Politics

General election live: Labour says wealth creation is ‘number one priority’ as it prepares to launch manifesto


Labour says wealth creation ‘is our number one priority’ as it prepares to launch manifesto

Good morning. Keir Starmer is launching Labour’s election manifesto today. He is offering stability, and one consequence of that is that Labour has been running a campaign focused on core policy pledges that have been well publicised already. It’s a no-surprises approach, and in keeping with that the document won’t contain any big reveals.

Instead, as Kiran Stacey and Rowena Mason write in their overnight preview, Starmer will stress Labour’s commitment to growth and wealth creation.

And here is an extract from Starmer’s speech, released by the party in advance overnight, driving home this point. Starmer will say:

Some people say that how you grow the economy is not a central question – that it’s not about how you create wealth, but how you tax it, how you spend it, how you slice the cake, that’s all that matters.

So let me be crystal clear – this manifesto is a total rejection of that argument, because if you transform the nature of the jobs market, change the infrastructure that supports investment into our economy, reform the planning regime, start to unlock the potential of billions upon billions in projects that are ready to go, held up by the blockers of aspiration, then that does so much more to our long-term growth prospects.

The same is true of our public services. If we could grow the economy at anything like the level the last Labour government did, that’s an extra £70bn worth of investment for our public services.

Wealth creation is our number one priority. Growth is our core business – the end and the means of national renewal. The mandate we seek from Britain at this election is for economic growth.

This changed Labour party has a plan for growth. We are pro-business and pro-worker. The party of wealth creation.

We have a plan in this manifesto that represents a total change in direction, that is laser-focused on our cause. A government back in the service of you and your family.

Starmer has said this sort of thing many times before but, if he really means it, it is a bold position for a Labour leader. The last prime minister as growth obsessed as this was Liz Truss. Starmer would hate the comparison, and Labour’s plan to reboot the economy has nothing in common with hers.

But Starmer might be a bit more comfortable being compared to another former opposition leader who is most associated with with the ‘how you grow the cake is more important than how you share it out’ argument. In her day they had regular press conferences during election campaigns, and here is a transcript from one of those press conferences, in April 1979, where, Starmer-style, she was going on about the importance of replacing “a cake of the exactly same size” with “a steadily increasing size of cake”.

It was Margaret Thatcher, of course, and here is an extract from a speech she gave a few weeks earlier setting out her cake theory in more detail.

The painful truth is that there is no crock of gold.

We can improve our position as a nation only by working together to create greater wealth.

We cannot do it by each fighting for a bigger share of the existing cake.

The cake is too small; the fight too damaging; and the result, impoverishment, cynicism, and conflict.

It will be the job of the next Conservative government to set the economy on a new course of expansion.

Replace “crock of gold” with “magic money tree”, and “Conservative” with “Labour”, and this could be a line from Starmer’s speech later.

Here is the agenda for the day.

10.30am: Rhun ap Iorwerth, the Plaid Cymru leader, launches his party’s manifesto in Cardiff.

11am: Keir Starmer launches the Labour manifesto in Manchester.

8.30pm: ITV holds a seven-party debate, featuring Penny Mordaunt for the Conservatives, Angela Rayner for Labour Daisy Cooper for the Liberal Democrats, Stephen Flynn for the SNP, Nigel Farage for Reform UK, Carla Denyer for the Green party and Rhun ap Iorwerth for Plaid Cymru.

And Sunak is at the G7 summit in Italy.

If you want to contact me, please post a message below the line (BTL) or message me on X (Twitter). I can’t read all the messages BTL, but if you put “Andrew” in a message aimed at me, I am more likely to see it because I search for posts containing that word. If you want to flag something up urgently, it is best to use X; I’ll see something addressed to @AndrewSparrow very quickly. I find it very helpful when readers point out mistakes, even minor typos (no error is too small to correct). And I find your questions very interesting too. I can’t promise to reply to them all, but I will try to reply to as many as I can, either BTL or sometimes in the blog.

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Key events

In his Sky News interview this morning David Cameron claimed that Rishi Sunak was “totally in command” during last night’s Sky leaders special. He said:

You see it in cabinet, he is absolutely at the top of his game … I saw someone [in the Sky event] who was totally in command of the detail, of the brief.

A snap YouGov poll last night suggests viewers thought Keir Starmer won rather than Sunak, by 64% to 36%. The full YouGov tables are here.

In his Sky News interview Cameron also came out with a memorable response when asked what he would do next if Labour won the election. He replied:

If my mother had wheels she’d be a bicycle, I don’t answer questions beginning with the word if.

Hospital waiting list figure for England rises for first time in 7 months, to 7.57m, figures show

The waiting list for routine hospital treatment in England has risen for the first time in seven months, PA Media reports. PA says:

An estimated 7.57 million treatments were waiting to be carried out at the end of April, relating to 6.33 million patients – up slightly from 7.54 million treatments and 6.29 million patients at the end of March, NHS England said.

The list hit a record high in September 2023 with 7.77 million treatments and 6.50 million patients.

David Cameron denies being ‘apoplectic’ about Sunak’s decision to miss international D-day commemoration

David Cameron, the foreign secretary, has rejected claims that he was “apoplectic” about Rishi Sunak’s’ decision to miss the international part of the D-day commemorations.

In an interview with Kay Burley on Sky News this morning, Cameron refused to comment on reports saying that he had tried to persuade Sunak to stay longer at the D-day event.

But, when Burley said that a report in the Sunday Times said he did try to get Sunak to change his mind, Cameron replied:

What I would say is, stories you read in newspapers where ‘I was apoplectic’, I absolutely wasn’t at all. There’s often third-person hearsay in some of these newspaper columns.

In a separate interview, on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Cameron said it was “time to move on to the substance” after this row, and he said Sunak had a record of supporting veterans. He said:

Prime ministers have to make lots of difficult decisions about when to go to things, and when to leave things, and who to see and all the rest of it.

And to be fair to Rishi, he went to the key event in Portsmouth with all of the D-day veterans in the UK, and then he went to the key event above the British Normandy beaches, that was again a beautiful event and he met lots of veterans there.

Then he left to go back to the UK and then immediately said he had made a mistake and he had wished he had stayed, and I think we should should leave it there. Because that’s the sort of guy he is, he made a mistake, instead of digging in and defending it, he said: ‘actually, no, no, I got that one wrong I should’ve stayed’.

In a report in the Sunday Times about the D-day debacle, Tim Shipman said:

One of Cameron’s closest allies also let it be known that they had advised Sunak to “do” the full schedule.

Another ally pointed out that in his 2014 party conference speech as leader, Cameron talked about how the then 70th anniversary of D-Day had been “the best moment of my year”, and that when he was prepping for the speech he told aides: “There’s a risk I may start crying here, because it gets me so emotional.”

A Whitehall source said Cameron was “apoplectic” about Sunak’s decision but, when asked why he had not “picked Sunak up by his lapels”, he said: “There is only so much I can do.”

Labour says wealth creation ‘is our number one priority’ as it prepares to launch manifesto

Good morning. Keir Starmer is launching Labour’s election manifesto today. He is offering stability, and one consequence of that is that Labour has been running a campaign focused on core policy pledges that have been well publicised already. It’s a no-surprises approach, and in keeping with that the document won’t contain any big reveals.

Instead, as Kiran Stacey and Rowena Mason write in their overnight preview, Starmer will stress Labour’s commitment to growth and wealth creation.

And here is an extract from Starmer’s speech, released by the party in advance overnight, driving home this point. Starmer will say:

Some people say that how you grow the economy is not a central question – that it’s not about how you create wealth, but how you tax it, how you spend it, how you slice the cake, that’s all that matters.

So let me be crystal clear – this manifesto is a total rejection of that argument, because if you transform the nature of the jobs market, change the infrastructure that supports investment into our economy, reform the planning regime, start to unlock the potential of billions upon billions in projects that are ready to go, held up by the blockers of aspiration, then that does so much more to our long-term growth prospects.

The same is true of our public services. If we could grow the economy at anything like the level the last Labour government did, that’s an extra £70bn worth of investment for our public services.

Wealth creation is our number one priority. Growth is our core business – the end and the means of national renewal. The mandate we seek from Britain at this election is for economic growth.

This changed Labour party has a plan for growth. We are pro-business and pro-worker. The party of wealth creation.

We have a plan in this manifesto that represents a total change in direction, that is laser-focused on our cause. A government back in the service of you and your family.

Starmer has said this sort of thing many times before but, if he really means it, it is a bold position for a Labour leader. The last prime minister as growth obsessed as this was Liz Truss. Starmer would hate the comparison, and Labour’s plan to reboot the economy has nothing in common with hers.

But Starmer might be a bit more comfortable being compared to another former opposition leader who is most associated with with the ‘how you grow the cake is more important than how you share it out’ argument. In her day they had regular press conferences during election campaigns, and here is a transcript from one of those press conferences, in April 1979, where, Starmer-style, she was going on about the importance of replacing “a cake of the exactly same size” with “a steadily increasing size of cake”.

It was Margaret Thatcher, of course, and here is an extract from a speech she gave a few weeks earlier setting out her cake theory in more detail.

The painful truth is that there is no crock of gold.

We can improve our position as a nation only by working together to create greater wealth.

We cannot do it by each fighting for a bigger share of the existing cake.

The cake is too small; the fight too damaging; and the result, impoverishment, cynicism, and conflict.

It will be the job of the next Conservative government to set the economy on a new course of expansion.

Replace “crock of gold” with “magic money tree”, and “Conservative” with “Labour”, and this could be a line from Starmer’s speech later.

Here is the agenda for the day.

10.30am: Rhun ap Iorwerth, the Plaid Cymru leader, launches his party’s manifesto in Cardiff.

11am: Keir Starmer launches the Labour manifesto in Manchester.

8.30pm: ITV holds a seven-party debate, featuring Penny Mordaunt for the Conservatives, Angela Rayner for Labour Daisy Cooper for the Liberal Democrats, Stephen Flynn for the SNP, Nigel Farage for Reform UK, Carla Denyer for the Green party and Rhun ap Iorwerth for Plaid Cymru.

And Sunak is at the G7 summit in Italy.

If you want to contact me, please post a message below the line (BTL) or message me on X (Twitter). I can’t read all the messages BTL, but if you put “Andrew” in a message aimed at me, I am more likely to see it because I search for posts containing that word. If you want to flag something up urgently, it is best to use X; I’ll see something addressed to @AndrewSparrow very quickly. I find it very helpful when readers point out mistakes, even minor typos (no error is too small to correct). And I find your questions very interesting too. I can’t promise to reply to them all, but I will try to reply to as many as I can, either BTL or sometimes in the blog.

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