Sir Keir Starmer will warn that the King’s Speech will be a “manifesto for stagnation” as he accuses Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of overseeing economic decline.
The Labour leader, who has faced dissent in his party over his stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict, will call for a “big build” to revive the sluggish economy during a visit to Durham on Friday.
Addressing businesses at the North East Chamber of Commerce, he is expected to say: “Britain needs this King’s Speech to kick off a big build.
“We have to provide the businesses, communities and people of this nation with the conditions to succeed. A fundamental deal, that we serve the country, while you drive it forward.
“The Tories can’t do this. Rishi Sunak is too weak to stand up to the blockers on his backbenches. Too haunted by ghosts of Conservative imagination to see the country’s problems as you see them.”
It comes after the Bank of England on Thursday downgraded its forecast for economic growth to zero until 2025, putting in doubt the Prime Minister’s pledge to get the economy growing by the end of the year.
Mr Sunak has said the King’s Speech, which is expected to set the tone for a general election next year, will focus on measures to “grow the economy, to strengthen society and to keep people safe”.
The King is expected to open the new session of Parliament on Tuesday November 7, the first time he will have done so as monarch.
Sir Keir will say the speech should be about “a national mission to get Britain building again”.
He will vow that a government led by him would “relight the fire of renewal” in communities across the UK and “take on the blockers that hold a veto over British aspiration”.
It would “invest in the critical infrastructure the North East desperately needs”, such as battery gigafactories that would protect electric-car manufacturing in Sunderland, upgraded ports that would allow the east coast to expand offshore wind, and carbon capture technology that could provide an industrial future for Teesside.
Sir Keir has battled to maintain Labour discipline, with members of his front bench in revolt against his stance of calling for a humanitarian “pause” in the fighting in Gaza.
He has been resisting calls from senior figures within his own party to demand a ceasefire.
Conservative Party chairman Greg Hands said: “Sir Keir Starmer is making more empty promises that mean even less than usual as he can’t even enforce collective responsibility in his own party.
“If his own team are allowed to openly defy him, how could he possibly persuade MPs to vote for the difficult long-term decisions that the country needs?”
Published: by Radio NewsHub