Labour Party ready for May election – Starmer
Labour leader Keir Starmer says his team has been on a “general election footing for some time now” and is primed for a vote as soon as May.
Mr Starmer also admitted he is concerned about the impact becoming prime minister would have on his family.
The Labour leader said his team has been on a “general election footing for some time now” and is primed for a vote as soon as May.
Polls suggest Sir Keir will enter No 10 at the election, which is expected in spring or autumn next year.
He said “the sooner that is called, the better”, as people are grappling with the cost-of-living crisis and an NHS and public services “on their knees” under the Tory Government.
In an interview with GB News as he visited British soldiers stationed in Estonia, Sir Keir said: “We are ready for a general election. I’ve had my whole team on a general election footing for some time now.
“I think that given the complete state of failure now in the country, there’s a real sense that everything is broken, nothing is working, that the sooner that election comes the better, because for millions of people they can’t afford to wait any longer for that general election.”
But he insisted he is not complacent and that his party has “got to earn every vote”.
Labour is hoping to seize power after nearly 14 years in opposition.
It has a manifesto ready “when we need it” if Prime Minister Rishi Sunak calls an election, according to Sir Keir.
He told the broadcaster: “I’ve had a mechanism in place for over a year to make sure we have a manifesto when we need it. I’m not going reveal it to you right now, but we will. We will be absolutely ready.”
The father-of-two said he is uneasy about the how the scrutiny of being in office would affect his wife Victoria and his teenage children.
“I do worry about my family, if I’m honest. I’m very protective of my wife and our children.
“We don’t name our children publicly. We don’t have photo shoots with them. And so I am very mindful of the impact it could have on them.
“Our boy is 15, our girl is 13. These are, you know, ages where they’re going through huge change.
“But my aim is to keep protecting them in every way that I can.”
Since being elected Labour leader, Sir Keir has dropped a number of the pledges he made during his leadership campaign.
That included ditching a commitment to abolishing tuition fees and postponing green spending commitments.
Asked about claims he flip-flops too often, Sir Keir pointed to his background as former chief prosecutor and working on setting up the Northern Ireland Police Board in the wake of the Good Friday agreement.
“So clearly, when it comes to tough decisions and strategic thinking and a sense of where we need to go as the country, then I’m ready for that general election just as soon as the Prime Minister actually wants to call it.”
Mr Sunak this week said there would “definitely” be an election next year in what is his strongest indication yet that the country will go to the polls before the January 2025 deadline.
Conservative former chancellor George Osborne said he expects Downing Street is “looking at the back end” of 2024.
He told his Political Currency podcast: “I don’t think anyone at the top of the Tory party is now thinking that a spring election, a May election, is a running possibility.
“And even an October election is not really on the cards because they’ll be thinking of using September, October to launch what is more likely, in my view now, to be a November, December election.”
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