Sir Keir Starmer pledges to prioritise nation’s wellbeing on Cambridge visit
The favourite to become the next leader of the Labour party arrived in Cambridge today to unveil radical plans for the country’s prosperity and to push his claim to replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the opposition.
But Sir Keir Starmer was adamant that his own style of opposition would not be based around any previous Labour leader such as Tony Blair or Corbyn, after being given a tour of Addenbrooke’s Phase 3 Clinical investigation ward where he met both staff and patients.
Mr Starmer said: “I am always asked to hug a politician of the past and I am not going to do it. We have to be a very effective opposition to Boris Johnson, we have to unite and forge a path to winning the next general election.
“So the next leg of the journey is down to the leader and deputy leader of the Labour Party and all of our members, we’ve got to do it ourselves rather than hugging people from the past.
“There were many reasons we lost the election. We lost the trust of the public as the Labour Party being a force for good and for change. We need to get that trust back. I think I have got the ability to bring the party together and I think I can have a very strong team that will be effective in its opposition and I am utterly determined that we focus on the future and get ourselves in a position by the next general election so that we can win.”
At Addenbrooke’s Mr Starmer announced that a future Labour government would prioritise the nation’s wellbeing and economic growth equally.
He called for a new set of national wellbeing indicators to sit alongside traditional economic measures, such as GDP.
The indicators – covering areas including health, inequality, homelessness and the environment – would ensure government policies prioritise people’s quality of life, not just economic performance.
He added: “The idea that economic growth alone will solve society's ills and make us all prosper is wrong and out-dated. We need to create a healthy society where everyone can thrive, with government, employers and citizens all playing our part together.
“The UK is the sixth largest economy in the world. However, millions of people are suffering because of the deep inequalities that have become ingrained in our society. We can only begin to improve the nation’s wellbeing if we treat wellbeing equally to economic growth.
“That means ensuring national wellbeing and economic growth are prioritised equally. Prosperity and a sound economy go hand in hand. GDP alone does not measure the health of our children, the quality of the air we breathe or people’s quality of life.
“Another future is possible, but only if we give everyone the right to an equal chance to prosper.”
More by this authorAdrian Curtis