UK’s Labour leader Starmer says he’s ‘bang on schedule’ to win power

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UK Labour leader Keir Starmer said his party is on track to return to power at the next election, as he deflected concerns that voters are still unclear about what he stands for.

“We’re bang on schedule, Starmer told BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, at the start of Labour’s annual conference in Liverpool. The aim of this week’s gathering is to “weld together the reassurance people need with the hope that they want, he said.

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Buttressed by polling giving his party a double-digit lead over Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s governing Conservatives for the past year, Starmer is increasingly portraying Labour as a government in waiting. That’s something that was almost unthinkable in 2019 when the party sank to its worst electoral defeat since before World War II.

Still, he was shown a word cloud gathered from focus groups conducted by research group More in Common that demonstrated the challenge ahead: “Nothing,” “don’t know,” and “not sure” were some of the most popular terms associated with Starmer, compared with “rich” and “money” for Sunak last week.

Conceding he still had work to do to get his message across, Starmer said his job was to take Labour “from the worst general election loss since 1935” to “a Labour Party that can win the next general election.”

That had required him to “change the party at speed and ruthlessly,” he said. Economic growth would be the “single defining mission of his party if he won power, he added, insisting that Britain would see higher growth “very quickly under a Labour goverment.”

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