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China's C919 and ARJ21 jets | slotxo แจก 1000slotxo topup auto | Updated: 2024-06-13 15:42:40

British opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer gives a keynote speech during a Labour party general election campaign event in Lancing, Britain, May 27, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

The United Kingdom will overhaul its security services to ensure they are ready for the world's growing challenges, Keir Starmer, the leader of the country's official opposition and the man tipped to become the nation's next prime minister, said in his first major pre-election speech on Monday.

Starmer, whose Labour Party is ahead of incumbent Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Conservative Party in opinion polls, plans to order an immediate 100-day "security sprint" if elected on July 4, to review the work of the internal security agency MI5, the police, and the civil service in the face of new threats to the country.

The review would look at technological challenges, identify gaps in regulations, and develop plans to keep people safe.

Before Starmer's speech, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, the woman who would be in charge of the country's security services if the Labour Party is elected, told The Times newspaper "clear, sharp leadership and direction" is needed to ensure the UK does not end up being "outpaced by its adversaries" in the security sector.

In his speech in the South Coast marginal county of West Sussex, Starmer did not go into details about the review but said the foundations of any good government are in "economic security, border security, and national security" while vowing to ensure they will be the "bedrock" of his party's work, if it is elected.

He said one of the Labour Party's priorities will be in targeting the people-smugglers bringing thousands of people illegally into the country every year, through the launch of a new Border Security Command with counter-terrorism powers.

"These vile criminals are making a fortune putting vulnerable people in boats made to order, sending them across the busiest shipping lane in the world," he said of the people-smugglers. "Nobody but nobody should be making that journey … Labour will secure Britain's borders."

He also said the Labour Party would bolster the ranks of the police force by 13,000 officers.

Starmer's emphasis on security reflects Sunak's own campaigning on law and order and his vow to take "bold action" to deliver "a secure future for the next generation".

Sunak's Conservative Party said on the weekend it plans to reintroduce national service if reelected on July 4, with 18-year-olds forced to either serve in the military for one year or contribute a weekend every month to community groups and organizations including the police, fire service, and National Health Service.

Sunak has also vowed to increase spending on defense to 2.5 percent of gross domestic product by 2030, up from around 2.2 percent this year.

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