Sir Keir Starmer is running on a ticket of change - but he knows what he is promising may take years to deliver

The stump speech, rolled up sleeves and a "first steps" six-point plan: Sir Keir Starmer is clear he isn't the heir to Blair, but he certainly evoked the spirit of Tony Blair who, back in 1997, issued a five-point pledge card with the strap line: "Keep this card and see that we keep our promises."

Sir Keir, in a rally which started the firing gun on Labour's general election campaign, effectively did the same. Having laid out five missions for government over a year ago, today he put flesh on the bones with his own six-point pledge card as a "downpayment" on what an incoming Labour government would do.

In a speech that cited change again and again, the Labour leader made clear promises he believes he can keep: deliver economic stability; cut NHS waiting times; launch a new border command; set up Great British Energy; crack down on anti-social behaviour; recruit 6,500 new teachers.

As promises go, they were light on time frames and numbers and clearly watered down from the "five missions" of a Labour government Sir Keir outlined early last year.

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The "mission" on the economy is to become the fastest growing in the G7 but in the "retail offer" Labour is going to take onto the doorstep, the promise is "economic stability".

The mission on green energy is to make sure all of our electricity comes from renewable power sources by 2030. But the pledge on the card? Set up Great British Energy, a publicly owned clean power company to cut bills.

But when I asked Sir Keir why he seemed to be scaling back his ambition - was it fear of breaking promises or a conscious decision to lower the bar when he's that far ahead in the polls - the Labour leader said it was neither.

"I am not scaling back our ambition at all," he said. "This is not to reduce the missions, it's to say, what is the first downpayment on the delivery of the missions, what are the first steps? The missions remain and these are the first steps we will take to deliver the missions."

The missions remain, but the pledges to the public are not the end point of a Labour term, but the "first steps".

Perhaps when you're 20 points ahead in the polls, you don't need to be bold, hold yourself hostage to fortune. But there is a deeper issue going on here too - that Sir Keir knows about all too well: the issue of trust, be that around him personally or in politics more broadly.

Read more:
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Because beyond the battleground of migration, the economy, the NHS, defence, law and order, is the battleground of trust.

And Sir Keir has questions to answer.

When he campaigned to become Labour leader, he stood on 10 pledges, from scrapping tuition fees, to raising taxes for the top 5% of earners, to allowing freedom of movement from the EU after Brexit.

Since he won the job, nearly all of those promises have been scrapped. Many on the left feel betrayed and believe Sir Keir made promises to them to win votes, only then to renege. If he didn't keep those promises, why should you now trust what he says?

"I am trustworthy," he tells me, explaining that he "adjusted" pledges made when he was running for the Labour leadership because things he "thought we should have done, we could have done, we can't afford to do anymore".

"Outside of politics, when the facts change, the circumstances change, good leaders know you have to adapt.

"Now I think the public might be less trusting than you suggest of someone who says, 'well I have said I will do this, the economy's been damaged, but I'm going to do it anyway, even though we can't afford it'.

"I honestly don't think that that builds trust and confidence because the public know the circumstances have changed."

Where Sir Tony made five very clear, tangible promises on which to be judged, Sir Keir is offering first steps on a journey of what he describes as a "decade of renewal".

It is an admission that while he's running on a ticket of change, the change he's promising could take years to come, and so the card is cut to fit the cloth.

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He made a string of pledges when he stood to be Labour leader that haunt him still.

The Conservatives will run a campaign in which they will headline on his U-turns and ditched pledges.

As he looks to become prime minister, Sir Keir is now scaling back on the retail offer because he's not prepared to make any promises he's not sure he can keep. Whether voters believe him or not, could prove decisive.