Keir Starmer has declared in his New Year message released today that “our best years are still to come” and “there are reasons to be optimistic” as vaccines are distributed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
“Optimistic at the distribution of the vaccine. Optimistic that we will once again hold loved ones and have our freedom. That our economy can start growing. Businesses can start trading,” the Labour leader said.
“I believe this can once again be the best country to grow up in and the best country to grow old in. And with that hope and that vision, I believe that our best years are still to come.”
Below is the full text of Keir Starmer’s New Year message.
I want to wish everyone across the United Kingdom a very happy new year. Usually, of course, people across the country would be gathering with their friends, their families and their loved ones. Reflecting on what’s gone on and looking forward to everything that is to come. But 2020 has reminded us just how uncertain life can be.
The coronavirus has changed all of our lives. Britain’s suffered more than almost any other major economy. Too many of our loved ones have lost their lives. Too many good businesses have struggled. Too many people have lost their jobs. And restrictions, no matter how necessary, have been difficult for all of us.
The hidden costs of this pandemic have sometimes felt overwhelming. People’s mental health has suffered, we’ve missed each other and some days it feels like the pandemic will never end.
But, at the start of the new year, there are reasons to be optimistic. Optimistic at the distribution of the vaccine. Optimistic that we will once again hold loved ones and have our freedom. That our economy can start growing. Businesses can start trading. And we can focus on the task at hand of rebuilding our country.
But until then, it is all of our duty to stay safe, to look after neighbours, keep up the national effort that has got us this far. Because when this crisis ends, and it will end, we will rebuild our country, together.
This should be inspired by the bravery and heroism of those who have been on the frontline since the start of the pandemic. Our key workers, our carers, NHS workers, police officers, those who kept streets safe and our supermarkets stocked at the peak of the crisis.
The United Kingdom is forging a new path in the world. And the Labour Party that I lead will focus on ensuring that path leads to greater prosperity, fairness and opportunity for every nation and region, every village, every town and city that makes up our great United Kingdom.
I believe this can once again be the best country to grow up in and the best country to grow old in. And with that hope and that vision, I believe that our best years are still to come.
So, wherever you are, however you are spending this season, on behalf of the Labour Party, I wish you a happy new year.