‘Who do you trust to keep you safe?’: Sunak to fight next election on UK’s security

by 24britishtvMay 14, 2024, 10 a.m. 24
-

Rishi Sunak has vowed to fight the next election on the UK’s security, attacking Labour and Keir Starmer in a fiercely political speech in which he said: “The choice at the next election is: who do you trust to keep you safe?”

The prime minister said in his speech he would frame the Conservatives as the party of the future, but also defended the party’s record over the past 14 years, and said Starmer’s “past actions” meant the Labour leader would not be able to keep the country safe.

The attacks drew a rebuff from Starmer: “This is the seventh reset in 18 months. I know first-hand the importance of national security … but in order for that to happen you need a credible plan. What’s his record? He’s hollowed out our armed forces, he’s wasted billions of pounds on procurement.”

In his wide-ranging speech at the Policy Exchange thinktank, Sunak rejected the opportunity to name an election date, but said he would debate Starmer “as many times as he likes” during the campaign.

“Keir Starmer’s gone from embracing Jeremy Corbyn to Natalie Elphicke, all in the cynical pursuit of power at any price,” Sunak said.

The speech comes at the end of a difficult fortnight for the prime minister after a series of defeats at the local elections including losing the Conservative mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, as well as the defection of Elphicke, one of his backbench MPs, who joined Labour to criticise his failure to tackle migrant arrivals on small boats.

Sunak said the next five years would be some of the most difficult and dangerous in the UK’s history, with threats from “an axis of authoritarian states like Russia, Iran, North Korea and China”, as well as the challenges of illegal migration, divisive cultural issues and the transformational consequences of artificial intelligence.

“Extremists are also exploiting these global conflicts to divide us. People are abusing our liberal democratic values – the freedom of speech and right of protest – to intimidate, threaten and assault others, to sing antisemitic chants on our streets,” he said. “And from gender activists hijacking children’s sex education to cancel culture, vocal and aggressive fringe groups are trying to impose their views on the rest of us.”

But the prime minister said he was optimistic about the future, and he would frame the next election as a choice between parties with a plan for the future versus dwelling on the past. He said the Conservatives had plans on a broad range of issues, from a smoking ban and cancer diagnostics to extending maths to all 18-year-olds.

Acknowledging the dire position of his own party in the polls, Sunak said the Labour party was fighting the election with a purely negative agenda. “I’m clear-eyed enough to admit that yes, maybe they can depress their way to victory with all their talk of doom loops and gaslighting and scaremongering about pensions. But I don’t think it will work,” he said.

“Labour have no ideas. What they did have they’ve U-turned on. They have just one thing: a calculation that they can make you feel so bad about your country that you won’t have the energy to ask what they might do with the incredible power that they seek to wield.”

In a shift from his party conference speech when he said he would end the “30 years of status quo”, Sunak launched into a defence of his party’s record in government. He named the creation of 4 million jobs, delivering the Covid vaccine rollout, NHS funding, pensions triple lock, universal credit and cutting carbon emissions as key achievements.

-

Related Articles

HOT TRENDS

The Brockmans return to BBC for Outnumbered Christmas special

by 24britishtvMay 23, 2024, 4 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Kamaal Williams accused of sexual assault by three women

by 24britishtvMay 23, 2024, 3 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Outnumbered: BBC sitcom to return for Christmas special

by 24britishtvMay 23, 2024, 3 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Serie A turns to Allied Sports to accelerate US growth

by 24britishtvMay 23, 2024, 3 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Kamaal Williams accused of sexual assault by three women

by 24britishtvMay 23, 2024, 2 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Jersey approves plans for assisted dying

by 24britishtvMay 23, 2024, 2 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Jeremy Corbyn: Labour shortlists two for Islington North seat

by 24britishtvMay 23, 2024, 2 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Buying London review: High-value homes with a very low denominator

by 24britishtvMay 23, 2024, 1 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Nigel Farage rules out standing for Reform UK in general election

by 24britishtvMay 23, 2024, 1 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Is it safe for Jews to vote Labour?

by 24britishtvMay 23, 2024, 1 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Charlie Colin: Founder of US rock band Train dies aged 58

by 24britishtvMay 23, 2024, 1 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Why today's Google Doodle is celebrating the accordion

by 24britishtvMay 23, 2024, noon2
HOT TRENDS

Serie A hires Allied Sports for US commercial push

by 24britishtvMay 23, 2024, noon2
HOT TRENDS

Here's how to apply and fill out a postal vote form

by 24britishtvMay 23, 2024, midnight2
HOT TRENDS

LEGA SERIE A USA TAPS ALLIED SPORTS FOR NORTH AMERICAN COMMERCIAL SALES

by 24britishtvMay 23, 2024, midnight2
HOT TRENDS

Novak Djokovic wins on 37th birthday to advance at Geneva Open

by 24britishtvMay 23, 2024, midnight2
HOT TRENDS

Atlanta United Forms Brand Partnership with MARTA | Atlanta United FC

by 24britishtvMay 22, 2024, 11 p.m.2
HOT TRENDS

Bayern Munich close to deal for Vincent Kompany to take over as manager

by 24britishtvMay 22, 2024, 11 p.m.2