UK election: Trust me to end Tory ‘chaos’ and protect national security, Starmer tells voters

‘Teenage Dad’s Army’: Labour leader dismisses Tory plan for compulsory national service during his first major speech of UK election campaign

Labour leader Keir Starmer has said UK election amounted to a choice about “whose side are you on” as he promised to stand up for working people and restore trust in British politics.

Mr Starmer said 14 years of Conservative “chaos” had led to a “crisis” in the national culture.

In his first major speech of the campaign, he sought to persuade voters that he could be trusted to deliver economic stability and protect national security.

Speaking in Tory-held Lancing, West Sussex, he said: “Elections are about more than individual changes and policies, but about values, temperament, character and a bigger question: whose side are you on?


“Who do you hold in your mind’s eye when you are making decisions?

“Everything I have fought for has been shaped by my life, every change I have made to this party has been about a cause, the answer to that question, the only answer: The working people of this country delivering on their aspirations, earning their respect, serving their interests.”

Mr Starmer acknowledged that despite Labour’s commanding opinion poll lead, many voters were not fully persuaded about his party.

“I know there are countless people who haven’t decided how they’ll vote in this election. They’re fed-up with the failure, chaos and division of the Tories, but they still have questions about us: has Labour changed enough? Do I trust them with my money, our borders, our security?

“My answer is yes, you can, because I have changed this party, permanently,” he said.

The Labour leader also dismissed British prime minister Rishi Sunak’s plan for a new form of compulsory national service as a “teenage Dad’s Army”. – PA