On the last Sunday before polling day Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said he believes the election of Sir Keir Starmer would be the first time in 14 years that a Prime Minister understands Scotland.

Describing his relationship with the Labour leader - and new Prime Minister - as he met stallholders at Loch Lomond Shores in Balloch, West Dunbartonshire, Mr Sarwar said: "He knows that he will always have in me someone that wants to see a Labour Party succeed, someone who wants a UK Labour government, and someone who will always fight Scotland's corner.

"I know that we will have a Prime Minister for the first time in 14 years that understands Scotland and cares about Scotland.

"It's one of the reasons why so many people have been driven towards the SNP and independence as they've looked at Tory governments and thought 'these people don't care about us - they're not delivering for us."

So now that he is the new Labour Prime Minister what must Starmer to to prove he really does understand and care about Scotland?

There are five key pledges the party made to Scotland in its manifesto - and delivering on them will be crucial not only so Labour can keep its word to voters - and not be accused by opponents of failings to to meet its promises - but also to enable the party to keep the support of those voters ahead of the Holyrood election in 2026.


Cut NHS waiting times

While a devolved issue, the Scottish Labour manifesto makes a big commitment on cutting NHS waiting lists. It said a new Labour UK Government would deliver "millions every year in health-related funding for Scotland" to enable the NHS to deliver "160,000 more appointments every year for patients".

Starmer pledged that these extra appointments would be created by doctors holding additional clinics and carrying out operations over the evenings and weekends. The party promised by increasing capacity the plan would "help to cut waiting lists, drive down waiting times, and reduce the need for patients to pay out of their own pocket for private care." Starmer has said the policy would be paid for by his government raising additional revenue by closing the non-dom tax loopholes and cracking down on tax avoidance.

He has also pledged to scrapping tax breaks for private schools using the money to support state education.

Create 69,000 jobs and reduce energy bills with GB energy

This was another bold promise from Starmer who wants to make "Scotland a clean energy superpower". He will need to focus on delivering the plan without delay.

His manifesto pledge is to "create 69,000 with s Green Prosperity Plan, including a new state-owned energy company, GB Energy."

GB Energy would be a publicly owned energy company which would be headquartered in Scotland. He and Mr Sarwar have yet to sat where.

The manifesto also includes the introduction of a Warm Homes Plan which will offer grants and low interest loans to support investment in insulation and other improvements such as solar panels, batteries and low carbon heating to cut bills.

"Nobody will be forced to change their boiler as a result of our plans," it says.

It adds: "Housing is devolved, so a UK Labour government will seek to partner with the Scottish Government in the roll

out of the plan to ensure Scottish households benefit and that we improve the energy efficiency of hundreds of thousands of Scottish homes. A UK Labour government will save families hundreds of pounds, slash fuel poverty and get us back on track to meet our climate targets.

"Our plan will mean 16,000 good skilled jobs for tradespeople in every part of Scotland."


Kickstart economic growth

During the election campaign Starmer repeatedly underlined that he wanted to grow the economy to increase public finances to fund services such as health and education without having to raise income tax or make spending cuts elsewhere.

His pledge was met with scepticism by the SNP who pointed to an analysis by the respected think tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies which concluded Labour's plans may lead to £18billion of spending cuts.

Starmer countered critics by saying his plans wouldn't lead to cuts because his government would grow the economy.

It's a tough ambition and the pressure will be on Starmer and Sarwar to make rapid progress on it.

The Labour manifesto commits to growing the economy through a "a new partnership with business and a new industrial strategy that supports Scotland’s growth sectors.

It also proposes to bring in a National Wealth Fund to invest in jobs; and bring in reforms to the planning system to speed up building projects.


New deal for working people

Starmer will also need to deliver Labour's new deal for working people in Scotland.

This includes a ban on "exploitative zero-hour contracts", a pledge to "deliver a genuine living wage for 200,000 Scots" and to "remove discriminatory age bands, so all adults are entitled to the same minimum wage."

It will also end fire and rehire and introduce basic rights of parental leave, sick pay and protection from unfair dismissal on the first day of a job.


Scotland at the heart of the UK Government

Starmer has promised a reset of devolution and better co-operation between the UK and Scottish Government which intergovernmental relations regarded to be poor under the Conservatives and the SNP He has said the Scotland Office will act to promote Scotland with the UK and internationally helping to boost exports and trade.

"The Scotland Office will maximise Scotland’s influence, and with Labour it will once again become an advocate for Scotland, both at home and abroad," the manifesto states.

"The Scotland Office will ensure the voice of Scotland is properly heard on issues under the competence of the UK Government. Scotland has an enviable international reputation. Its culture, products and services are internationally renowned – from whisky and salmon to computer game development, bioscience and financial services.

"Therefore, a UK Labour government will champion ‘Brand Scotland’ across the world through the Scotland Office, and our diplomatic and trade networks, to promote Scotland and its businesses.

"Labour will end the chaos of sleaze and division, turn the page, and reset politics with Scotland at the heart of the next government."

Putting Scotland at the heart of government also raises the question if and how many Scottish MPs will be in Starmer's government. Ian Murray is set to become Scottish Secretary but could other Scottish MPs have roles in the top team? There is speculation former minister Douglas Alexander could be in line for a government post. And will Rutherglen MP Michael Shanks be appointed to government?