Keir Starmer to launch Labour’s five national ‘missions’

The Labour Party leader will use a speech in Manchester to set out the objectives if he gains power at the next general election, focusing on the economy, climate, crime, skills and the NHS.

British Labour Party Leader, Sir Keir Starmer delivers a speech during the unveiling of plans for a "Mission-Led" Labour government in Manchester, England. Photo by Dominic Lipinski / Getty Images
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Sir Keir Starmer is to launch a series of five national “missions” setting out his objectives for a Labour government if the party gains power at the next general election.

In a keynote speech in Manchester, the Labour leader will say the country needs a “serious plan” if it is finally to fix some of the deep-seated problems it is facing.

The five missions are expected to be based around the economy, climate, crime, skills — with a particular focus on education and childcare — and the NHS.

His main economic goal will contain a pledge to make the UK the fastest-growing economy in the G7.

He is expected to contrast his programme – with measures ranging from tackling the crisis in the NHS to the stalled economy – with the “sticking plaster politics” of Rishi Sunak’s five priorities set out in his new year address.

At the same, Sir Keir will stress that he is ready to draw on investment and expertise from both the public and private sectors to “get the job done”.

With an election potentially little over a year away, party officials said the “mission” plan will form the backbone of their manifesto.

Over the coming months the party will set out a series of “measurable ambitions” for each mission, beginning in Thursday’s speech with its plan for economic growth.

A party spokesman said they will draw on Sir Keir’s experience of having run the Crown Prosecution Service for five years to establish a set of clear objectives for what they want to achieve in office.

“The missions are an important part of focusing government, prioritising not just spending but time in government,” the spokesman said.

In his speech, Sir Keir will say that he wants a different approach to government – neither state control nor pure free markets – but a genuine “sleeves rolled=up” partnership working in the national interest.

“It means providing a clear set of priorities,” he will say, according to advance extracts of his speech.

“A relentless focus on the things that matter most. An answer to the widespread call for someone that can ‘fix the fundamentals’. A long-term plan to unlock Britain’s pride and purpose.

“Without a serious plan, there will be no light at the end of a very long tunnel for the British people.”

Sir Keir will say that each mission will be “laser-targeted” at addressing the root causes of a series of complex problems which demand new thinking.

“The more I delve into these challenges, the more I can see things that are simply not working,” he will say.

“Things that could be sped up, joined up, given direction, made to work better. This is at the core of my politics.

“Government can prevent problems, as well as fix them. Can shape markets rather than serving them. Can lead a collective national effort on growth and innovation.

“But without reforming the role of Government – none of that will happen. Equally, I’m not concerned about whether investment or expertise comes from the public or private sector – I just want to get the job done.

“With missions comes greater stability and certainty – instead of a Government chopping and changing all the time, blowing with the wind.

“The missions will be anchor points to show clearly the direction of travel.”

Updated: February 23, 2023, 12:29 PM