Sir Keir Starmer has said a Labour government would offer a new “contract with the British people” based around “security, prosperity and respect” in a key set piece speech today.
Starmer sought to use the speech to make political gain out of recent scandals about Tory MPs taking lucrative second jobs and Boris Johnson’s staff holding a large number of lockdown-breaking Downing Street parties.
The Labour leader said he wanted to make “a pledge of straight leadership” and that he would be holding a series of meetings across the country “to persuade people to sign up to this new Britain”.
The speech comes as Labour continues to hold seven and eight-point leads in the latest set of polling results.
“I am well aware that just because the Tories lose the public’s trust it doesn’t mean Labour simply inherits it. Trust has to be earned. I am confident but not complacent about the task ahead,” he said.
“So the very first clause in that contract, is a binding commitment about decency and standards in public life. Of course, these standards already exist. They are known as the Nolan principles – selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, leadership.
“So my solemn promise to you will always be to run a government that honours these principles.”
The Labour leader also emphasised the need to create a prosperous British economy that can take advantage of future technology.
He once again sought to distance himself from the socialist policies of ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn by calling out the efforts of the British pharmaceutical and financial services industries during Covid-19.
“A good reason to do business in Britain is that you know a contract will be respected. And that respect underwrites your investment,” he said.
“That’s why doing things the right way matters as much as doing the right things. This year I will set out what I mean by respect: what it demands of government and what it demands of us all.”