Keir Starmer says UK will 'not go back to austerity' under Labour in BBC interview

Sir Keir Starmer has said that the UK “will not go back to austerity” under Labour if the party wins the election in an interview with the BBC.

Speaking to Nick Robinson, the Labour leader promised a “cash injection straight away” into police, hospitals and schools were he to become Prime Minister.

Sir Keir said was not afraid to “change the way things are done” in the UK in order to spur economic growth and create wealth.

He recalled the chief executive of an energy company telling him that it would take two years to build a wind turbine farm, meaning no power would be available for 13 years because of the time taken for planning and to get the grid connected.

“We cannot go on like that,” he said.

Sir Keir was also pressed on whether Labour would be able to deliver improvements in public services despite the £18bn of cuts that the Treasury say is needed without more tax or borrowing.

“We’ve set out that we will deliver 40,000 appointments in the NHS and that we want to move to a preventative model,” he said. “We are not going back to austerity.”

Asked about Brexit, Sir Keir vowed that the UK was “not going back into membership of the EU” under Labour but claimed that Britain had negotiated “a botched deal” under Boris Johnson and that “every business thinks that”.

Robinson also asked whether Labour would be prepared to deploy the Armed Forces abroad.

Sir Keir responded that he would take “whatever action we need to take to defend our country”,

Sir Keir is the latest leader to be grilled by Robinson as part of BBC Panorama’s series of election interviews.

The interview comes after the Tories suffered another significant blow as a YouGov survey commissioned by the Times newspaper put the Reform party at 19 per cent to the Conservatives 18 per cent in voting intention.

Reform leader Nigel Farage hailed the poll, claiming his party were now the “opposition to Labour”.

The Tory and Labour election battle buses did not take to the road on Friday but campaigning will continue.

Labour’s shadow health secretary Wes Streeting on Friday unveiled plans to recruit an extra 8,500 new mental health staff to treat children and adults, with New Young Futures hubs to provide open access mental health services for children and young people in every community.

Additionally the party have pledged mental health support will be available in every school.