Medact’s Election Manifesto Breakdown 2024

We’ve analysed the manifestos from all major parties to see how they stack up against the aims of our campaigns and work areas. We want all parties to commit to policies which will help to bring about health justice. Here, we break down the key policy commitments and compare them against what we’re calling for. 

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Peace & Security 

We’re calling for: LabourLiberal Democrats ConservativesGreen Party SNP
Repeal the Prevent Duty in the NHSNo mention of repealing Prevent, rather they will increase police and intelligence service powers and resources, and change rules on counter-extremism including onlineNo mention of Prevent or counter-terrorism beyond preventative measures for venues and places of worship against terror attacks.States that they will foster greater collaboration between the National Crime Agency and Counter Terrorism Policing. Makes no mention of repealing Prevent.Will scrap Prevent.No mention of repealing Prevent or counter-terrorism beyond preventative measures for venues against terror attacks.
Scrap Trident and sign up to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW)States that Labour’s commitment to UK nuclear weapons is absolute, no mention of TPNW. New commitments on nuclear power.Maintaining the UK’s nuclear weapons with four submarines, while ‘pursuing multilateral global disarmament’.Commitment to Trident, and pledges £763 mil for a ‘nuclear skills package’ and a further £5 bn in stockpiles. New commitments on nuclear power.Will push for the UK to sign TPNW, and follow this by beginning disarmament, including removing foreign nuclear weapons, and work to enlarge treaty membership. Cease development of nuclear power. Will scrap Trident, invest the money intoconventional defence & public services, and press the UK government to meet their international obligations on nuclear disarmament. Rules out new nuclear power plants in Scotland. 
Promote human security by safeguarding people against police violence and guaranteeing the right to protestPlans to address youth violence including youth workers in A&E units alongside new knife possession penalties for young people. 
Pledges thousands of new police officers, a direct entry scheme for recruitment of new detectives, a ‘Neighbourhood Policing Guarantee’, and powers to ban adults from town centres.
Otherwise makes no mention of policing protest, or police powers in relation to civil disobedience. 
Pledges to ‘restore community policing’, where officers are visible and trusted – and reforms around burglary investigations, the court system and improving rehabilitation. Pledges to recruit 8000 more officers. Commits to expanded police and anti-social powers. Increase the use of electronic tagging and ‘community payback’. Further crackdowns on GRT communities, and new powers against protests ‘by allowing police to take into account the cumulative impact of protests’.Scrap the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act and Public Order Act. End the routine use of stop and search, and facial recognition software, alongside other reforms to improve police scrutiny. Legislating a presumption against custodial sentences, and pushing for ways to divert people from the criminal justice system in anti-violence strategies.No mention of policing, outside of working closely with police in Europe following rejoining the EU.
Otherwise makes no mention of policing protest, or police powers in relation to civil disobedience. 
Ceasefire now, end to the Occupation, stop arming Israel, a free Palestine – and respect the right to boycott Will ‘continue’ to push for an immediate ceasefire, commitments to recognising Palestinian statehood through a two-state solution. No mention of ending arms sales to Israel or BDS.Will advocate for an immediate ceasefire, officially recognise the state of Palestine and pursue a two-state solution. Mentions ‘controlling arms exports to countries with poor human rights records’, but otherwise no mention of ending arms sales or BDS.Makes no mention of ceasefire, and backs Israel’s ‘right to defend itself’. Will push for a two-state solution and recognise Palestinian statehood ‘at a time that is most conducive to the peace process’. No mention of ending arms sales to Israel or BDS.Calls for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, recognition of the state of Palestine and an urgent international effort to end the illegal occupation of Palestinian land. Also ending UK complicity through an end to all UK arms exports to and military cooperation with Israel – but otherwise does not mention BDS.Calls for an immediate ceasefire and will end arms sales to Israel. Will continue to call on the UK Government to immediately recognise Palestine as a state. No mention of BDS.

It’s disappointing that despite the harmful impacts of the Prevent Duty, only the Green Party have committed to scrapping the policy. Labour and Conservatives indicate a commitment to expanding counter-terror policing powers, and Lib Dems and SNP make no mention of Prevent or challenging state counter-terror policing strategies. 

Similarly, only the Greens and SNP have committed on the crucial issue of nuclear disarmament, and additionally to no new nuclear energy plants. It is heartening to see that the SNP have explicitly stated they will scrap Trident, and the Greens will sign up to the TPNW and begin removing foreign nuclear weapons from the UK. Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives have committed to maintaining the UK’s nuclear weapons arsenal, with Conservatives committing to further investments. 

The Green Party makes clear commitments to end harmful policing practices such as stop and search, divert people away from the criminal justice system, and improve mechanisms for police scrutiny, as well as reversing new police powers that aim to hold back political protest. It is disheartening that no other parties commit to repealing this repressive legislation, and both Labour and Conservatives commit to a greater police presence by recruiting more officers. 

Apart from the Conservatives, all parties call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and recognition of Palestinian statehood. Conservatives make no mention of ceasefire, or clear commitment to recognising Palestinian statehood. Only the Greens and SNP commit to ending arms sales to Israel. Only the Greens explicitly call for an end to the occupation of Palestinian land. None of the parties explicitly mention BDS or the right to boycott. 

Climate & Health

We’re calling for: LabourLiberal Democrats ConservativesGreen Party SNP
A rapid just transition away from fossil fuelsCommitment to zero-carbon and clean power by 2030, with no new oil & gas licences. Commitment to create new high-quality jobs in the transition.Commitment to 90% of the UK’s electricity is generated from renewables by 2030 and ensuring a just transition.Committed to delivering ‘net zero by 2050’. No mention of a just transition. Commitment to annual licensing rounds for North Sea oil & gas. Commitment to zero-carbon and clean power by 2030.Pledge to deliver green energy investment, including through the devolution of spending powers to allow for this. Demands £28bn a year investment in the green economy. No specific zero-carbon targets. £500 million North-East Transition Fund, and sustainable growth for Grangemouth. Will ban new coal licences – less clear on oil & gas. 
Energy justice – ensuring no one is cut off from essential right to energyNo mentions of a social tariff or similar scheme. A social energy tariff for the most vulnerable.No mentions of a social tariff or similar scheme. No mentions of a social tariff or similar scheme. Calls for an essentials guarantee for utilities, a statutory social tariff for energy (as well as broadband and mobile), combining current energy schemes, and introducing fair pricing for Highland and Islands residents.
Quality homes for all through a mass retrofitting programmeWill invest an extra £6.6 billion to upgrade five million homes.
Minimum energy efficiency standards for landlords by 2030.
Pledges emergency Home Energy Upgrade programme included in £8.4bn climate pledge. Free insulation and heat pumps for low-income households.
Minimum energy efficiency standards for landlords by 2028
Invest £6bn in energy efficiency over the next three years to make around a million homes warmer.
No mention of Minimum energy efficiency standards for landlords 
Pledge £29bn over the next five years to insulate homes to an EPC B standard or above, as part of a ten-year programme. Introduce a ‘Fairer, Greener Homes Guarantee’ to safely insulate homes.
No mention of minimum energy efficiencies.
Would encourage retrofitting by addressing the imbalance in VAT ratesin the construction sector. 

It’s exciting to see strong commitments to seriously decarbonise by 2030 from multiple parties. We would have liked more detailed commitments on how the transition would be handled in a just way, from all parties. Similarly, most parties have pledged investment in much needed energy efficiency upgrades, though only the Lib Dems and SNP call for a just social tariff on energy prices, which is an essential step to end fuel poverty while we transition to cleaner and cheaper sources.

Economic Justice 

We’re calling for: LabourLiberal Democrats ConservativesGreen Party SNP
At least 3 million council homes for be built and developedPromise to deliver 1.5 million new homes over the next Parliament, and “the biggest increase in social and affordable housebuilding in a generation”, but unclear how many new homes will be social homes or how many social homes will be created.Promise to increase building of new homes to 380,000 a year across the UK including 150,000 social homes a year, “through new garden cities and community-led development of cities and towns”.Commitment to building 1.6 million homes over the next parliament, but does not include any figures on the number of affordable or social homes.Will provide 150,000 new social homes a year.Restore capital budget to Scottish Government to address housing emergency. 
Reform right to buy & compulsory state purchase of poor-quality rental propertiesPledge to review the increased Right to Buy discounts, and increase protections on newly-built social housing. No mention of purchasing poor-quality rentals.Pledge to give local authorities the powers to end Right to Buy in their areas.
No mention of purchasing poor-quality rentals.
Rules out reducing Rightto Buy discounts. Pledges to raise them with inflation and will fight any plan by local authorities to abolish the Right to Buy.
No mention of purchasing poor-quality rentals.
Pledge to end the so-called ‘right to buy’. 
No mention of purchasing poor-quality rentals.
No mention of Right to Buy.
Security for renters: abolish section 21 no fault evictions and improve standards in private rented sectorCommitment to end Section 21 evictions and to extend “Awaab’s law” to the private sector.Pledge to ban no-fault evictions, make three-year tenancies the default, and create a national register of licensed landlordsWill “deliver the court reforms necessary to fully abolish Section 21”, but will strengthen other grounds for landlords to evict private tenants over “anti-social behaviour”.Commitment to end no-fault evictions, empower local authorities to introduce rent controls, and introduce a “Fairer, Greener Homes Guarantee to ensure warm, safe homes that are well insulated”.
No mention of Section 21, ending no fault evictions, or further improvements to standards in private rented sector.

While four major parties commit to ensuring that new homes are built, only the LibDems and Greens give a concrete figure as to how many much-needed new social homes will be created, both at 150,000 per year – this is great to see, but we want to see the other parties follow suit. Commitments on Right to Buy, which systematically puts social housing stock into the hands of private landlords, are a mixed bag, with Labour only pledging to review discounts, while Greens pledge to end the scheme and Lib Dems will hand that decision to local authorities. It is great that all major parties except SNP commit to ending Section 21 no-fault evictions, though we would have liked more concrete proposals on how to improve standards and stabilise rents in the private rented sector across the board.

Access to Healthcare

We’re calling for: LabourLiberal Democrats ConservativesGreen Party SNP
A truly universal NHS and an end to all charging for NHS care Makes no mention of NHS charging or the impact of racist border policies on patient access to the NHS
Commitment to end the Hostile Environment – could see an end to NHS charging for migrants, though the manifesto is not specific about NHS charging. Plans to make it harder to claim asylum and continue deportation agreements like the Rwanda scheme will mean more migrants are exposed to NHS charging. Commitment to NHS being free and accessible for all migrants with visas – meaning NHS charging in its current form would remain more or less unchanged – despite an intention in the manifesto to end the hostile environment. Statement that they will “stand firm against the demonisation of migrants” but no specific pledge on ending charging across the country.
Scrap the Immigration Health SurchargeMakes no mention of the IHS. Plans to reduce overall migration by tightening visa rules. No specific mention of the immigration health surcharge, but plans to reduce other visa fees and ‘simplify’ the immigration systemPlans to increase the IHS alongside all other visa fees, and to remove the reduced student level.Commitment to charge visa fees ‘at cost’ would see an end to the IHS.Makes no mention of IHS. 
An end to the NHS sharing data with the Home OfficeMakes no mention of data-sharing between the NHS and the Home OfficeCommitment to implement a firewall to prevent sharing of data between public agencies and the home officeMakes no mention of data-sharing between the NHS and the Home OfficeMakes no mention of data-sharing between the NHS and the Home OfficeMakes no mention of data-sharing between the NHS and the Home Office (though NHS Scotland does not pass data to the Home Office).

It is disappointing that only one party, the Lib Dems, make an explicit commitment to end patient charging in the NHS and to a firewall preventing NHS data being shared with the Home Office. Despite saying it will end the hostile environment, the Green Party policy on NHS charging only commits to ending the immigration health surcharge, leaving other forms of NHS charging intact. Neither of the largest parties aim to reform border policies for the better. The Conservatives propose to increase the Immigration Health Surcharge and continue deportation agreements like the Rwanda scheme, while Labour aims to further restrict visas, both of which are likely to  expose more migrants to NHS charging. 

NHS & Healthcare

We’re calling for: LabourLiberal Democrats ConservativesGreen Party SNP
Fully fund the NHS to guarantee healthcare for allPledges include waiting times of no longer than 18 weeks with 40,000 more appointments per week; double the number of cancer scanners; a ‘Dentistry Rescue Plan’ with 700,000 more urgent dental appointments; 8,500 additional mental health staff, and establishing a Royal College of Clinical Leadership. 
However, no clarity on how much additional funding will be allocated to the NHS.
Commitment to give everyone the right to see a GP within seven days, or within 24 hours if urgent, with 8,000 more GPs. Guaranteed access to an NHS dentist. Improvements to mental health care with ‘mental health hubs’ for young people. Guarantee all cancer patients to start care within 62 days.Pledges to invest in public health. No clear commitment on increased NHS spending.Pledge to increase NHS spending above inflation in each year, with 40 new hospitals by 2030, as well as 2.5 million more NHS dental appointments, 92,000 more nurses and 28,000 more doctors in the NHS than in 2023. Also proposes a ‘Major Conditions Strategy’.Pledge for additional expenditure of £8bn in year one, up to a total of £28bn in 2030, plus £20bn additional capital spending. Commitments to increasing the allocation of funding to primary medical care, guarantee rapid access to a GP with same day access for urgent cases, and access to an NHS dentist.Commitment to boost NHS spending by a minimum of £10bn extra each year.
Pay health workers fairly and respect their right to industrial actionStates that they will “reset relations with NHS staff” but no commitments on addressing pay or clarity on whether health workers’ right to industrial action will be upheld.Will establish an independent pay review body, among other changes to staffing policies for retention. No specific mention of respecting union action.Will implement ‘minimum services’ legislation to “limit the impact of industrial action on publicservices and balance the ability of workersto strike with the rights of the public”. No mention of addressing pay. Pledges to “treat and pay nurses, doctors and NHS staff fairly”, with an immediate one-off budget increase to cover fair wage settlements.Pledge to Match Scotland’s NHS pay deals elsewhere in the UK by increasing investment in NHS England staff pay and conditions of at least £6bn.
End and reverse the privatisation of health servicesNo pledge to reverse or prevent privatisation.No pledge to reverse or prevent privatisation.No pledge to reverse or prevent privatisation.Pledge to end NHS privatisation, “reestablish public bodies and public accountability, and restrict the role of commercial companies”.Commitment to protect the NHS from privatisation through a ‘Keep the NHS inPublic Hands’ Bill.
Stop the attacks on trans people, and improve trans healthcare and rights, including self-IDPledge to uphold & implement Cass review; will support single-sex exceptions in the Equality Act, without reference to gender reassignment exceptions.Pledge to ‘modernise’ gender recognition laws, but explicitly rules out self-ID. Commitment to a “full trans-inclusive ban on conversion practices”.Pledge to “defend the rights of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, including trans and non-binary people”, but no specific trans healthcare commitments.Supports self-ID including recognising non-binary identities in law, and removing spousal veto. Will guarantee political asylum on the basis of gender identification. Pledge to ban all forms of conversion therapies and practices.Pledge to implement Cass Review by preventing private prescription and supply of puberty blockers.Asserts that “sex means biological sex in the Equality Act”; opposes gender-neutral terminology in healthcare such as ‘chestfeeding’. Will force schools to inform parents if their “child wants to be treated as the opposite sex”. Guarantees that “the contested concept of gender identity” will not be taught to children. No changes to laws on conversion therapy “in light of the Cass Review Final Report”.No specific pledges on trans healthcare, but supports self-ID and supports ending the spousal veto. Will allow “X” gender marker for passports.No mention of trans healthcare or rights. Commitment to “Protect and enhance the rights of LGBTI community” but no specific policies.

It is deeply disappointing that three of the major parties have not provided concrete figures on the investment they would provide to address NHS underfunding which is costing lives, though Greens and SNP have pledged additional funding of £8bn and £10bn a year respectively. While Greens have implied they will settle with health unions to address real-terms pay cuts, other parties have not been explicit about redressing this issue, and the Conservatives have implied that they will seek to further restrict health workers’ right to take industrial action. Also disappointing is that only two parties – Greens and SNP – have promised to address ongoing privatisation of our health service.

Recent years have seen unprecedented and deeply harmful attacks on the trans community, with politicians across the political spectrum toying with trans rights as a political tool. Most recently, the unscientific and dangerous Cass review has been used to justify stripping away already-meagre access to trans-specific healthcare on the NHS. This election has not been immune from such attacks, and sadly no party makes specific promises to enhance healthcare for this group. Labour and the Conservative party pledge to implement recommendations from the Cass review uncritically, and the Conservatives explicitly state they will not make reforms against abusive conversion therapy. Lib Dems and Greens, however, have supported Self-ID, which will go some way to providing dignity to trans people.