Labour leader Keir Starmer made a speech in south-west England this morning exactly one year after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak unveiled his ‘five pledges’.

Ahead of his speech today, Starmer posted on X, formerly known as Twitter: "I didn’t come into politics to watch the Tories drive the country I love into the rocks of decline. I want to tilt Britain back towards the interests of working people.

"So this year, I ask you to believe in our future again and vote Labour, to change the course of our country.

In his speech today, Starmer continued to draw a dividing line with his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn, while seeking to demonstrate to voters he would offer a fresh start from the Conservatives.

Sir Keir began by poking fun at Boris Johnson, who predicted a "fantastic year ahead" in his new year message in 2020;

"One thing is certain in 2024 - a year of choice, a chance to change Britain" in a general election. "The clock is ticking on this government," he said

"The moment power is taken out of Tory hands and given, not to me, but to you, that moment is getting closer by the second".

The Labour leader said he has "hated the futility of opposition" for the last four years. "The powerlessness of it and, yes, the pain that comes of watching the Tories drive the country I love into the rocks of decline.

"The British people have a right to be anti-Westminster, you're right to be angry about what politics has become - but hold on to the flickering hope in your heart that things can be better, because they can".

Starmer also described the UK as a nation “exhausted” by “the sex scandals, the expenses scandals, the waste scandals, the contracts for friends”.

Rishi Sunak is expected to call a general election at some point this year. The Prime Minister will also take to the road on Thursday, with a rival riling speech planned in the East Midlands.

'Nothing is more cynical and populist than a weathervane Labour leader'

Ahead of the speech, the Conservatives meanwhile sought to suggest Sir Keir was prone to reversing previously made decisions.

Chairman of the Conservative Party Richard Holden said: “Nothing is more cynical and populist than a weathervane Labour leader who has a consistent track record of telling people whatever he thinks they want to hear on any given day.

“He was for a second Brexit referendum, then he wasn’t. He told Labour members when he was running to be leader he would nationalise industry and scrap tuition fees but then dropped these policies as soon as the contest was over.

"And he says he opposes Jeremy Corbyn now despite campaigning twice to make him prime minister and calling him his ‘friend’.

“The only thing we know for certain about Keir Starmer is that he has a £28 billion black hole in his spending promises which will mean thousands of pounds of tax rises every year for families.”