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Home > General Election Latest: Send Me To Parliament To Be A Bloody Nuisance, Declares Farage

General Election Latest: Send Me To Parliament To Be A Bloody Nuisance, Declares Farage

4 June 2024 • 1:10pm


What does Reform UK stand for? My colleague Dominic Penna has done a deep dive on Reform UK’s policies.

You can find out everything you need to know about where the party stands on key issues here.


Farage thanks Clacton voters after huge crowd watches campaign launch 12:47PM

Cleverly won’t be drawn on quitting ECHR James Cleverly would not be drawn into saying whether the Conservatives could pledge during the election campaign to leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Asked whether ECHR withdrawal could be on the table, the Home Secretary told broadcasters during a visit to Rochester, Kent: “We have already put forward a set of proposals which are having an effect, we are bringing down illegal migration.

“We have got plans to bring it down even further and we are going to do so in a way that supports the UK economy as well.”

Rishi Sunak has previously hinted he would be prepared to exit the ECHR if it blocked his Rwanda flights.


Tory migration policies not dictated by any other party, insists Cleverly No other political party is dictating the Conservatives’ migration policy, James Cleverly has said.

Asked by broadcasters if the Tories could move further to the Right as a result of Nigel Farage’s return to front-line politics, the Home Secretary and Conservative candidate for Braintree said: “Conservative policies are created with the British people in mind.

“We focus on their needs, on the needs of the British economy and the British people, and our policies are not dictated by any party.

“We have got a credible plan, it is a plan which is already working, bringing those migration figures down and projected to continue to do so under a Conservative government.

“No other party has got a credible plan for migration. Not Reform, not the Lib Dems, not Labour.”


Farage calls for ‘people’s army’ to get UK ‘back on track’ Nigel Farage urged voters in Clacton to become a “people’s army” to help get the country “back on track”.

He said: “Thank you for coming along this morning in such unbelievable numbers. Always risky doing an outdoor event but you are here.

“But I want to ask this of you. Coming along, enjoying the circus, agreeing with me is one thing but what we need is to reactivate a people’s army, a people’s army against the establishment, a people’s army who want to get this country back on track.”

A group of supporters shouted “hip-hip hooray” and sung “for he’s a jolly good fellow” after Mr Farage ended his stump speech.

A supporter in Clacton holds a banner reading ‘Nigel Farage For Our New Prime Minister’ Credit: Ben Stansall /AFP 12:19PM

Farage vows to be a ‘bloody nuisance’ if elected as an MP Nigel Farage urged the voters of Clacton to “send him to Parliament to be a bloody nuisance”.

He said: “I will stand up and fight for you, I will give you my best and I will do what I have done for the last quarter of a century in politics, I will be unafraid, despite what everybody says, despite what names they call me, they are so stupid it only encourages me really, in fact, send me to Parliament to be a bloody nuisance.”

Nigel Farage, the Reform leader, addresses a large crowd in Clacton this afternoon Credit: James Manning /PA 12:17PM

Farage vows to put Clacton ‘on the map’ Nigel Farage said Reform UK will “stand up for the little guy” in Parliament if he is elected as an MP.

He said his party would “get British people back to work”.

The Reform leader also said that if he becomes an MP he will “put Clacton on the map”.


Labour and Tories not patriotic, Farage tells huge crowd in Clacton Nigel Farage said he had “no confidence” that Labour would reduce net migration levels.

The Reform leader then questioned the patriotism of both Labour and the Tories.

He told the crowd in Clacton: “They are not genuinely patriotic people, they don’t believe in Britain and the British people the way that you do.”


Farage: Tories deserve to pay ‘big price’ over immigration Nigel Farage said the Tories deserved to pay a “big price” for their handling of immigration.

Speaking in Clacton the Reform leader said: “I campaigned here with Douglas Carswell, your MP, and in the end we made an offer to the British people. We could get back our independence and control of our borders.

“But what has happened, the Conservatives have betrayed that trust. They opened up the borders to mass immigration like we have never seen before and they deserve to pay a price for that. A big price for that.”


Farage: No Brexit without Clacton Nigel Farage is now addressing what is a very large crowd in Clacton.

There are hundreds of people gathered to listen to the Reform leader.

He told them: “This place played a pivotal role back in 2014 and it got us, without Clacton Brexit would not have happened, so thank you Clacton.”


Crowds gather for Nigel Farage in Clacton Scores of people have gathered at Clacton pier for Nigel Farage’s first appearance in the constituency after announcing he wants to become its MP, writes Ben Riley-Smith.

Chatting to those who have turned out it is clear that there is excitement among his supporters. Some appeared not to know who Richard Tice, the man he has replaced as Reform leader, was when asked.

When pressed about why they plan to vote for Mr Farage, immigration is coming up a lot among those here, though interestingly no specific policies.

Instead it is the broad idea that the Tories have lost control of the border and that Mr Farage is the only one talking about tackling the issue.


Ex-Tory MP urges Farage not to stand against some Conservative candidates A former Tory MP has urged Nigel Farage not to stand Reform candidates in seats where there are Right-wing Conservatives battling for election.

Marco Longhi said that as things stand it looked like there would be an “overwhelming win by Labour” on July 4.

He told The Times: “It feels like there is going to be an overwhelming win by Labour. Why target certain MPs who have a track record of Reform-type politics?

“If you want to remove even those with traditional conservative views there will be absolutely no coalition left to have in parliament. If he wins and becomes an MP they will have no one to partner with.”


Pictured: Sir Ed Davey topples the ‘Blue Wall’ during visit to Stockport Sir Ed Davey topples a “Blue Wall” of Jenga bricks during a visit to Stockport this morning Credit: Dinendra Haria /London News Pictures Ltd 11:32AM

Tory candidate gives honest assessment of life on campaign trail A minister has given a brutally honest assessment of life on the general election campaign trail as he said yesterday was a “pretty s— day” following Nigel Farage’s return to the front-line.

Johnny Mercer, the minister for veterans’ affairs and the Conservative candidate in Plymouth Moor View, said election campaigns are “pretty hard going”.

He said in a campaign video posted on Twitter: “Morning Plymouth! It’s another fantastic day on the campaign trail. Everyone’s feeling really good… no they’re not really. It’s pretty hard going these general elections, I’ll be honest with you.

“It’s raining, everyone’s pretty tired, and yesterday was a pretty s— day. But we are going to get up and keep going because I want you to come out and vote on July 4.”

Day 13 campaign update..

Tough going. But I am as determined as ever. And don’t be dazzled by Nigel.. you will simply get Labour MP’s and a Labour Prime Minister.

— Rt Hon Johnny Mercer (@JohnnyMercerUK) June 4, 2024 11:24AM

Top Tory donors ‘withhold donations’ from party’s election campaign Three top Tory donors will not support the party’s general election campaign after private polling showed the Conservatives are on course for defeat.

The trio – billionaire Sir Leonard Blavatnik, Ron Dennis, the former McLaren group owner, and Selva Pankaj, chief executive of education company Regent Group – have concluded that further money will not help the Tories preserve their majority, the Financial Times reported.

You can read the full story here.


Coming up: Nigel Farage to launch election campaign in Clacton Nigel Farage will launch his general election campaign in his chosen seat of Clacton at noon.

Mr Farage electrified the campaign yesterday as he reversed his decision not to stand and also replaced Richard Tice as Reform leader.

Reform sources have suggested the party’s open-top double-decker bus may well be making an appearance at lunchtime.


Pictured: Cleverly talks to journalists on the Tory battle bus during visit to Kent James Cleverly, the Home Secretary, talks to journalists on the Conservative Party battle bus during a campaign visit to Kent Credit: Belinda Jiao /Reuters 10:54AM

Cleverly denies passing the buck on immigration visa cap James Cleverly denied that giving the Migration Advisory Committee a role in setting the level of the Tories’ proposed immigration visa cap amounted to passing the buck to a quango.

The Home Secretary told reporters in Kent: “What this is about is making sure we have a proper, balanced assessment of both the advantages and costs of migration.”

Comparing the process to votes on the Budget, he said: “The Government takes analysis, it makes policy and it is tested in a vote in Parliament.”

The Tories’ plan would see the MAC tasked with recommending a cap which would then be voted on by Parliament.


Have your general election questions answered As the country prepares for its first national vote since 2019, The Telegraph’s political correspondent, Dominic Penna, will be answering your questions about the contest on Thursday June 6 at 5pm.

So if you have a question about the general election, please submit it using the form below:


Labour leader ‘looking forward’ to first TV showdown with Sunak Sir Keir Starmer said he was “looking forward” to his head-to-head TV debate with Rishi Sunak tonight.

Asked how he was feeling ahead of the clash with the Prime Minister at 9pm on ITV, the Labour leader said: “Very good, looking forward to the opportunity to speak directly to voters through the debate to put our case, because at the end of the day it is that clear choice, and I think voters will see that tonight.”


Starmer has not spoken to Abbott amid row over candidate selection Sir Keir Starmer said he has not spoken to Diane Abbott since the row over her selection as a candidate, but added his team had been in touch with her.

He told broadcasters at the Bridge Cafe in Bolton: “I have spoken to Diane two or three months ago, my team have obviously been speaking to her, but that decision is taken, that’s clear.

“The question now before the country is about the decision, the choice, that will fall to be made on July 4, which is continuing with this chaos and division or turning the page and starting to rebuild the country with Labour.”

Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee is expected to meet today to formally agree the party’s candidate list for the election. Ms Abbott is expected to be on the list as she seeks re-election in her Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, is pictured this morning at the Bridge Cafe in Bolton before talking to pensioners about the impact of the energy crisis Credit: Stefan Rousseau /PA 10:31AM

Starmer repeatedly fails to guarantee net migration would fall under Labour Sir Keir Starmer has repeatedly refused to guarantee that net migration would fall under a Labour government.

He criticised the Tories for failing to set a number for their new visa cap but could not give a firm commitment that he would deliver a cut to the overall numbers.

Asked if he could guarantee that net migration would fall every year under a Labour government, Sir Keir told broadcasters that he wanted “immigration to come down, it is far too high”.

Asked against if he could guarantee a cut every year, he said: “Net migration is far too high. This Government has lost control.”

Asked for a third time if he could guarantee net migration would fall under Labour, Sir Keir said: “They need to come down, we have got a plan to bring them down but you can’t wish them down. That is what the Tories are doing.”


Immigration ‘out of control’ under Tories, says Starmer Sir Keir Starmer claimed immigration was “out of control” as he criticised a Tory plan to introduce a cap on visa numbers.

Speaking to broadcasters during a campaign visit to the north west of England this morning, the Labour leader said: “The Conservatives have let immigration get out of control. We have got record numbers of people coming to this country and they have now said they are going to have a visa cap, they have not said what the number is, so you have got a visa cap without a cap.

“We did have a visa cap before. Rishi Sunak argued to get rid of it which they did in 2020 and now they are going back to it without a number. It is utter chaos.”


Pictured: Sir Ed Davey speaks to broadcasters in central London Sir Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, is pictured this morning speaking to broadcasters in central London Credit: Jonathan Hordle /Shutterstock 10:08AM

George Osborne predicts Tories will pledge to scrap inheritance tax George Osborne has predicted the Conservatives will pledge to abolish inheritance tax as “one big throw of the tax dice” to try and transform their electoral fortunes.

The former chancellor said that if polls continue to predict a wipeout for the Tories at the election, then there would be a feeling that “there’s nothing that can be done” within the party.

But he told the Political Currency podcast: “I still am waiting for one big throw of the tax dice. We haven’t heard from the Tories on tax and I think a pledge to abolish inheritance tax or all but abolish inheritance tax is probably coming down the track.

“I say this because I was the guy who announced this back in 2007, as shadow chancellor and it had a big impact then.”

He added: “Whether it will have the same impact in 2024 I question, but, you know, if you’re throwing everything at this election, it seems quite likely you’d reach for that tool in the toolkit.”

Mr Osborne described abolishing inheritance tax as a “potent weapon” for the Conservatives as it is a “much-hated tax”, and that “there will be loads of pressure to try something big”.

You can read the full story on Mr Osborne’s comments here.


Ex-Tory MP attends Labour campaign event Former Conservative MP Mark Logan is at a Labour Party campaign event in Greater Manchester this morning.

The former MP, who announced his support for Labour after the start of the general election campaign, spoke to pensioners while waiting for Sir Keir Starmer’s arrival at the event, including one lifelong Conservative voter who had also switched her support to Labour.


Pictured: Nigel Farage takes a smoking break in Westminster this morning Nigel Farage, the Reform leader, smokes a cigarette this morning in Westminster Credit: SelwynPics/Jeremy Selwyn 9:45AM

Lord Hague: Farage is a ‘big wrecking ball’ Nigel Farage is a “big wrecking ball” who is good at destruction but not at building anything new, Lord Hague claimed this morning.

The former leader of the Conservative Party said Mr Farage’s return to the political front-line is a “big problem” for the Tories.

It was suggested to Lord Hague that Mr Farage leading Reform could help the party take more votes away from the Tories.

He told Times Radio: “It is a big problem, I think for the Conservative Party, although if the Farage campaign really got going it would take votes from the Labour Party as well but more from the Conservatives.

“So that is a problem… Nigel Farage is like a big wrecking ball in politics really and it is fascinating to watch a wrecking ball, isn’t it.

“Which building is it going to bring down next, which masonry is going to collapse next? And everytime you think it has gone away it comes back and knocks down another building. But there is no building, there is no putting anything new in place.”

Lord Hague claimed that Mr Farage was “always achieving something very destructive”.


Sunak did not make mistake on election timing, says ex-Tory leader Lord Hague rejected the suggestion that Rishi Sunak made a mistake by calling the general election on July 4 instead of later in the year.

The former foreign secretary told Times Radio: “No. I don’t think so.

“I think if this election was going on in three months from now it would be a very, very similar election but you would have had three more months of the country without being clear when the election was going to be and who the government would be after that.”


Crushing election win could actually cause headache for Starmer, says Lord Hague Lord Hague said a big general election win for Labour could actually cause a headache for Sir Keir Starmer.

The former leader of the Conservative Party said it would be hard to control so many MPs should a YouGov poll which suggested Labour could win 422 seats come to fruition on July 4.

He also said that if the Tories end up with just 140 seats – as the YouGov analysis suggested – then there would be a “huge battle” for the future of the party.

Asked what would happen to the Conservatives if the YouGov poll comes true, Lord Hague told Times Radio: “That is a big if. This is not the actual result of the election. There would be quite a big problem in the Labour Party if they won that many seats actually as to how they would control that many MPs.

“There would be a bigger problem in the Conservative Party. To lose an election to that extent, there would then be a huge battle over what is the future of Conservatism.”


Labour would ban foie gras imports Labour will ban foie gras imports if they win the general election, the shadow environment secretary has announced.

Steve Reed has pledged that a Labour government would ban the product, made from force-feeding ducks and geese, from being imported to the UK, writes Genevieve Holl-Allen.

This would effectively stop the sale of the product in Britain, as producing it in the UK has been banned for about a decade on cruelty grounds. Foie gras imports were due to be banned last year by the Conservatives, but plans were later shelved.

In a video posted on Twitter, Mr Reed makes the announcement after watching a video of ducks and geese being force-fed, and calls the practice “beyond disgusting”.

He added: “The Conservatives are on the side of that kind of cruelty to animals. Labour will ban the import of foie gras, that is made following these abhorrent, cruel practices.”

“A vote for Labour is a vote for animals”


Farage return ‘makes no difference to us’, says Labour election chief Labour’s national campaign coordinator said Nigel Farage standing as a Reform candidate and becoming Reform leader “makes no difference to us”.

Asked what the Labour reaction was when Mr Farage made his announcement yesterday afternoon, Pat McFadden told GB News: “Our reaction was just get on with the job, keep going.

“It’s an election anyone’s entitled to stand, anyone’s entitled to be a candidate if they put themselves forward. It makes no difference to us.

“We’re just going to keep on focusing on the voters that we need to win in all these battleground seats. That’s been our focus in recent years.”


Sunak made ‘big mistake’ calling election in July, says ex-No 10 chief of staff Rishi Sunak made a “big mistake” by calling the general election on July 4 because if he had waited until the autumn Nigel Farage would likely have been busy with the US presidential contest, a former No 10 chief of staff claimed.

Lord Barwell, a Tory peer who served in No 10 during Theresa May’s premiership, also took aim at Tory MPs who view Mr Farage as “their mate”.

Responding to Mr Farage’s return, Lord Barwell tweeted: “Two reactions to this: 1. If Sunak had waited until the autumn, Farage would have been in the US fawning over Trump. Big mistake.

“2. All those Conservative MPs who pretended Farage was their mate: how stupid do you look now? He is trying to destroy you.”


Farage: Reform would reduce net migration to zero Nigel Farage said Reform in power would reduce net migration to zero.

The party’s new leader told the BBC: “We cannot go on as we are. We have to limit numbers. Our lives, our quality of life in this country is being diminished by the population explosion.”

Asked what he wanted the annual net migration number to be, Mr Farage said: “Net migration at zero would be the target.”

Told that that would depend on how many people permanently leave the UK, Mr Farage said: “It does but we know roughly about 600,000 [left the country last year] so you would still have room within the labour market for up to 600,000 people.

“Now hopefully we wouldn’t need that many but it still leaves plenty of room.”

Net migration should be zero.

— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) June 4, 2024 8:35AM

Tice was ‘squeezed out’ as Reform leader, claims Cleverly James Cleverly claimed Richard Tice had been “squeezed out” as Reform leader after he was replaced by Nigel Farage.

Put to him that Tory hearts must have sunk when Mr Farage announced he will stand as a Reform candidate, the Home Secretary said: “I think the person whose heart really sank was Richard Tice, who has obviously been squeezed out.

“A vote for Reform is not going to create a Reform government, Reform is not going to form part of the next government, it is either Rishi Sunak and a Conservative government or Keir Starmer and a Labour government.

“A vote for Reform opens the door to a Labour government, and a Labour government will just open the door and wave people through into our country.”

James Cleverly, the Home Secretary, is pictured this morning in Westminster Credit: Thomas Krych /Story Picture Agency 8:27AM

Farage aiming for Reform to replace Conservative Party in medium term Nigel Farage suggested his long-term aim is for Reform to effectively replace the Conservative Party.

He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme that he could not stand for, or seek to lead the Tories “as they currently are”.

But he added: “You can speculate as to what’ll happen in three or four years’ time, all I will tell you is if Reform succeed in the way that I think they can, then a chunk of the Conservative Party will join us – it’s the other way around.”

He said: “I don’t want to join the Conservative Party, I think the better thing to do would be to take it over.”


Sunak vows to introduce annual cap on migration Rishi Sunak has vowed to impose an annual cap on immigration visas to reduce the number of foreign workers and dependants coming to the UK.

The Prime Minister unveiled the plan in a move to woo core voters frustrated by the surge in net migration to a record high of 764,000.

Ministers are refusing to put a figure on a target reduction in migration but would commission the Government’s migration advisers to set a cap that would ensure it was brought down to “sustainable” levels.

You can read the full story here.


Cleverly: Starmer would ‘love people to vote for Reform’ James Cleverly claimed Sir Keir Starmer would “love people to vote Reform” because it would “open the door” to a Labour general election victory.

Asked for his reaction to Nigel Farage standing as an MP candidate and becoming Reform leader, the Home Secretary told Sky News: “I am surprised because the last time I heard him make reference to Clacton, he was saying that he didn’t want to spend every Friday in Clacton.

“Reform has always been a vehicle for Nigel Farage’s self-promotion, I think Richard Tice is now discovering that rather painfully.

“The point that we have made is that Keir Starmer would love people to vote Reform because he knows that a vote for Reform basically opens the door to a Labour government.”

James Cleverly, the Home Secretary, is pictured this morning during an interview on Sky News Credit: Sky News 8:09AM

Cleverly says he would prefer Tory poll ratings to be better James Cleverly has acknowledged he would prefer Tory poll ratings to be better than they are currently.

YouGov analysis published yesterday suggested the Tories could be reduced to just 140 seats at the general election.

Mr Cleverly told Sky News the only poll that mattered was on July 4 but added: “If you are asking ‘would I prefer going into the last few weeks of this election campaign with the polls in our favour?’, of course I would prefer that.”

He insisted people were “completely unconvinced by Labour” and Sir Keir Starmer.

“At these turbulent times, handing control of the country to a man who doesn’t even really seem to be in control of his own shadow cabinet is probably not a good idea,” the Home Secretary said.


Pictured: Nigel Farage sports Union Jack socks as he prepares to launch Clacton campaign Nigel Farage, the Reform leader, is pictured this morning arriving in Westminster Credit: Jeremy Selwyn/SelwynPics 8:01AM

BBC interviewer accused of ‘very poor form’ after asking Farage about his children Nigel Farage accused BBC Radio 4 Today presenter Mishal Husain of “very poor form” after she asked a question about his children.

The pair clashed after Mr Farage said there are towns and cities in the UK where many people do not speak English and “we have groups of people living within those towns and cities who don’t even speak to each other”.

Ms Husain asked for an example and the Reform leader replied: “I could take you to streets in Oldham right now where no one speaks English.”

Ms Husain replied: “Or they could be speaking two languages, couldn’t they? Don’t your children speak another language?”

Mr Farage said: “I wouldn’t comment on that.”

Ms Husain asked again about Mr Farage’s children and he replied: “I wouldn’t comment on that. I don’t talk about my children and if you do I think that is pretty poor form. Very poor form. Unsurprising, but very poor form.”


Farage signals he will drop one of Reform’s asylum pledges Nigel Farage signalled he will drop one of Reform’s asylum pledges.

The party has pledged the following: “Asylum claims that arrive though safe countries will be processed rapidly offshore in British Overseas Territories.”

Asked which territories could be used, Mr Farage told the BBC: “That would be up to us wouldn’t it and they would get money for doing it but hopefully we wouldn’t need to do that.”

Asked which overseas territories, like Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands, he believed could be open to the policy, Mr Farage said: “I don’t think it is terribly practical. I think it is a very difficult policy. I haven’t put it forward, by the way.

“I took over yesterday, give me more than 12 hours and I will sort a few things out.”


Farage criticises ‘silly’ line of questioning during BBC interview Nigel Farage accused BBC Radio 4 Today presenter Mishal Husain of pursuing a “rather silly” line of questioning as he was grilled about Reform UK’s immigration plans.

The party has pledged to freeze “non-essential” immigration and Mr Farage said this meant a crackdown on “unskilled labour”.

Mr Farage was pressed on who exactly his party would allow to come to the UK.

Ms Husain asked if midwives and architects would be allowed and Mr Farage said: “In limited numbers.”

Asked if butchers could come, he said: “In limited numbers.”

Asked if bakers would be deemed essential, he said: “This is really getting rather silly.”


Tories have lied to voters for 14 years on immigration, says Farage Nigel Farage claimed the Tories had “lied” on the issue of immigration for 14 years.

The Reform UK leader referred to past Tory pledges to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands.

Told that the Tories had recently brought in a crackdown on foreign students bring allowed to bring dependants to the UK, he told the BBC: “Why did they allow them in the first place? They have lied to us for 14 years about this and they thought they’d get away with it. Well, they can’t.

“It doesn’t even matter what Sunak pledges today. The lie is to say in 2010 and 2015 and 2017 in manifestos they would reduce net migration to tens of thousands. That is the lie.”

Nigel Farage and Richard Tice are pictured this morning in Westminster Credit: Jeremy Selwyn /SelwynPics 7:29AM

Farage: Reform won’t stand aside for Tories in any seats Nigel Farage said there were “no circumstances whatsoever” in which Reform UK would stand candidates down to give the Tories a clearer run at the general election.

Asked the question this morning during an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Farage said: “Nope. There are no circumstances whatsoever. We have been betrayed by a Conservative Party that I gave considerable help to back in 2019 and boy did I.

“I got rid of Mrs [Theresa] May by forming the Brexit Party and they had their most crushing defeat in 200 years.

“I stood aside in over 300 seats for Boris Johnson and we were told that we would get control of our borders, we were told the immigration numbers would come down. They have exploded.

“I feel betrayed by them, millions of voters feel betrayed by them and even though there are some people in the Conservative Party who I fought with during Brexit and other battles I am afraid they are part of a party who are well past their sell by date, the brand is ruined, they have lost the election already.”


Farage on the broadcast round ahead of Clacton campaign launch It is a big day for Nigel Farage who will formally launch his bid to be the next MP for Clacton at a late-morning campaign event.

The new leader of Reform UK is starting his day with a mini broadcast round and he will be on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme shortly.

I will guide you through the key lines.


Sunak and Starmer set to clash tonight in first TV debate The first head-to-head general election debate between Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer will take place tonight on ITV at 9pm.

It is exactly one month until polling day and both leaders will be keen to gain the upper hand ahead of further debates in the weeks to come.

You can find out everything you need to know about tonight’s clash and the rest of the scheduled showdowns with our handy guide which you can find here.


What is happening on day 14 of the general election campaign? Nigel Farage is likely to be the star attraction on day 14 of the general election campaign as he formally launches his bid to become the next MP for Clacton.

The newly crowned leader of Reform UK will launch his campaign late this morning as he formally enters the fray after stunning Westminster yesterday by reversing his decision not to stand as a candidate.

Meanwhile, James Cleverly will lead the fight for the Tories today as the Home Secretary trumpets a new Conservative plan to curb immigration numbers.

Mr Cleverly will be campaigning in the south east of England after the Tories promised to introduce an annual cap on worker and family visas.

Sir Keir Starmer will turn his attention to energy, with the Labour leader expected to promise during a visit to the north west of England that his party would “close the door on” Vladimir Putin and Russia by reducing Britain’s reliance on fossil fuel from overseas.

Sir Keir and Rishi Sunak will then clash tonight in their first televised election debate on ITV at 9pm.

Elsewhere, Sir Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, will be on the campaign trail in North Shropshire.


Shapps denies Farage return is Sunak’s ‘worst nightmare’ Grant Shapps has denied that Nigel Farage’s return is Rishi Sunak’s “worst nightmare”.

The Defence Secretary warned voters that backing Reform could boost the chances of a Labour general election victory.

Asked during an interview on GB News if Mr Farage standing as a candidate and becoming Reform leader was Mr Sunak’s “worst nightmare” coming true, Mr Shapps said: “I don’t think the idea that there are other candidates in an election is that at all, other than to say that if people care about some of the things that Rishi Sunak passionately cares about, including for example ensuring that we can control our own borders… then the worst thing possible for somebody to do if they care about those sorts of things is to vote for Reform.

“Because it would lead to Starmer, absolutely undoing all of that. He has no intention of tackling illegal migration through a change in the law at all.”


Polling expert: Farage return ‘nothing short of a disaster’ for Sunak Nigel Farage’s return to the political front-line is “nothing short of a disaster” for the Conservative Party, according to a leading polling expert.

Chris Hopkins, the political research director at Savanta, said Mr Farage’s decision to run to be the MP for Clacton and to become Reform leader had left Rishi Sunak with “nowhere to go”.

He said: “This is nothing short of a disaster for the Conservative Party. Everything about this election, from the timing to the apparent strategy, was aimed at squeezing Reform UK’s vote. With Farage’s announcement that is now much harder, and Rishi Sunak has nowhere to go – politically or electorally.”

“Let’s be clear however – Farage’s announcement today isn’t about taking the country – it’s about taking the Conservative Party. He is a significant upgrade on Richard Tice, but he remains a compelling issues campaigner, rather than a potential prime minister – Labour will be rubbing their hands with glee.”