Here's what Keir Starmer has promised to do as prime minister

Yahoo News will be following the commitments, promises and aims of Keir Starmer and his cabinet in the coming months

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2023/05/15: Leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer leaves the Global Radio Studios in London, after hosting his phone in session 'Call Keir'. Starmer is considering whether to let millions of settled EU citizens and 16-18 year-olds the right to vote in general elections if Labour wins power. (Photo by Tejas Sandhu/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Prime minister-in-waiting? Keir Starmer is in the driving seat. (Getty)

The Labour Party has been consistently ahead in the polls and is the bookies' favourites to win the next general election, which will take place no later than January 2025. Yahoo News will be following the commitments, pledges and aims of Keir Starmer and his Cabinet in the coming months. This article was first published on 22 May, 2023 and will be repeatedly updated as they make more promises - and even if they U-turn on ones already made.

NHS waiting times (22 May, 2023)

Starmer pledged that the targets of four-hour waits in A&E and ambulance response times will be met by 2030 under a Labour government. He said some of the ambitions in his mission for the NHS will take “a bit longer” and “possibly a second term”, but that his core plans would be achieved after the first term.

As part of his pledge, Starmer vowed to reduce cardiovascular disease including heart attacks and strokes by 25% within a decade, ensure 75% of all cancer is diagnosed at stages one and two, cutting ambulance response times to cardiac arrest callouts to seven minutes, and a return to the target of 95% of all A&E patients being seen within four hours.

Mental health (22 May, 20023)

Starmer suggested that Labour would consider proposals to include better education on mental health on the school curriculum.

“Suicide is the biggest killer of young lives in this country. The biggest killer. That statistic should haunt us. And the rate is going up. Our mission must be and will be: to get it down," Starmer said at a press conference in Essex.

Speaking to the BBC about the '3 Dads Walking' campaign to talk about mental health in schools, run by three fathers who lost their children to suicide, Starmer said: "My shadow secretary of state has met them and we’re keen to look at their proposals. The fact that the biggest killer, I think, of our young people is suicide is not something everyone knows. We need to drive them down. I do think the start of that is having much earlier mental health support in the community,” he added.

Sugar and salt tax (22 May, 2023)

Starmer ruled out imposing a tax on salt and sugary food during the cost-of-living crisis. Instead, Labour’s plan to ban junk food advertising to children would target social media as well as TV.

He did not rule out a sugar and salt tax if economic pressures lessen.

“The focus we put today is very clearly on advertising, this is something the government toyed with and then moved away from," he said. “What we don’t want to do in a cost-of-living crisis is add to the burden of food costs.”

Labour's 'five missions' (24 Feb, 2023)

This was perhaps the clearest indication Starmer gave any clear indication of his priorities for a Labour government, setting out five “national missions”. None of the pledges were specific or measurable:

  • A plan for the economy with an aim of securing the highest sustained growth in the G7 group of developed nations.

  • Build an NHS fit for the future.

  • Make Britain’s streets safe.

  • Break down the barriers to opportunity at every stage.

  • Make Britain a clean energy superpower.

  • Read more: Keir Starmer sets out five key pledges

Home ownership (27 Sep, 2022)

Starmer pledged to make owning a home a reality for another 1.5 million households, branding Labour “the party of home ownership in Britain today”. The Labour leader said he wanted to see 70% of households own their own homes.

Energy firm (27 Sep, 2022)

Starmer promised Labour would create a publicly owned clean energy firm to generate green electricity and bring down bills. He said Great British Energy would provide “British power to the British people”.