Sir Keir Starmer told hard-pressed voters to send a message to the Government over the rising cost of living as he launched his party’s local election campaign.
The Labour leader kicked off his campaign trail in a “red wall” marginal, the Bury North constituency where Tory James Daly is MP.
Sir Keir highlighted voters’ worries over paying bills, job security and crime.
He said the Government’s response to rising gas and electricity bills was “pathetic” and again called for a windfall tax on energy companies.
“Send a message”
Sir Keir said: “Voting Labour on May 5, will send a message to the Government they can’t ignore.
“Britain deserves better than their pathetic response to the cost-of-living crisis.
“It is also a chance to vote for a party that is on your side, because Labour is on your side.
“Tomorrow we see the impact of the energy bill hike and people are really worried about this, and the Labour Party is the only party that’s put a plan on the table, a windfall tax on oil and gas companies in the North Sea that can take up to £600 off the bills of those that need it most.
“That’s a practical plan that can be put into operation right here, right now. There’s only one party that’s put that plan on the table, and that’s the Labour Party,” he added.
Surrounded by Labour Party members outside the Brown Cow pub in a country park in Bury, Mr Starmer said the “scandal” over P&O Ferries sacking hundreds of staff to employ cheaper foreign workers would not have happened with a Labour government.
He added: “You know the truth.
“Prices through the roof, wages through the floor, inflation higher than it’s been since… well, last time the Tories were in power.
“On average families this year, £2,620 worse off under the Tories, that’s the cost of the Tories.
“This is time for change. We need to get Britain back on track.
“I’m beyond proud and privileged to be leader of the Labour Party, but I don’t want to be leader of the opposition.
“I want Labour in power, changing lives.
“Vote Labour on the fifth of May, because Britain deserves better.”
Five weeks of campaigning are ahead before voters go to the polls on May 5.