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Exclusive: Labor sets hit list of armed forces seats to go on the offensive in general election

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Keir Starmer is rolling his tanks onto Tories’ lawns targeting key armed forces seats, HuffPost UK can reveal.

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Labor’s defense team has drawn up a hit list of the 28 constituencies they are focusing on for the next general election.

Led by Shadow Defense Secretary John Haley, they are focusing on seats with serving personnel, veterans or communities of defense and aerospace workers.

Defense is traditionally seen as a Tory issue, but Labor insiders say the party has changed significantly since Jeremy Corbyn took over.

A source said: “Nobody wore armed forces badges at the Labor conference under Corbyn. Now they do.”

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Labor stands as veterans in several constituencies as it aims to transform itself into a party of defense and national security.

These include the seat of Veterans Affairs Minister Johnny Mercer in Plymouth Moor View, as well as Hastings and Rye and Dover and Deal.

Shadow Defense Secretary John Haley and Labor leader Keir Starmer.

Victoria Jones – PA Images via Getty Images

A Labor source said: “The first duty of any government is national security, and this has been central to the changes Keir Starmer has made to the Labor Party under his leadership.

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“Conservatives love to tout their support for our military, but they are failing our soldiers and taxpayers.

“So whether it’s serving personnel and their families, veterans or defense staff, we are reaching out to service communities across the UK as we make the case for a Labor government.”

The Labor Party recently won a council ward by-election With a 16.7% swing to Tories in Plymouth Moor View, which has one of the highest proportions of veterans in the country.

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Labor candidates targeting Tory seats:

Gareth Derrick, Plymouth Moor View, former Royal Navy Commodore

Helena Dollimore, Hastings and Rhee work with the military on humanitarian issues

mike tap, Dover and Deal, former intelligence officers

The party plans to increase visits to these seats and step up its campaigns on military homes, vet support and the creation of more defense equipment in the UK.

Starmer had previously vowed that: “Labor will never go to election again if not trusted to defend national security.”

And in his New Year’s speech he made support for NATO and the armed forces central to how the party has changed under his leadership.

At the Labor Party conference last year, Haley said: “The first duty of any government is to defend the country and keep its citizens safe. It is also the first test of the public for any party aspiring to government.”

(translate to tag) Jeremy Corbyn

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