Wigan MP and shadow levelling up secretary Nandy: Britain’s broken political system “must change or die”

Our broken political system “must change or die”, Lisa Nandy will say Wednesday, as she outlines Labour’s plan to unleash “the power of all people in all parts of Britain” by pushing power out of Westminster.
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Addressing the Convention of the North, the Wigan MP and Shadow Levelling Up Secretary will say Labour is “calling time on this short term, arrogant, sticking-plaster approach” that has “written off the talent, potential and assets of most people in most parts of Britain”.

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Vowing “no more excuses”, she will set out how Labour will begin to undo this damage by undertaking the biggest ever transfer of power out of Westminster and Whitehall.

Lisa Nandy, Wigan MP and Shadow Secretary of State for CommunitiesLisa Nandy, Wigan MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Communities
Lisa Nandy, Wigan MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Communities

In her speech in Manchester, Ms Nandy will:

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Promise to “empower our communities to take control of their own economic future” as she calls on local leaders to come forward and tell us what powers they need to drive their own local growth plans through Labour’s Take Back Control Act, which Keir Starmer has said will form the centrepiece of the first King’s Speech of a Labour government.

Renew a commitment to hand over powers over housing, energy, childcare, buses, trains, skills, training and employment support to local leaders.

Set out an ambition for “a new relationship, of equals, based on mutual respect” between national and local government, that will enhance the role of local leaders but also “ask more” of them.

Describe the current funding model for local government as “absurd” and “undemocratic” as she sets out Labour’s ambition for a “significant expansion of economic devolution in England”.

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Argue that there should be a constitutional requirement to rebalance the UK’s economy and equalise living standards across the country over time.

Ms Nandy will say: “Ambition is everywhere in the towns, villages, and cities that were once the engines of Britain, for too long written off and written out of our national story. For 15 years, since the global crash, the failure of running an economy like this has been plain to see.

“But every time the public has sounded the alarm, hitting our politicians with tsunami after tsunami of discontent, our creaking political system has done nothing.

"This is the collective task facing our generation of political leaders: to respond to that siren call or face obsolescence. To change or die.”

Labour will “end a century of centralisation”, Nandy will say, promising that “we’re going to bake this in to our first two terms of government, across the whole of government” because “unleashing the power of all people in all parts of Britain is no longer a nice to have, a local or a regional issue, it is at the heart of whether this country has a future or not”.