFadden, who was an adviser to Blair in 1997, replied: “It’s a different time .

“After the chaos we’ve had over the last few years, five prime ministers, seven chancellors, all the policy changes, a crazy mini-budget… a sober, serious leader is exactly what the country needs right now.

“I don’t think he’s trying to be in the entertainment industry.

“He strives to be a sober, serious leader, and that is what he will be if elected on July 4.”

Ahead of the Manchester manifesto launch, the Labor leader downplayed expectations of any major new fiscal announcements, insisting there would be “no tax surprises”.

In an attempt to seal the deal with millions more voters, Sir Keir reportedly said Labor would put “wealth creation” at the heart of the government’s focus.

Labor has made economic stability the first of the government’s six “first steps”.

However, if the government bases its plans on economic growth and this is not realized, then public finances could be hit.

However, one of Thursday’s main announcements was expected to include a commitment to cap corporation tax at the current rate of 25% to provide long-term certainty for businesses, the latest in a string of pledges not to raise the tax.

The Labor Party has already ruled out raising rates of income tax, national insurance contributions or VAT, saying the manifesto will not include any tax increases that have not yet been announced.

These increases include charging VAT on private school tuition, ending foreign entity tax status and closing windfall tax “loopholes” on oil and gas companies.


However, the Labor Party did not rule out other future tax increases.

In addition to the tax commitments, the manifesto is expected to include promises to “unlock investment” through GB Energy, a new government investment body for clean energy, and reforms to planning rules to help build new infrastructure and 1.5 million new homes.

Local authorities will be given more powers as part of a commitment to devolve decision-making from Westminster and as part of a range of measures to transform workers’ rights.

Labour’s six ‘first steps’ have featured prominently on the campaign trail so far and are likely to become central to the manifesto too.

As well as committing to economic stability, these first steps include reducing NHS waiting lists to 40,000 new appointments a week, creating a Border Security Command, creating GB Energy, cracking down on anti-social behavior and recruiting 6,500 teachers.

On foreign policy, Labor said it would continue to support Ukraine against Russia and support the recognition of a Palestinian state as part of the Middle East peace process.

The party also announced that it would strive to allocate 2.5%. GDP for defense, but unlike the Tories, she did not give a date for achieving this goal.

Conservative leader Richard Holden repeated his party’s claim that households would pay a further £2,000 in tax over the next four years under Labour’s plans.

He said: “Employees are not honest with society; they don’t want to say what they would really do because they know it would lose them votes.

“Work will tax your family home, tax your pension, tax your job and tax your car and drag retirees into pension tax.”

The Treasury has distanced itself from Tory claims of a black hole in Labour’s £38.5bn plans, with Rishi Sunak’s party basing its £2,000 work tax figure on household claims.

It was also criticized by independent fact-checkers and the UK Statistics Authority because ministers did not clearly explain that it was a four-year figure, not one year.