Sir Keir Starmer has said he wants “to lower taxes” as he indicated income tax for top earners will not be raised under a Labour government.
Additionally, the Labour leader promised to keep Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey in his position until 2028. Bailey faced significant criticism after a surprise interest rate increase.
Since Sir Keir promised to raise income tax for the top 5% of earners during his 2020 leadership bid, the party has backtracked on tax increases.
Asked about that promise, Sir Keir told the Telegraph: “Obviously, in principle, I want to lower taxes, so that’s the driving principle.
“As for the exact numbers, obviously we may have to wait until closer to the election. There are two, possibly three fiscal events until the next election, and we need to see what the [Office for National Statistics] numbers make of the financial situation.
“But in principle, I want lower taxation. We’re not looking to the lever of taxation, we’re looking to the lever of growth.”
If his party wins the next election, which is anticipated to take place next year, Sir Keir has expressed his goal of achieving the highest continuous growth in the G7 group of advanced nations.
Additionally, he pledged to uphold the Bank of England’s “really fundamental” independence.
Asked whether he wanted to see Mr Bailey’s eight-year-term end early, he said: “No, no, no. We respect the independence.”
Additionally, he stated to the newspaper that a Labour administration would “codify” in the legislation the custom of MP approval of military interventions, requiring that every future military action be authorised by the House of Commons.
“Obviously there are going to be urgent situations where that might not be possible [and] I don’t know what we need, whether we need legislation is another matter. But the codification of the practice I think is important,” he said.
Meanwhile, it was reported that the Labour leader had a run-in with the authorities when selling ice cream as part of an illegal student summer business endeavour.
According to a friend, Sir Keir, a former director of public prosecutions, had his “ice-creams confiscated” by police when hawking goods on French Riviera beaches during his university years.
According to John Murray, a former classmate of Sir Keir, the two made the trip to the south of France as undergraduates after seeing an advertising promising them hundreds of pounds per day selling cold drinks on the French Riviera.
Their experience did not live up to the hype, according to Mr. Murray, who spent their time “almost as beach bums” and made only “four francs a day” from their modest business.
He claimed the companions learned the practise was “not legal” during their time in the scenic area, meaning they had to elude French officials while attempting to sell their items.
Mr Murray said: “The place was overrun with other beach sellers, because they’d all been suckered into thinking they’d earn hundreds of pounds a day.
“Then we found out it was actually not legal, so we spent our time kind of avoiding being arrested.
“To be honest, I did get arrested. But all that happened was you had your ice creams confiscated, got a receipt, then had to walk back to the beach without your flip flops.”
When asked if Sir Keir had also been detained, Mr Murray said: “I can’t say… I think he probably had his ice-creams confiscated.”
A Labour spokeswoman said: “We are happy to make clear that no arrests were made, or even names taken, and that the only loss of liberty occurred to some cut-price ice-creams.”