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UK Labour’s Starmer supports plans to spread power away from Westminster

LONDON, Dec 4 (Reuters) – British opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer will on Monday support plans to spread power away from the political centre of Westminster, aiming to offer people more control over their lives and local politicians a greater say on transport, housing and jobs.

December 5, 2022
5 December 2022

LONDON, Dec 4 (Reuters) – British opposition Labour
leader Keir Starmer will on Monday support plans to spread power
away from the political centre of Westminster, aiming to offer
people more control over their lives and local politicians a
greater say on transport, housing and jobs.

Starmer, whose centre-left Labour Party is leading the
governing Conservative Party in opinion polls, is moving to
outline his agenda to show voters how he might govern before an
election widely expected to be held in 2024.

In response to the government’s effort to “level up” the
country by tackling regional inequalities, Starmer will say this
can only be achieved by delivering “the biggest ever transfer of
power from Westminster to the British people”.

“People up and down this country are crying out for a new
approach,” he will say, according to excerpts from his speech to
be delivered at the unveiling of a report he commissioned
entitled “A New Britain”.

“People know Britain needs change. But they are never going
to get it from the Tories (Conservatives). I am determined that,
with Labour, people will get the change they deserve.”

The report will present 40 recommendations including handing
local communities new powers over skills, transport, planning
and culture to drive growth, Labour said in a statement. This,
the party says, will enable the emergence of hundreds of
“clusters” of economic activity in cities and towns.

Starmer will say there would now be a consultation on the
proposals.

Labour is holding a more than 20 point lead over the
Conservatives in opinion polls, but Starmer’s approval ratings
have fallen overall since August, and several in the party are
calling on him to do more to set out his plans.

On Sunday, Conservative Party Chairman Nadhim Zahawi told
Sky News his party was “in rebuilding mode now to make sure that
we will be ready and fit for purpose … for a general election
in 2024″, and questioned the robustness of Labour’s lead.

“Now, if you dig beneath the data, I’d be worried if I was
Keir Starmer, because if you look at his numbers, it’s very
soft.”
(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by David Holmes)

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