Sir Keir Starmer has said Labour is committed to tackling the “awful problem” of homelessness in Sussex and will fight for every vote in the county.

The Labour leader spoke while visiting Siemens’s Three Bridges Traincare Facility in Crawley today to find out about the company’s tailored health support to keep employees in work.

Sir Keir was joined at the factory by shadow secretary of state for work and pensions Liz Kendall to discuss Labour’s plans to help Britain's 2.8 million long-term sick get back to work.

Measures would include scrapping the non-dom tax “loophole” to fund two million more operations, scans, and appointments a year and by reforming job centres to support people who could work.

When asked by The Argus what Labour would do to tackle the worsening homelessness crisis in Brighton he said Labour is now in a position to help people get off the streets.

Councils across Sussex have warned they face bankruptcy with the rising cost of preventing homelessness and local homelessness charity Turning Tides said it has seen a 100 per cent rise in homelessness in West Sussex.

The Argus: Sir Keir Starmer (centre) and shadow work and pensions secretary Liz Kendall (right), during a visit to Siemens Traincare in Three Bridges, CrawleySir Keir Starmer (centre) and shadow work and pensions secretary Liz Kendall (right), during a visit to Siemens Traincare in Three Bridges, Crawley (Image: PA)

“I do think in Brighton, in particular, before we took over the council they didn’t put the support in place to deal with this,” he said.

“Luckily, we are now in a position to now turn this around.

“And that means providing not just a roof but also the support that people need.

“Particularly getting people back into work.

“We’re here talking about getting people back to work and how we support them back into work with the right skills, healthcare and jobs brought together in one place.

“We have to turn our economy around, we have to make sure we end this cost of living crisis that we’ve got under this government and begin to turn things around for the country.

The Argus: Sir Keir in a train with Liz KendallSir Keir in a train with Liz Kendall (Image: PA)

“And that will help councils in dealing with a very real and desperate situation.”

Pushed on whether he felt confident about the party’s chances in Sussex at the next general election, with key seats including Worthing West, East Worthing and Shoreham, Crawley and Hastings, Sir Keir said he wanted to win over Sussex voters and promised the party has changed.

Crawley and Hastings and Rye, have acted as bellwethers for how the country will vote since 1983, with both being key targets for Labour to get the keys to Number 10.

“I do want to win votes in Crawley, in the South East and in Sussex,” he said.

“I would directly appeal to those who didn’t vote for Labour last time, perhaps never voted for Labour, there are many Conservative voters in Sussex of course, and say if you want change then the Labour party has changed and we have a plan to change the country and bring an end to this 14 years of failure and usher in a decade of national renewal.”

Liz Kendall said there are many “lifelong” Conservative voters who they will have to convince at the ballot box.

She said Labour wants to help people with the cost of living and “rebuild” public services and grow the economy.

“We want your vote, we want your support,” she said.

“We know we’ve got to work to earn your trust.

“But we have a plan.

“We’re out to fight for every vote.”