LONDON (Reuters) – British opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer will set out his plan to foster economic growth on Monday, adding his voice to a debate that has dominated the Conservative Party’s race to become the country’s next prime minister.
Starmer, criticised by some in his party for not spelling out clear policies to challenge the Conservatives who are again caught up in a leadership contest, will say his emphasis on economic growth might “challenge my party’s instincts”.
“It pushes us to care as much about growth and productivity as we have done about redistribution and investment in the past,” he will say, according to extracts of his speech.
Starmer will say he wants to see “fair” growth which will maximise “the contribution we all make to national prosperity”, though the excerpts of the speech provided no details of the policies he would pursue to achieve that goal.
He will also take aim at the Conservatives’ leadership contest, which pits foreign minister Liz Truss against former finance minister Rishi Sunak in th race to replace Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Truss and Sunak have clashed over the timing of tax cuts they have both promised but agree on wanting to boost sluggish economic growth at a time when the country is facing rising inflation and a possible recession.
“You will see a clear contrast between my Labour Party and the Thatcherite cosplay on display tonight,” he will say before the two contenders take part in a debate on Monday evening, in a reference to Conservative former prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
“The difference between a Labour party ready to take Britain forward. And a Tory party that wants to take us back into the past.”
(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Gareth Jones)