Starmer on the spot as Susanna Reid questions Labour funding plan

Keir Starmer lays out Labour's plan to maintain public spending

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Sir Keir Starmer called for a general election within hours of Prime Minister Liz Truss stepping down on Thursday. The Labour Party leader insisted they are ready to contest a vote and an election manifesto is ready to be released as he said his MPs have been put on “general election footing” over the summer. But he was left squirming when Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid asked for the specifics of his funding plans after suggesting he would need to push for tax hikes to deliver on his pledges.

Sir Keir said: “Susanna, we do have to reflect on the fact we’ve got a Government that has done huge damage to our economy, huge damage to our reputation.”

But Susanna Reid insisted: “Sir Keir, we don’t have long with you and I don’t want this to be just an interview about taking pot shots at the Government because the polls show that you, if a general election was held right now, you’d win it.

“So people want to know what a Labour Government would do. You say you would maintain public spending and you would do that through windfall taxes on the energy companies.

“Is that really going to pay to maintain public spending? You would have to either borrow more or put up taxes, wouldn’t you?”

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The Labour leader could be seen nervously swiping his thumb over his left hand as he listened intently to Ms Reid.

He said: “Well, there are other changes we would make, Susanna. Let me make another example, with non-dom tax rules where people can pay their taxes to another country even though they’re working here.

“We would abolish that, that would raise money. There’s charitable status for private schools, we’ve said we would change that and use that money for other purposes.

“So there are things we can do to make out taxation system fairer.”


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Sir Keir added: “We don’t want to cut public spending.

“We’re discussing that question because this Government crashed the economy with their kamikaze mini-budget.

“And I ran a public service for five years and I know that our public services, our NHS, I say they’re on their knees.

“So we don’t want to do that but we do want to take prudent choices about the economy going forward.”

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Following Ms Truss’s resignation, Sir Keir said Labour is “very prepared” for a general election and has a manifesto ready.

He told the BBC: “There’s a manifesto that is going to be ready whenever an election is called.

“I’ve had a team working on that. I’ve had a team working on general election preparedness. We’ve moved our teams on to a general election footing.

“And I’ve got in place all the grids I need for a general election. So we’re very, very prepared, should there be a general election.”

Ms Truss however refused to call a general election and the Conservative Party will select her successor by October 28.

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