Sir Keir Starmer is set to unveil plans to “restore standards in public life with a total crackdown on cronyism”.

The Labour leader will reveal his blueprint on Thursday that could see people who defraud the government face going to jail for more than 10 years.

According to the Guardian, Sir Keir will vow to restore standards in public life with “a total crackdown on cronyism”.

The plans to crackdown on cronyism come amid Tory peer Michelle Mone being probed for potentially defrauding the UK Government over a PPE contract.

Lady Mone has admitted she lied when she denied having connections to the company, a consortium led by her husband, which was awarded contracts worth more than £200 million to supply gowns and face masks.

Read more: Michelle Mone husband 'to set record straight' on PPE row

But reports also suggest the Labour leader is set to row back on a pledge, previously outlined by his deputy, Angela Rayner, to impose a five-year period where former ministers cannot lobby on behalf of companies they once had oversight over.

Ms Rayner’s anti-lobbying plan came after the Greensill scandal, in which the former prime minister David Cameron, now the Foreign Secretary, lobbied ministers on behalf of a bank for which he worked and which subsequently collapsed.

The Herald: Former prime minister David CameronFormer prime minister David Cameron (Image: PA)

At the time, Ms Rayner said: “Labour will stop the revolving door between government and the companies that ministers are supposed to regulate, banning ministers from lobbying for at least five years after they leave office, and with proper enforcement against those who break the rules.”

But it is now believed Labour agree with the UK Government that the plans could be excessive.

In his first major speech of 2024, Sir Keir is set to warn that repeated public scandals risk undermining voters’ faith in politics in general.

He is expected to say: “Trust in politics is now so low, so degraded, that nobody believes anyone can make a difference any more.

Read more: Labour puts pressure on ministers after Mone admits lies over PPE firm links

“After the sex scandals, the expenses scandals, the waste scandals, the contracts for friends – even in a crisis like the pandemic – people think we’re all just in it for ourselves.”

Sir Keir will add: “To change Britain, we must change ourselves – we need to clean up politics. No more VIP fast lanes, no more kickbacks for colleagues, no more revolving doors between government and the companies they regulate.

“I will restore standards in public life with a total crackdown on cronyism.”

A UK general election is expected to be held this year and must take place before January 2025 at the latest.

Labour is soaring high in the polls by around 18 points at a UK-level while the party is edging ahead of the SNP in Scotland.

The partygate scandal and lack of trust in Liz Truss’s short-lived administration has helped to shift voters from the Tories to Labour.

Sir Keir has pointed to the scandal surrounding Lady Mone, who is being investigated for fraud connected to multimillion-pound government PPE contracts.

The Scots peer denies defrauding the Department for Health and Social Care, but the Labour leader has previously labelled the situation a “shocking disgrace”.

Read more: SNP cabinet updated on cronyism row involving Humza Yousaf and cousin

Under his reported plans, Sir Keir would introduce tougher punishments for those who commit fraud against the government.

Currently, the most serious fraud cases carry a jail term of up to 10 years, but npo additional punishment can be levied for fraudulently claiming money from the government such as bidding wrongly for public contracts.

UK Government figures show banks flagged almost £1.7 billion worth of Covid loans as potentially fraudulent, as of the end of June last year, the majority from Rishi Sunak’s bounce-back loan scheme to help businesses recover from the pandemic.

Findings from the National Audit Office estimate that the UK Government has been defrauded £5.5 billion in 2018-19 and 2019-20 but this soared to £21 billion in 2020-21 and 2021-22.