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Home > General Election Latest: Labour Will Not Win A Super-Majority, Insists Sunak

General Election Latest: Labour Will Not Win A Super-Majority, Insists Sunak

12 June 2024 • 4:16pm


Back to school Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty high-fived a child as she visited a primary school in Eastbourne on the day after the Tory manifesto launch Credit: Carl Court 4:12PM

Ed Davey falls into yet another lake while on campaign trail Sir Ed Davey repeatedly fell into a lake during his latest election campaign trail stunt to promote his “powerful, tougher” water regulator.

The Liberal Democrat leader plunged into a man-made lake while completing a floating agility course in Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire, earlier today.

Sir Ed arrived at the Aqua Jungle to champion his plans for a Clean Water Authority to replace Ofwat as the regulator of water companies.

Sir Ed Davey plunges into the water after attempting an Aqua Jungle floating ropes course Credit: Justin Tallis/AFP He donned a wetsuit, fluorescent helmet and life jacket before climbing across the obstacle course and slipping off a tight-rope and swinging platforms into the water.

This is just the latest of Sir Ed’s stunts since campaigning began, including his attempt at paddleboarding on Windermere in Cumbria in May, where he fell into the water multiple times.

You can read the full story here


Nadine Dorires: It’s already over for the Tories Nadine Dorries has claimed it is already “over” for the Tories and questioned why party activists are still campaigning.

Ms Dorries, a former culture secretary, told Times Radio: “It’s over for the Conservative Party right now. I’m not even sure why candidates are bothering to go out and deliver leaflets, it’s over.

“But what I will say is this. In 1997, there was ‘Teflon Tony’ and Tony Blair is not Keir Starmer. And I think Labour are going to come into power, if they win, if something miraculous doesn’t happen in the next few weeks, and I think they will have a very difficult five years.

“That’s because politics right now is very difficult and that’s because of social media and various other factors coming into play. It’s very much about personality, as you’ve seen the campaign lit up by Nigel Farage, as you saw with Boris Johnson. There is not a lot of love out there with Keir Starmer.

“A lot of people will stay at home, he will come in at default, and I think he will find it very difficult to do what Tony Blair did and have those 13 years. So there is a chance for the Conservative Party to come back.”


‘Rishi Sunak’s Sky TV fund’ page set up A JustGiving page has been set up which mocks Rishi Sunak’s comments about not having Sky TV as a child.

When asked about his wealth and if he ever had to go without something he wanted, Mr Sunak told ITV’s Tonight programme: “There’ll be all sorts of things that I would’ve wanted as a kid that I couldn’t have.

“Famously, Sky TV, so that was something that we never had growing up actually. But it was lots of things but again, that’s my experience.”

A fundraising site, which will actually donate all proceeds to food bank charity The Trussell Trust, jokes “millions of people across the UK were heartbroken” to learn the Prime Minister had gone without satellite television in his youth.

“Rishi is now facing more hardship,” it reads. He is down to just one helicopter and he could soon be out of a job. Forced to live on just a PM’s pension and quite a few tens of millions in the bank, Rishi could once again be deprived of Sky TV. So I am asking you for help.”


‘Labour on the side of drivers? You must be kidding’ No tax rises. A clampdown on immigration. And massive increases in spending on the health service, writes Matthew Lynn.

We all take the pledges made during an election campaign with a generous pinch of salt, and voters have long since given up on expecting every promise will be fulfilled.

But hold on. With a vow today to be on “the side of drivers,” the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is surely taking this game of deception to a whole new level.

Coming from a party where local mayors and devolved administrations have attempted to turn sitting behind a steering wheel into an almost criminal activity, the chutzpah is breathtaking. The truth is that Labour hates cars, and the people who drive them – and it would be better for us all if they simply admitted that.

Matthew Lynn: Labour cannot claim to support motorists


Sunak has been ‘hardened on the battlefield’ Rishi Sunak has been “hardened on the battlefield” by almost a decade in Westminster, one of his ministers has said.

Kevin Hollinrake, the postal minister, told ITV’s Tonight: “We all kind of entered Parliament in 2015 full of the joys of spring.

“And I think we’ve all got a dose of political reality, which I think every politician gets when they enter the fray.

“So I think he’s been probably hardened on the battlefield.”


Labour’s advert van arrives in Grimsby Labour’s election advert van has arrived in Grimsby ahead of Sky’s Battle For Number 10 event tonight.

A screen on the side of the vehicle features a photograph of Sir Keir Starmer and the words: “I changed the Labour Party. Now I’m ready to change the country.”


Sunak: I’ve ‘absolutely not’ given up on winning this election Rishi Sunak insisted he has “absolutely not” given up on winning the general election on July 4 after Grant Shapps warned voters not to hand Labour a “super majority”.

Asked on the Tory battle bus as it travelled to Lincolnshire if he had given up, the Prime Minister said: “No, absolutely not.

“What you saw yesterday is we put the manifesto forward which has got a very clear set of tax cuts for the country, tax cuts at every stage of your life.

“Whether you’re working, setting up a small business, tax cuts when you’re trying to buy your first home, tax cuts for pensioners, and tax cuts for families. And I’m really energised to now have a chance to put our very clear plan to the country.”

Mr Shapps, the Defence Secretary, was asked this morning about Conservative Party social media adverts which suggested the Tories could be reduced to a rump of just 57 seats.

He said that Labour winning a “super majority” would be bad for democracy and put the UK in a “dangerous place”.


Former Tory minister: We should be prepared to ‘come together’ with Farage A former Conservative minister has caused controversy by choosing to put a picture of herself with Nigel Farage on her election leaflet, writes Will Hazell.

Dame Andrea Jenkyns, who is running for election in Leeds South West and Morley in West Yorkshire, included a picture of herself with the Reform UK leader on her campaign material.

Her party leader Rishi Sunak does not appear on the leaflet and nor are the Conservatives mentioned.

Defending her choice of campaign literature on X, Dame Andrea said her party should be prepared to “come together” with Reform to prevent a “socialist super-majority”:

Lots of excitement over my leaflet today… All conservatives must be prepared to come together to prevent a socialist supermajority and the end of Britain as we know it. #CountryFirst

— Andrea Jenkyns 🇬🇧 For Leeds South West & Morley (@andreajenkyns) June 12, 2024 2:52PM

Nigel Farage offered extra private security Nigel Farage has been offered additional private security by the Home Office after a milkshake and other objects were thrown at him during campaigning for the general election.

A cup and another object were thrown at the Reform UK leader while he was on top of a party battle bus in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, on Tuesday.

This followed an incident last week when a milkshake was thrown over the 60-year-old as he left a Wetherspoons pub in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex. Two people have been charged over the incidents.

It is understood that the Home Office has been in touch with the Reform UK leader to offer additional private security.

You can read more on this story here


Allison Pearson: Nigel Farage is already the leader of the Conservatives Mainstream Conservatives are disgusted with a party that stole our votes on false pretences, writes Allison Pearson.

We are no longer going to put up with being stigmatised as “far-Right” when our young adult children can’t afford a place to live or endure finger-wagging lectures by One Nation “centrists” – aka supercilious, semi-skimmed Lib Dems who make Tony Blair look like Margaret Thatcher.

The great immigration betrayal must rank as one of the most unforgivable things any political party has ever done to its supporters. It’s at the root of so many problems: housing, hospital queues, welfare benefits, crime.

Having broken their promise in every Conservative manifesto since 2010 (David Cameron said numbers would come down to the “tens of thousands”), a self-soothing globalist elite set about limiting the topics it was permissible to discuss. A “bit of a dog whistle” could swiftly shut down anyone who demurred.

Now that same lofty cabal informs us that it is all our fault the Tories are heading for a historic defeat. We are the stupid, short-sighted peasants who are going to usher in a Labour government because, strangely, we refuse to vote again for the party that has kicked us in the teeth – while simultaneously flooding the country with so many people we can’t find a dentist to get those teeth fixed.

Allison Pearson: Farage is a more convincing Tory than Sunak


Shapps misspeaks on national service scheme Labour claimed the Conservatives’ national service policy had been “plunged into disarray” after the Defence Secretary misspoke when talking about the military option.

The Tory manifesto promises “a year-long, full-time placement in the Armed Forces or cyber defence” as an alternative to volunteering placements for 25 days a year.

But in an interview with Good Morning Britain, Mr Shapps said: “From a Defence Secretary’s point of view, the very concept of being able to introduce 30,000 people for experience… They are not going to be… This is a 25-day thing in a year, for experience in our Armed Forces.”

Challenged on the pressures that military accommodation could face, he replied: “It’s not, as you presented, 30,000 people for over an entire year, it’s 25 days a year for those 30,000.”

A Conservative Party source claimed Mr Shapps was talking about an initial 25-day training period for those who opt for the military service option.


Good afternoon Dominic Penna here, The Telegraph’s Political Correspondent, guiding you through the rest of the day.

Rishi Sunak’s interview with ITV Tonight, presented by the channel’s Paul Brand, is set to air from 7pm.

Then Sky News’s The Battle for Number 10 will see Mr Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, face 20-minute interviews with Beth Rigby before a 25-minute question-and-answer session with a live audience in Grimsby.


Analysis: What Labour ‘super majority’ warnings say about Tory election hopes In the past couple of days, the Conservative Party’s campaign machine has turned up the dial on one particular argument.

It is subtle, but no less significant for that, writes Ben Riley-Smith.

So far in the race, Rishi Sunak has insisted that only the Tories can lower taxes, protect pensioners, keep the UK secure and the like.

The Tories will keep arguing that Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, has no plan for government, that you cannot be sure what you will get given his past record of about-turns.

Something else, though, has been expressed in recent days: the idea that Labour could be heading for a huge victory and that people need to vote Tory to provide some accountability when that happens.

You can read Ben’s piece of analysis in full here.


Green Party plans would see taxes rise by £170bn per year, says IFS The Green Party’s manifesto would see taxes rise by £170 billion per year, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Helen Miller, deputy director at the think tank, said: “The Green Party has set out a vision which would see the size of the state increase on an unprecedented scale: by the end of the next parliament they want to increase taxes by over £170 billion per year to fund a £160 billion boost to day-to-day public service spending.

“They also plan to spend an additional £90 billion a year on capital spending, which would be a particularly big increase. Even taking their figures at face value, overall borrowing would end up around £80 billion a year higher and we could expect debt to be rising throughout the next Parliament.”

Ms Miller also said that it was “unlikely” that the party’s proposed tax rises would generate the amount claimed and “certainly not without real economic cost”.


Pictured: PM speaks to pupils during a science lesson at a school in Grimsby Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, is pictured today speaking to pupils in a science lesson during a visit to John Whitgift Academy in Grimsby Credit: Dominic Lipinski /PA 1:39PM

Poll: Labour now level with SNP in Scotland The SNP and Labour are now tied in Scotland, according to a new Westminster voting intention poll published this afternoon.

A survey by Ipsos for STV spoke to 1,150 people across the country between June 3 and 9 and found both parties level on 36 per cent.

The SNP dropped three points compared with the firm’s last poll in January, while Labour increased its vote by four points.

The Tories sit on 13 per cent while the Lib Dems and Scottish Greens are on 5 per cent and 3 per cent respectively – with all three dropping a single point since January.


Local councils to impose LTNs under Labour government, says Starmer Local councils will be able to continue imposing low-traffic neighbourhoods under a Labour government, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

The Labour leader said that LTNs were a “good idea” in certain areas and said that it would be for “local authorities to decide” where they are implemented.

Asked whether he would take action to block LTNs, he said: “I think this is very much a matter for local people in their area to decide, according to their local council.”

You can read the full story here.


Sunak visits school ahead of TV interview Rishi Sunak is campaigning in North East Lincolnshire this afternoon ahead of the Sky News leaders’ special in Grimsby tonight, writes Tim Sigsworth.

The Prime Minister visited a school where he met teachers and pupils, being shown miniature DIY plastic wind turbines in a science class.

Mr Sunak then asked pupils want they wanted to be when they are older, with one saying: “Professional snooker player.”

At 7.30pm, Sky’s leaders’ special will see Mr Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer separately asked questions by Beth Rigby and a studio audience.


Quarter of 2019 Tory voters now think party deserves to lose every seat A quarter of those who voted Conservative in 2019 say the party deserves to lose all its seats at the general election, polling has found.

Nearly half of all voters also think Rishi Sunak’s party deserves to be totally wiped out, meaning a recent pivot by the Tories to flag the dangers of a Labour super-majority may not be as effective a strategy as they would hope.

Public First surveyed 2,011 UK adults between June 7 and 9 on what they expect and hope will happen when voters go to the polls on July 4.

You can read the full story here.


What is in the Green Party manifesto? Housing: Provide 150,000 new social homes every year and push for rent controls so councils can control rents in unaffordable areas.NHS: Guaranteed access to an NHS dentist and an “immediate boost to the pay of NHS staff”.Green energy: A £40 billion investment per year in the shift to a green economy over the next Parliament.Fossil fuels: Cancel recent fossil fuel licences and stop all new fossil fuel extraction projects in the UK.Nationalisation: Bring the railways, water companies and the Big 5 retail energy companies into public ownership. Carla Denyer, co-leader of the Green Party, left, and Adrian Ramsay, co-leader of the Green Party, right, during the launch of their general election manifesto in Hove Credit: Carlos Jasso/Bloomberg Tax: Introduce a wealth tax of 1 per cent annually on assets above £10 million and of 2 per cent on assets above £1bn.Pay: Increase the national living wage to £15 an hour for all age groups.Work: Shift to a four-day working week.Flying: Tax frequent flyers and ban domestic flights for journeys which would take less than three hours by train. 12:41PM

I spent my morning playing games on my phone, says Sunak Rishi Sunak said he spent his morning playing games on his mobile phone as he travelled north from London to campaign in Lincolnshire.

Speaking to reporters on the Conservative battle bus about what he did on the train, the Prime Minister said: “So I’m an avid on the road games player. I’ve got all the rest of them [No 10 advisers] playing now so we can make it very competitive.

“I do, do you know Connections? [I also do] Wordle, Sudoku, Solitaire.”

Asked what Connections was, he added: “My kids got me onto it. It’s 16 words, four groups of four. So you’ve just got to figure out. It was tricky.”


Sunak: I am running on sugar Rishi Sunak said he was running on sugar during the general election campaign as he journeyed to Lincolnshire for a campaign visit on the Conservative battle bus today.

Speaking to reporters on board, the Prime Minister said: “I’m always pumped. When am I not? You’ve seen me.

“I’m fuelled by enormous amounts of sugar. It’s hard not to be pumped between my Haribos and my Twixes and everything else.”


Starmer is hypocrite for comparing Tory manifesto to Jeremy Corbyn’s, says Sunak Sir Keir Starmer is a hypocrite for comparing the Tory manifesto to Jeremy Corbyn’s in 2019, Rishi Sunak has said.

The Labour leader made the remarks yesterday despite being a shadow frontbencher under Mr Corbyn and endorsing his manifesto.

Asked if that made Sir Keir a hypocrite, the Prime Minister said: “I think you’ve largely answered your own question. All I say is, people can see there’s a very clear contrast at this election.

“I’m really pleased that we’ve put together a clear plan for the country. It contains a set of bold actions and crucially, it cuts people’s taxes at every stage of their lives.”


I had a ‘very fortunate’ upbringing, admits Sunak after ITV interview backlash Rishi Sunak has said he had a “very fortunate” upbringing after facing a backlash for saying he had to go without Sky TV as a child, writes Tim Sigsworth.

Speaking on the Tory campaign battle bus, the Prime Minister said: “I was very, very fortunate that my parents had good jobs.

“My dad was a GP and my mum was a pharmacist, and they worked really hard to support me and my brother and sister and I’m really grateful to them for that and actually more importantly than material things what they did for all of us was instill in us a sense of hard work, and service, but also just provide an enormous amount of love.

“And that’s the most important thing that they did for us and I’m very grateful for that. And that’s why I’m very fortunate that the reality of the situation is my grandparents emigrated in this country with very little and in three generations, I’m sitting here talking to you as prime minister.

“And I think that says an enormous amount about our country because I don’t think my story would be possible pretty much anywhere else in the world.”


Starmer reveals first car as Labour pledge help for motorists Sir Keir Starmer has revealed what he had as his first car, as he set out plans for Labour to fix up to a million potholes a year if they enter government, writes Genevieve Holl-Allen.

The Labour leader’s first car was a Morris Minor, for which he paid £125, adding that it “fell apart pretty quickly”.

He added: “The second one was the Morris Minor, it was one of those ones with an extension on the back, those wooden ones which was called ‘the hedge’ because it was so dilapidated. Moss was growing out of it, that sort of thing. But I was very fond of that car until it too fell apart.”

He described his first car as his “first and proudest purchase” and that driving was in his “blood”.


Tory voices calling for more radical action ‘cherrypicked’, says PM Rishi Sunak dismissed the suggestion that his manifesto should have been more radical.

Asked about the lukewarm reaction from some quarters, the Prime Minister said: “I think you’ve cherrypicked one or two. There’s plenty of others that are really excited about what we’re doing, and that’s because it is genuinely bold.

“Cutting taxes at every stage of their lives.”


I have not given up, says Sunak Rishi Sunak has denied that the Conservatives have given up trying to win the general election after Grant Shapps urged voters not to give Labour a “super majority”, writes Tim Sigsworth.

Asked on the Tory battle bus which is travelling to Lincolnshire if he had given up, the Prime Minister said: “No, absolutely not.

“What you saw yesterday is we put the manifesto forward which has got a very clear set of tax cuts for the country, tax cuts at every stage of your life.

“Whether you’re working, setting up a small business, tax cuts when you’re trying to buy your first home, tax cuts for pensioners, and tax cuts for families.

“And I’m really energised to now have a chance to put our very clear plan to the country.”


Main parties ‘running away’ from climate promises, claim Greens Other parties are “running away” from their climate promises, Adrian Ramsay, co-leader of the Green Party has said.

Mr Ramsay told the Party’s manifesto launch: “If you look at the other parties, the climate crisis has been pretty much absent from this election campaign so far.

“The other parties are running away from their promises on climate. Only the Greens understand that the solutions to the climate crisis are also the solutions to the cost of living crisis. The climate crisis is the most serious we face as a global community. Our commitment to you is that protecting our climate and nature lies at the heart of all of our policies. “


Greens would push Labour not to ‘backtrack’ on promises Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay said the party is “realistic” that it does “not expect to form the next government”.

Speaking at the party’s manifesto launch in Brighton and Hove, he said: “When the Conservatives are booted out of No 10 on July 4 and Labour take over, we plan to be there in Parliament in greater numbers to speak up for you on the issues that you care about like a revitalised NHS, bold action on the climate and a fair economy.

“Because with more Green MPs in Parliament, we will push Labour to stop backtracking on their promises.

“We will be there to drive them to be braver, to be more ambitious, not to take timid baby steps towards change but to actually do what’s necessary to fix our country and get us back on track.”

Finishing off their speech, he said: “So this is our offer to voters – a manifesto that lays out exactly what real hope and real change looks like. An ambitious but realistic plan for the future that we can be proud of.”


Nigel Farage: Election ‘is over’ and Labour will win ‘big majority’ Nigel Farage claimed the general election is already over and Labour is going to win a “big majority”.

The Reform UK leader said he believed he was best placed to lead the opposition to a Labour government in the House of Commons.

He said in a campaign update video posted on Twitter: “This election is over. Labour are going to win. They are going to have a big majority.

“But who is the voice of opposition going to be because after all we need proper opposition for our democracy to function.

“Rishi says don’t give Labour a blank cheque by voting for Reform and Grant Shapps has been out on the media repeating that line.

“Do you know what? The real blank cheque to Labour would be if the Conservatives were still in opposition.”

Mr Farage said a defeated Conservative Party would be too busy fighting and arguing “amongst themselves” to scrutinise a Labour government and a Reform-led opposition would provide a “clean start”.


Tories are ‘loathed’ by many of their 2019 backers, claims Farage Nigel Farage claimed the Tories do not realise how “loathed” they are by many of the people who voted for the Conservative Party at the 2019 general election.

The Reform UK leader said: “I don’t think this Conservative Party quite understand how loathed they are by about 50 per cent of the people that voted for them in 2019.”

He pointed to the Tories’ failure to deliver on an old pledge to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands and said: “It is called betrayal. That is literally what it is.”


Farage: Reform membership up by 50 per cent Nigel Farage said Reform UK’s membership has grown by 50 per cent since he announced his return to front-line politics last week.

The Reform leader said that “money has started to come in and we needed it very, very badly” as he posted a campaign update on Twitter.

Mr Farage said Reform had “nowhere near the firepower of our opponents but it is coming in and that is good news”.


Greens pledge to nationalise water, railways and energy companies The Green Party’s manifesto sets out a “bold but simple plan” to nationalise the nation’s water companies, railways and big five retail energy companies.

“This would end the rip off of rising bills, appalling service and shareholders trousering millions,” Carla Denyer, the party’s co-leader said as she addressed activists in Hove.

The Greens would fund their plans by asking the top one per cent of earners to pay a “bit more into the pot”.

Co-leaders of the Green Party Carla Denyer (R) and Adrian Ramsay (C) and Green Party Parliamentary candidate for Brighton Pavilion, Sian Berry (L) Credit: Alishia Abodunde /Getty Images Europe 11:20AM

Green Party manifesto will ‘mend broken Britain’, says Carla Denyer Carla Denyer, the co-leader of the Green Party, said the party’s manifesto contained measures to “mend broken Britain”.

Speaking in Hove, Ms Denyer said: “Our manifesto is based on investing to mend broken Britain and offer real hope and real change.”

Ms Denyer said the Greens planned to “transform our economy for good”.

She said: “We can’t go on with an economy where most people are working harder and yet getting poorer while inequality keeps growing.”


Green Party launches election manifesto The Green Party is launching its election manifesto this morning with pledges for a wealth tax, a ban on domestic flights and a four-day working week, writes Amy Gibbons.

Candidates with Green placards are lining the stage in Hove, where co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay are due to speak shortly.

The Greens’ policies include introducing a new wealth tax of 1 per cent annually on assets above £10 million and 2 percent on those above £2 billion, banning domestic flights for journeys which would take less than three hours by train, and moving to a four-day working week.

The party would also bring in a carbon tax and a frequent flyer levy, halt the expansion of new airport capacity, end immigration detention for all migrants unless they pose a danger to public safety, and introduce universal basic income in the long term.


Pictured: Starmer and Haigh visit technical training college in Grimsby Sir Keir Starmer and Louise Haigh visit a technical training college in Grimsby this morning Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA 11:12AM

ITV confirms line-up for seven-way debate ITV has confirmed the seven politicians who will take part in its multi-party debate tomorrow night.

The 90 minute debate is due to get underway at 8.30pm and it will feature:

Penny Mordaunt for the Conservative PartyAngela Rayner for the Labour PartyDaisy Cooper for the Liberal Democrats Stephen Flynn for the SNP Nigel Farage for Reform UKCarla Denyer for the Green PartyRhun ap Iorwerth for Plaid Cymru 10:59AM

Labour leader denies election victory is in the bag Sir Keir Starmer denied that a comfortable Labour victory was now all but inevitable on July 4.

Asked whether this was the case, he told reporters in Grimsby: “No. we know that we have to earn every vote. Not a single vote has been cast and I know that every day we have to make a positive case for change.

“We will show in our manifesto that we have a plan for the country to renew, to rebuild, setting out the six steps that we will do on day one with our sleeves rolled up, but we need a mandate for that and we need to have the backing of the country for the change that I think the country needs.

“So I say what I said at the beginning of this campaign, if you do want change you have to vote for change.”


Starmer wants ‘mandate to change the country’ on July 4 Sir Keir Starmer said he is seeking a “mandate to change the country” at the general election on July 4.

Speaking to broadcasters in Grimsby this morning, the Labour leader said: “We will set out our manifesto tomorrow. It will be a positive case in detail about the future of our country, how we renew and how we rebuild.

“I am not complacent about this. I know that every single vote has to be earned. Nobody has cast a vote in this election yet.

“But it is important, I think, for the country that we have change and I think for change we need a mandate so that we can go forward, turn our back now on the chaos, the division and the failure of the last 14 years and start to rebuild our country with the first steps that we will start on on day one.

“So I am seeking to earn those votes and I say to every voter, if you want change you have to vote for change, we need a mandate to change the country and take our country forward.”


Tories: Labour choosing eco drive over motorists The Tories claimed Labour was continuing to “sacrifice motorists for their eco zealot agenda” as they responded to the opposition’s pledge to fix one million extra potholes a year (see the post below at 08.54).

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “We will take no lectures on backing drivers from the party that has declared war on motorists across Britain.

“Blanket 20mph roads, ULEZ expansions, banning new roads, road charging, or failing to back fuel duty freezes – all clear examples that Labour continues to sacrifice motorists for their eco zealot agenda.

“Only the Conservatives have a clear plan and are taking bold action to back Britons on the road. Labour would take us right back to square one.”


Analysis: Why Sunak could not risk playing his boldest hand Anyone hoping Rishi Sunak’s choice of Silverstone for the Tory manifesto launch meant he would go full throttle with tax cuts and a withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), might have been disappointed with the document he produced.

Like any F1 driver though, Mr Sunak knows you can’t win the race if you crash halfway through it, writes Gordon Rayner.

Unlike Theresa May, who failed to anticipate the trap Labour would spring by turning her social care plan into the dementia tax in 2017, Mr Sunak has looked at his policies through his opponents’ eyes and junked anything that they could turn against him.

You can read Gordon’s analysis piece in full here.


Rachel Reeves leaves door open to increase in capital gains tax The shadow chancellor has left the door open to an increase in capital gains tax under a Labour government.

Rachel Reeves refused to deny her party could change the levy in its first Budget to spend more on public services.

Labour has ruled out any rises in income tax and National Insurance if it wins the election on July 4.

But at a press conference yesterday, Ms Reeves repeatedly failed to make the same commitment about capital gains tax, only saying she had “no plans” to increase the charge.

You can read the full story here.


Hunt predicts re-election battle could be decided by 1,500 votes Jeremy Hunt has predicted his political fate could be determined by “1,500 votes or fewer” as he faces a tight re-election battle.

The Chancellor won his seat of South West Surrey in 2019 with a majority of almost 9,000, with the Liberal Democrats in second place.

But that seat was abolished under the boundary review and Mr Hunt is now standing in the newly created constituency of Godalming and Ash.

He told Bloomberg: “There’s all to play for. This seat is probably going to be won or lost by the Conservatives by 1,500 votes or fewer.”


Tory ‘tax scare tactics won’t work’, says Lord Kinnock The Conservative Party’s “tax scare tactics won’t work”, a former leader of the Labour Party said.

The Toiries have claimed that Labour would put taxes up by more than £2,000. Labour has rejected the claim.

Lord Kinnock said the Tories having presided over tax rises in recent years meant such attacks would not land.

He told Bloomberg: “Now is different: We’re operating against the background of scores of Tory tax rises. Their reputation as a tax-cutting party is in shreds.”

Lord Kinnock, the former leader of the Labour Party Credit: Hollie Adams /Bloomberg 9:18AM

Lord Kinnock: Starmer needs ‘room to manoeuvre’ on tax rises Lord Kinnock, the former leader of the Labour Party, suggested Sir Keir Starmer would be wise not to box himself in by ruling out too many tax rises.

Labour has ruled out increasing income tax, VAT, National Insurance and corporation tax.

But the party has refused to rule out making changes to other levies like capital gains tax.

Lord Kinnock told Bloomberg that “every government needs room to manoeuvre” so it can respond to events.

He said: “Five years is a very long time in fiscal regime: Neither voters nor politicians can escape that reality.”


Shapps stumbles on Tory stamp duty pledge Grant Shapps gave the wrong figure for the Conservative Party’s new stamp duty policy during an interview on LBC this morning.

The Defence Secretary told presenter Nick Ferrari that stamp duty would be abolished for first-time buyers on homes valued up to £450,000.

Later in the show Mr Ferrari put it to Mr Shapps that the policy is actually set at £425,000.

Mr Shapps said: “You’ve got a number in front of you, you’re probably right, because I was thinking off the top of my head.”

Mr Ferrari said: “So you’re the Secretary of State for Defence, sent out today to talk, and you don’t get the number right…”

The Cabinet minister replied: “If it’s written down as 425 it’s 425. Off the top of my head I remember it as 450. I found it here… you’re right, it’s 425 million…”

Mr Ferrari interrupted: “I think it’s £425,000.”

Mr Shapps said: “Sorry, indeed.”


‘More to do’ to improve UK economy, say Tories The Tories said there is “more to do” to improve the UK economy as they responded to this morning’s GDP data from the Office for National Statistics (see the post below at 07.04).

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “Today’s figures show our economy grew by 0.7 per cent in the three months to April.

“There is more to do, but the economy is turning a corner and inflation is back down to normal. This election is a choice. Under the Conservatives, we can keep the economy growing with our clear plan to cut taxes on work, homes and pensions, or we can risk all that progress with Labour’s £2,094 of tax rises on every working family.”

Labour has rejected the Conservatives’ £2,000 tax claim.


Labour promises to fix one million extra potholes a year A Labour government would fix one million extra potholes a year, Sir Keir Starmer has pledged.

The opposition leader said the number of road craters in need of repair across the country was a “plague” as he promised to tackle the issue if elected on July 4.

Contractors filled in just over two million potholes last year but the RAC estimates there are still around a million potholes at any given time as British roads continue to crumble.

You can read the full story here.


Starmer fails to rule out fuel duty increase at first Budget Sir Keir Starmer failed to rule out an increase in fuel duty at a Labour government’s first Budget.

The Labour leader said he had supported an ongoing freeze to fuel duty but he would not give a firm commitment to maintaining it if he wins power.

Speaking to The Sun newspaper, Sir Keir said: “What I am not going to do is write future Budgets.

“The campaign The Sun runs comes up Budget by Budget and it has to be decided Budget by Budget but our track record on this is pretty consistent with The Sun’s campaign. We have actually backed it every time.”

Fuel duty has been frozen for 14 years in a row.


Starmer recounts love for family’s Ford Cortina Sir Keir Starmer has recounted his love for his family’s first car, a Ford Cortina.

The Labour leader said he would spend all day cleaning the vehicle when he was a small child and that he “loved” driving but could no longer get behind the wheel as much as he would like.

The Labour leader told The Sun: “I do still drive because I love driving, I have always loved driving, and that is something that has been throughout.

“The first car we ever got as a family was a Ford Cortina. My dad loved driving, I loved this car. You can imagine the scene when I was about four or five years old, I was outside cleaning the car the whole time.

“He loved driving, I love driving, I still do drive because I love it, a little bit, not as much as I like to.”


Shapps denies Sunak ‘completely tone deaf’ on D-Day Grant Shapps denied Rishi Sunak was “completely tone deaf” on D-Day after it emerged the Prime Minister said he was late for a TV interview because commemorations had “ran over”.

The Prime Minister left commemorations in Normandy in order to return to the UK and conduct a general election interview with ITV.

A clip of the PM arriving at the interview showed that Mr Sunak apologised to the presenter for being late as he said the “incredible” commemorations “all just ran over”.

It was suggested to Mr Shapps this morning during an interview on Sky News that the clip showed Mr Sunak was “completely tone deaf”.

But the Defence Secretary said: “No. First of all, I was at the D-Day events and he was there meeting British veterans.

“The part that he didn’t attend had no British veterans at it at all and he has rightly, I think, issued his apology for it.

“We can carry on going round and round in circles. I think the more interesting thing is what does he really think about our veterans? What is his actual belief in this.

“And he is a Prime Minister who has from day one of his administration had a veterans’ minister in his own Cabinet. I don’t recall a time when we have had a veterans’ minister sit in the Cabinet in order to promote all the interests of veterans.”

Mr Shapps said Mr Sunak had done a “huge amount for veterans”.


Defence Secretary: Tax burden will be lower by 2030 under Tories The overall tax burden will be lower by 2030 than it is now if the Tories are re-elected, Grant Shapps said this morning.

The Defence Secretary told Sky News: “The year that we target is the last year of the Parliament, so 2030, and in that time we would see a reduction in the overall tax burden, not least because we have already, as people know from their own pay packets have cut a third off of National Insurance.”


Cutting welfare bill by £12bn will not be ‘particularly difficult’, says Shapps Grant Shapps said it will not be “particularly difficult” for the Tories to shave £12 billion off of the nation’s welfare bill in order to pay for tax cuts.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank said yesterday that it had a “degree of scepticism” that the cost saving plan would deliver the savings the Tories anticipated.

But Mr Shapps, the Defence Secretary, told Sky News this morning: “On the welfare side, I don’t think that will be particularly difficult. It is important to know that the welfare budget has ballooned post-Covid by I think about £34 billion and we are suggesting £12 billion of that will be reduced.”

Grant Shapps, the Defence Secretary, is interviewed by Kay Burley on Sky News this morning Credit: Sky News 7:30AM

Defence Secretary: ‘Massive majority’ for Labour would put UK in ‘dangerous place’ Labour winning a “massive majority” would put the country in a “dangerous place”, Grant Shapps warned this morning.

The Defence Secretary said there is still “everything to fight for” ahead of July 4 but warned against handing Sir Keir Starmer a bigger majority than Sir Tony Blair secured in 1997.

Mr Shapps told Times Radio: “It is a fact of course that if you ended up with a party with massive majority, unchecked power, able to do anything they wanted, and with the instincts of, we would argue, with Keir Starmer’s party on all sorts of things from raising people’s tax to their lack of support for increased defence spending, we think that would be a dangerous place to put this country.

“But no one has cast a vote… there is everything to fight for and we are fighting for every single seat in this country.

“The polls have been wrong before. But I think it is perfectly legitimate to say the country doesn’t function well when you get majorities the size of Blair’s or even bigger and we would say there are a lot of very good, hard working MPs who can hold the government of the day to account and we’d say those are Conservative MPs.”


Shapps warns voters not to hand Labour ‘super majority’ Grant Shapps has warned voters not to hand Labour a “super majority” at the general election, arguing it would be unwise to give Sir Keir Starmer “unchecked” power.

The Defence Secretary was asked about Conservative Party social media adverts which suggested the Tories could be reduced to a rump of just 57 seats.

He told Times Radio: “I think the simple point is that if you want to make sure that in this next government, whoever forms it, that there is a proper system of accountability, then we would argue that you don’t want to have somebody receive a super majority and in this case of course the concern would be that if Keir Starmer were to go into No 10, it will either be Rishi Sunak or Keir Starmer.

“There is no other outcome to this election, and that power was in some way unchecked it would be very bad news for people in this country.

“A blank cheque approach, allowing someone to do anything they wanted, particularly when their particular set of plans are so vague.”


Tories have ‘utterly failed’ to deliver economic growth, claim Lib Dems The Liberal Democrats claimed the Tories had “utterly failed” to deliver economic growth as the party responded to today’s GDP figures (see the post below at 07.04).

Sarah Olney, the party’s Treasury spokesperson, said: “As Rishi Sunak’s time as Prime Minister peters out, so does the UK’s economic growth.

“The Conservatives have utterly failed to deliver the growth they repeatedly promised, instead presiding over stagnation and economic misery for hardworking families across the country.

“The Conservatives’ manifesto shows they simply lack the ambition and vision to get the economy moving again. It’s clear for voters across the country that the only way to make it happen is to vote them out of office on 4 July.”


Rachel Reeves: UK economy has ‘stalled’ Rachel Reeves said the UK economy had “stalled” and no growth in April (see the post below at 07.04) exposed the “damage done after 14 years of Conservative chaos”.

The shadow chancellor said: “Rishi Sunak claims we have turned a corner, but the economy has stalled and there is no growth.

“These figures expose the damage done after 14 years of Conservative chaos. We are now in the third week of this general election campaign and in that time the Labour Party has set out its plan to grow the economy by bringing back stability, unlocking private sector investment and reforming our planning system.

“All the Conservatives are offering is more of the same, with a desperate wish list of unfunded spending promises that will mean £4,800 more on people’s mortgages. Rishi Sunak’s plan is a recipe for five more years of Tory chaos.

“It’s time for change. The election on 4 July is a chance to vote Labour so we can end the chaos, turn the page and rebuild our economy.”

Rishi Sunak claims we have turned a corner, but the economy has stalled and there is no growth.

The Conservatives have failed.

It’s time for change.

— Rachel Reeves (@RachelReevesMP) June 12, 2024 7:04AM

UK economy did not grow in April The UK economy recorded no growth in April, according to data published by the Office for National Statistics this morning.

That followed growth of 0.4 per cent in March.


Sunak is late to ITV interview and blames it on D-Day event that ‘ran over’ Rishi Sunak was late for the television interview he left the D-Day commemorations for – and blamed it on the Normandy event which he said had “ran over”.

The Prime Minister cut away from last week’s event with world leaders that marked the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings at Normandy so he could record an interview with ITV as part of the general election campaign.

Mr Sunak has apologised for missing the remainder of the commemorations and on Monday asked D-Day veterans to “find it in their hearts” to forgive him.

At the start of the interview for ITV’s Tonight programme, Mr Sunak apologised to presenter Paul Brand for being late, saying the “incredible” commemorations in Normandy “all just ran over”.

You can read the full story and watch the clip of the PM here.


What is happening in the general election campaign today? Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer will square off in their second election showdown tonight in Grimsby, hosted by Sky News. The battle will have an interesting dynamic as it straddles the two manifesto releases, with the Tories’ plans ripe for interrogation while Labour’s remain under wraps until tomorrow.

Mr Sunak will kick off the day campaigning in North East Lincolnshire, while Sir Keir and Louise Haigh, his shadow transport secretary, are in Humberside to set out Labour’s pitch to motorists.

Sir Ed Davey, the Lib Dem leader, is heading to Warwickshire and later Surrey to talk about the party’s plans for a Clean Water Authority.

It’s manifesto launch day for the Green Party, who will be making their pitch to the nation in Hove. Co-leaders Adrian Ramsay and Carla Denyer will be joined by deputy leader Zack Polanski and parliamentary candidates including Sian Berry.

North of the border, Anas Sarwar, the Scottish Labour leader, will outline his party’s vision for the NHS in Edinburgh, where SNP leader John Swinney is also out campaigning with candidate Joanna Cherry.

Then it’s all eyes on Sky News this evening, where Mr Sunak and Sir Keir take to the stage for their second big televised event. The format will be different from ITV’s, with 20-minute sit down interviews followed by 25-minutes of questions from the audience.


‘Not the time to be critical,’ says Rees-Mogg after Tory manifesto launch Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg said it was “not the time to critical” as he responded to yesterday’s launch of the Tory manifesto.

The former Cabinet minister said he believed many of the pledges made by Rishi Sunak were “really important”.

Asked for his reaction to the manifesto, Sir Jacob told GB News: “It is not the time to be critical. I am a Conservative candidate in a general election, I am supporting what the Conservative Party is setting out and what Rishi Sunak is setting out.

“And what he has set out is very clear. It is a policy of ensuring that taxes do begin to come down after a period of consolidation, that migration is reduced, both legal and illegal, and that policies are implemented that will help people set up businesses, will reduce the National Insurance on the self-employed, will encourage enterprise.

“This is, I think, really important.”


Rees-Mogg: Tories need ‘coalition’ with Reform Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg said the Tories needed to form a campaign “coalition” with Reform UK because the Conservative vote is split.

A YouGov survey published yesterday put the Tories just one point ahead of Reform, 18 per cent to 17 per cent.

Sir Jacob, the former business secretary, told GB News: “If the Conservatives and Reform are very close, what does that tell you about dividing the Tory family?

“If you divide the Tory family you make it worse for both parts, the in-laws and the outlaws, so to speak, and that what we need is a coalition, a coalescence, of the various parts of the Tory party family.”