The Labour leader used a major speech to call for a ‘new chapter’ in the country’s history after the pandemic laid bare the nation’s ‘fragilities’.
Share this article
Sir Keir Starmer pledged to lead a “moral crusade” to address inequalities and injustices exposed by the coronavirus crisis, as he announced plans for recovery bonds to give savers a stake in Britain’s future.
The Labour leader used a major speech to call for a “new chapter” in the country’s history after the pandemic laid bare the nation’s “fragilities”, saying: “We have to seize this moment to address them.”
“We can go back to the same insecure and unequal economy that’s been so cruelly exposed by the virus, or we can seize the moment, and go forward to a future that’s going to look utterly unlike the past,” Sir Keir said.
Comparing the recovery from Covid-19 to the post-war period, he used the virtual address in central London to say there is an “opportunity” to think creatively and to “forge a new contract with the British people”.
In response to the Bank of England suggesting the “vast majority of savings built up during the pandemic won’t be spent”, he said: “If I were prime minister, I would introduce a new British recovery bond.
“This could raise billions to invest in local communities, jobs and businesses. It could help build the infrastructure of the future – investing in science, skills, technology and British manufacturing.
“It would also provide security for savers and give millions of people a proper stake in Britain’s future.”
And in a nod to late Labour former prime minister Sir Harold Wilson, who said the party is “a moral crusade or it is nothing”, Sir Keir said: “Our moral crusade now is to address the inequalities and injustices that this crisis has so brutally exposed – and to build a better, more secure future.”