Labour has unveiled a new economic plan that would aim to “make, sell and buy more in Britain” in a bid to counter Boris Johnson’s blue collar Tory message.
The new “Buy British” push will be led by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and will come alongside a pitch to make the party as tough on crime.
It comes after Labour defied the odds, and George Galloway, to win the Batley and Spen by-election by just 323 votes earlier this week.
The plan, which is the first major economic policy since Rachel Reeves was appointed shadow chancellor, would see a Labour government give far more public contracts to domestic firms.
It would also see a push to create more skilled jobs in the UK for future growth sectors, such as green technology, fintech and digital media.
The plan largely mirrors Joe Biden’s “Buy American” plan at last year’s Presidential election, which saw the President push an economically nationalist message.
“As we recover from the pandemic, we have a chance to seize new opportunities and shape a new future for Britain,” Reeves said.
“Labour will get our economy firing on all cylinders by giving people new skills for the jobs of the future here in the UK, bringing security and resilience back to our economy and public services, and helping our high streets thrive again.
“Post-pandemic and post Brexit, we should be rethinking how we support our businesses, strengthen our supply chains and give people the skills they need to succeed. The decade ahead is crucial.”
The new emphasis is a clear push against the Tories’ ability to win over working class voters in Labour heartlands through big spending infrastructure and job programmes.
Johnson’s populist and cultural conservative message has also been seen to hit home with voters in the so-called Red Wall in the North.
Starmer’s new plan to win over these areas will also include focusing on the Tories’ poor record on violent crime over the past decade.
The push would be similar to Tony Blair’s when he was shadow home secretary and then leader of the opposition in the mid-nineties.
Speaking after Labour’s win in Batley and Spen, Starmer said: “My message is, when the Labour party sticks to its core values, is rooted in its communities and pulls together, we can win just as we’ve won here.
“This is the start, Labour is back.”