The ‘cavalry is coming’, promises Reeves ahead of Starmer speech

Sir Keir Starmer will use his speech on Thursday to set out “the vision for a Labour leadership and a Labour government”, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has said.

Speaking on Thursday morning, Ms Reeves added that this shows that the “cavalry is coming”. She repeatedly referred to Sir Keir as “our next prime minister”.

The Labour leader is due to make a major policy speech at 10.00 am where he will promise to end “sticking plaster politics” and criticise the “short-term mindset” that dominates Westminster.

It comes after prime minister Rishi Sunak made his own new year’s speech on Wednesday, setting out five “people’s priorities”. 

The prime minister pledged to halve inflation, grow the economy, make sure the national debt shrinks, ensure NHS waiting lists fall and pass new laws to crackdown on the migrant Channel crossings crisis.

“No tricks… no ambiguity… we’re either delivering for you or we’re not. We will rebuild trust in politics through action, or not at all. So, I ask you to judge us on the effort we put in and the results we achieve”, Sunak said in his highly-anticipated speech. 

The Labour party accused the prime minister of making five promises that will mostly be easy for him to achieve. In a press notice the party said the pledges are “all things that were happening anyway; are so easy it would be difficult not to achieve them; or are aimed at fixing problems of the Tories’ own making”.

Rachel Reeves continued Labour’s criticism on Thursday, telling Sky News: “The prime minister yesterday announced a set of ambitions to fix the problems that him and his government have created.

“And then wants the public to give him the credit for doing that? I just don’t think it washes.”

Looking forward to Starmer’s speech, Reeves said Sir Keir set out how he intends to “get a grip” of some of the major challenges currently facing the UK.

She added: “Keir’s speech today will be setting out some of the vision for a Labour leadership and a Labour government and particularly focusing on the fact that our country seems to lurch from crisis to crisis, with sticking plaster policies to paper over the cracks rather than addressing some of the long term challenges that we face as a country.

“That is what Keir is determined to do as our next prime minister, to actually get a grip of some of the long term underlying problems with our health service, with our economy, with our energy supply and so much more to put us on a firmer footing, to make us more resilient and more secure as a society and as an economy, to face into the big challenges”.

Conversely, Conservative party chairman Nadhim Zahawi accused Labour of “failing to set out a positive, detailed, long-term plan to secure the future prosperity of Britain”.

Zahawi added: “Every week [Sir Keir] changes his position depending on what he thinks is popular – from supporting free movement to supporting the unions, he’ll say anything if the politics suits him.

“He should stop giving cliché-laden speeches, and instead finally unveil a plan for people’s priorities. He’s got nothing to say on how to cut crime, get immigration down, and reduce borrowing – that’s what the nation wants to see”.