LABOUR leader Keir Starmer says the Conservatives have “nothing to offer” in helping people with the cost of living.

While out campaigning in Worthing today, three days before the local elections, Sir Keir accused the Tories of focusing on negative campaigning rather than on the matters that affect people most.

He said: “If they put as much energy into dealing with the very real problems people face in terms of the cost of living as they do into slinging mud, we’d actually make some progress for millions of people across the country.”

He also accused the government of an “abject failure” to address the cost of living crisis.

“People are crying out for a government that is in touch with their problems and they are seeing a government that is out of touch and out of ideas,” he said.

His comments to The Argus come after the Conservative leader of Worthing Borough Council Kevin Jenkins said the Labour campaign had focused on national issues and that the party had no answer as to how it would run the council.

Sir Keir said: “We’ve got good ideas for Worthing and we’re putting a positive case with positive candidates to try and bring about change, and we need to earn every vote on Thursday to try and turn councils like Worthing so we can make a real difference to the lives of thousands of people.”

The Argus: Labour leader Keir Starmer speaking to passers-by while walking along the promenade in WorthingLabour leader Keir Starmer speaking to passers-by while walking along the promenade in Worthing

The Labour leader, accompanied by Labour’s group leader in Worthing Beccy Cooper, was frequently stopped by passersby while walking along the promenade, with some asking for selfies or stopping to shake his hand.

He said: “It’s incredible that we are even talking about Worthing possibly becoming a Labour council, which would be a historic first. I think that shows you the positivity of the Labour team here in Worthing and the positivity of the ideas.

“Worthing needs change and what people want here is a council that meets their local ambition, and that’s what a Labour council would do.”

Sir Keir said that, 25 years since Tony Blair ousted a Conservative government in a landslide victory, Labour is ready for government again.

“We’ve gone through huge change in the last two years and we’ve moved from being an opposition to being the alternative, and what we’re fighting for in Worthing is evidence of the change we have brought about.”

Labour and the Conservatives are battling for control of the council in Worthing, with both parties going into the election with 17 councillors each, short of the 19 needed for a majority.

Should Labour win a majority on the council on Thursday, it would mark the first time that the party has run the town.

Voters will also be going to the polls in Adur, Crawley and Hastings on Thursday, as well as in Rottingdean for a by-election for Brighton and Hove City Council.