Keir Starmer pledges ‘three or four’ new towns

Labour Leader Keir Starmer says the Labour Party will build three or four new towns should the party get elected.

When asked how many towns Labour would build by ITV, Starmer said: “Certainly more than two – three or four – but we will go through a bidding process to ensure that we get the right towns in the right places but with the right infrastructure supporting them as well.

“We’re going to envisage a bidding process where local communities get together and decide whether they want a new town – how they want it to work.

“So there’ll be a bidding process, my instinct tells me there’ll be very many bids coming forward, the role of an incoming government if we’re privileged to serve will be to streamline that and make sure that we’ve got the infrastructure, the schools, the hospitals, etc., around those new towns.”

Starmer also made headlines by declaring himself a Yimby – “yes in my back yard” – because he is against local areas blocking new housing developments.

The party has pledged to “bulldoze” restrictive planning rules and overrule local MPs in a bid to construct 1.5 million homes in five years.

Starmer was asked if he was a Yimby by the BBC, and he said: “I am Yes. I think that it’s very important that we build the homes that we need for the future hugely, hugely important for the aspiration of young people desperately want to get on the housing ladder, massive failure for the last 13 years.

“I’m about national renewal, not washing our hands of this continuing with the same decline we’ve seen in the last 13 years.”

Starmer also said: “We will come up against people as I referenced in my speech who say: ‘Oh, we want to build a better Britain but don’t do it here’. That’s what’s held us back.

“Now, obviously, we need to work with local communities, we need to ensure the planning goes up a level so it’s not so localised.”