Sir Keir Starmer rules out election pact with Nicola Sturgeon
Sir Keir Starmer has ruled out a deal with Nicola Sturgeon to see him enter Downing Street.
In a keynote speech in Birmingham, Sir Keir promised “straight leadership” based on the values of “security, prosperity and respect” if his party is returned to power.
He said: “I believe that these values - security, prosperity and respect - unite the whole of the United Kingdom.
"And a reckless government in Westminster that does not seem to care about what happens in Scotland erodes people’s faith in our common bonds.
“But I believe in our union of nations. I believe we are better together than any of us would be apart. I believe that each nation can speak with a progressive voice.
“But we need a new and durable constitutional settlement. Which is why I am delighted that Gordon Brown ’s Commission on the Future of the UK will chart a new course for our union of nations.”
Speaking in front of two union flags, Sir Keir repeatedly emphasised that Labour is a “patriotic party” and that his contract would be a “solemn agreement”.
He continued: “I am well aware that just because the Tories lose the public’s trust it doesn’t mean Labour simply inherits it.
"Trust has to be earned. I am confident but not complacent about the task ahead”.
While the UK remains a “great place to live”, he said it is not unpatriotic to point out that the country has flaws.
“On the contrary, the reason we in this party want to correct those flaws is precisely because we are patriotic,” he said.
“I came into politics to make things happen, not just to talk about them. I don’t think politics is a branch of the entertainment industry. I think it’s the serious business of getting things done.
“But I’m afraid at the moment we are going backwards. We have a Prime Minister who thinks the rules apply to anyone but him.
“Just when trust in Government has become a matter of life and death, for the Prime Minister it has become a matter of what he can get away with.
“I have heard so many heartbreaking stories of people who missed family funerals because they were abiding by the rules. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister was at a cheese and wine party in Downing Street.”
Sir Keir said he wants to build on the record of the party’s previous election winners – Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson and Tony Blair – who all made Britain a better country.
“Nobody could look on that record and say that Labour is not a patriotic party. Those Labour governments had the ambition to build a society in which everyone can contribute and everyone is valued,” he said.
“To extend security, prosperity and respect to all. This is the tradition we embrace and the mission we inherit.”
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