Starmer calls for federal UK to deliver “radical devolution of power”

Sienna Rodgers

Labour leadership candidate Keir Starmer is set to call for a new federal structure in the United Kingdom that would aim to deliver a “radical devolution of power”.

Under his proposal for a shift away from the “status quo”, a “radical shake-up of the constitution” would be designed to “redistribute power, wealth and opportunity” across the country.

The plan, which is being unveiled on Monday, would involve developing a written constitution through “consultation and discussion with communities across the UK”.

Announcing the policy, Starmer said: “The status quo is not working. People are crying out for more control, power and say over their own lives and local communities. This can’t be delivered by tinkering around the edges or with short-term fixes.

“We need to end the monopoly of power in Westminster and spread it across every town, city, region and nation of the United Kingdom. We have to end the status quo and put power, wealth and opportunity back into the hands of the people.

“We need a new constitutional settlement: a large-scale devolution of power and resources. This will involve building a new long-term political and constitutional consensus. I believe that could best be built on the principle of federalism.

“But this can’t just be about handing power from one group of politicians to another. I want to empower people to have a real say in their workplace, in the communities they’re part of and over the public services they use.

“We will only repair the shattered trust in politics by letting people take back control of the decisions that affect their lives.”

Gordon Brown recently made the case for a “constitutional revolution” that would go beyond “cosmetic” ideas such as moving the House of Lords to York – a move reportedly being considered by the government.

The former Labour Prime Minister confirmed at the time that he would be announcing his backing for a Labour leadership candidate once the second stage of nominations comes to an end.

The fresh focus on constitutional issues by Starmer, who was the first to make the ballot paper with early nominations, comes after he suspended his campaign for several days.

The official party hustings scheduled to take place in Leeds on Saturday was cancelled as the Holborn MP needed to support his family after his mother-in-law became critically ill.

Starmer will now resume his leadership campaign, travelling to Scotland, England and Wales where he plans to discuss how Labour can “put power, wealth and opportunity back into the hands of the people”.

His campaign team has confirmed that the contender will spell out his own proposals for democratic reform of the Labour Party itself later in the week, after Rebecca Long-Bailey announced her support for open selections.

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