Keir Starmer’s first party political broadcast as Labour leader, named ‘A New Leadership’ to match the new slogan adopted ahead of its online conference, will be broadcast tonight on ITV at 6.25pm and BBC One at 6.55pm.
Introducing the new Labour leader to the country, the video features Starmer talking about where he came from and why he is proud of Britain, and shows him outside his pebbledash-covered childhood home in Oxted, Surrey.
As in the opposition leader’s ‘Connected’ speech on Tuesday and the latest Prime Minister’s Questions session, the clip draws attention to the background and upbringing of Starmer – who was raised by a nurse and a toolmaker, and whose wife works for the NHS.
Over footage of a farmer, army veterans, children on the beach, Starmer talking to a family on a high street and separately to NHS workers, the leader says: “I love this country. I’m proud of this country, of all it has achieved and all it will go on to achieve.
“This country has given me so much. An NHS that cared for my mother for much of her life. The chance to be the first in my family to go to university, to go on into the law and to lead our Crown Prosecution Service for five years.
“I want these opportunities to be available to everyone: in every village, town and city. Every region and nation. Whatever your age, background or ethnicity.”
The Labour leader goes on to emphasise “values”, in line with the leadership’s broad aim to bridge the ‘cultural values gap’ and avoid being dragged into the ‘culture war’, telling viewers that the UK was “founded on values I share”.
In a bid to appeal to voters who say they prioritise ‘traditional British values’, Starmer adds: “They’re the values of the Labour Party that I lead: decency, fairness, opportunity, compassion, security. Those values that have sustained us through this pandemic.”
He describes the Labour Party as “under new leadership” – a phrase adapted from the “under new management” line of a PMQs in July – and its mission with him at the helm as “to win the trust of the British people, so that together we can forge that better future”.
Standing outside his childhood home, Starmer repeats a line from his conference speech to conclude the film with the statement: “Together, we can make Britain the best place to grow up in and the best place to grow old in.”
Filming took place during the summer across the United Kingdom, including Edinburgh, Stevenage, Birmingham, Chesterfield and North Wales, as Starmer toured the country when Covid restrictions allowed him to do so.
The broadcast includes the stories of contributors who have had to deal with uncertainty around work, struggled with their mental health amid Covid restrictions, and coped with grief as family members passed away alone.
The film also highlights the contributions of frontline workers, particularly health staff, who put their lives at risk to keep the country going during the coronavirus pandemic, and celebrates businesses who supported the “national effort”.
Starmer will also be delivering an address to the nation this evening in response to the Prime Minister’s Tuesday statement on the new coronavirus restrictions. This will be aired separately on BBC One at 8pm.