Labour leader launches campaign at science park

LABOUR leader Sir Keir Starmer kicked off his party’s campaigning for the general election year with a speech in Emersons Green.

The media event was held at the National Composites Centre at the Bristol & Bath Science Park on January 4 – just a day before Chris Skidmore, whose constituency includes the factory, resigned.

The Labour leader told an invited audience of journalists, Labour party activists and business figures he was there to deliver “a New Year message of hope”, promising to “lift the weight off our shoulders, unite as a country, and get our future back”.

He was introduced by Claire Hazelgrove, the party’s candidate for the Filton & Bradley Stoke constituency that Emersons Green will become part of at the next general election.

Also in the audience were Labour MP Darren Jones, Metro Mayor Dan Norris and Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees.

Saying that the country faced “a year of choice”, Sir Keir said: “The opportunity to shape our country’s future rests in your hands.”

But the Leader of the Opposition said that what kept him up at night was “the shrug of the shoulder”, adding: “Trust in politics is now so low, so degraded, that nobody believes you can make a difference anymore.”

Pledging to “clean up politics”, with a “crackdown on cronyism”, he also promised to end the “exhausting” politics of division and replace it with “a politics that aspires to national unity”.