General Election LIVE: Tories forced to deny Sunak poised to quit after wild rumours spread

Starmer and Sunak

Wild rumours Sunak to RESIGN rapidly spread after PM cancels media interviews

Oliver Trapnell

By Oliver Trapnell

Published: 09/06/2024

- 08:44

Updated: 10/06/2024

- 08:16

A key ally of Boris Johnson added to the rumours

A key ally of the Prime Minister has insisted that Rishi Sunak will lead the Tory party into polling day on July 4 amid rumours that he might quit after the row about D-Day.

Cabinet minister Mel Stride dismissed the idea that Rishi Sunak could hand over the leadership of the Tory Party before the July 4 General Election.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said Mr Sunak would “absolutely” lead the party into the election.

“There should be no question of anything other than that,” he told Sky News.

Senior No10 sources also categorically denied that Sunak is set to quit before election day in the wake of the row over leaving the D-Day commemorations early.

One said that the suggestion was "absolutely not right at all" and "complete cobblers".

A second source added: "Whoever they are, I’d question their judgement and general mental capacity going forward."

Rumours began to spread after the PM cancelled several media interviews and was forced to apologise for leaving D-Day celebrations early.

Adding fuel to the fire, key Boris Johnson ally Nadine Dorries suggested Cameron could be a likely replacement should Sunak stand down.

Dorries wrote on Twitter: “I have always said that Cameron was popped into the Lords and into a senior ministerial post for a reason.

“I thought maybe it was to replace Sunak at an earlier stage.

“Rumours around tonight that Sunak’s about to fall on his sword.

“There are no MPs - only Ministers.

“If Sunak does resign, any replacement would have to come from within Ministerial ranks…”

Tory candidate defends renting Airbnb in prospective constituency

A Conservative Party candidate has defended renting an Airbnb property in his prospective constituency after a social media post about becoming a "resident" of the area prompted criticism online.

Candidate for Surrey Heath Ed McGuinness posted on X, formerly Twitter, on Saturday that he was "now a resident of St Paul’s ward" as constituents "rightly expect their MP to be a part of their community"

He shared photos of himself holding keys in front of a front door and standing in a kitchen. However, social media users claimed the home was listed on property rental site Airbnb and a Community Note was subsequently added to the bottom of the post.

McGuinness told reporters: "It’s a former Airbnb that I’m now renting while I look to buy. To get a place within 100 hours of being selected is a great achievement (if you know an estate agent who can work it out sooner please let me know!) and demonstrates my commitment to Surrey Heath.

"Presumably the landlord had it listed on Airbnb and didn’t immediately remove it as soon as I moved in."

Full list of candidates standing in Surrey Heath

  • Jon Campbell - Green Party
  • Sam Goggin - Reform UK
  • Jessica Naomi Patsy Hammersley-Rich - Labour Party
  • Ed McGuiness - Conservative Party
  • Al Pinkerton - Liberal Democrats
  • Elizabeth de Stanford Wallitt - Heritage Party

Rishi Sunak campaigning in Bedale, Yorkshire

Full list of candidates standing in Richmond and Northallerton:

  • Jason Barnett - Independent
  • Count Binface - Count Binface Party
  • Daniel George Callaghan - Liberal Democrats
  • Angie Campion - Independent
  • Louise Ann Dickens - Workers Party of Britain
  • Kevin Foster - Green Party
  • Rio Goldhammer - Yorkshire Party
  • Niko Omilana - Independent
  • Brian Neil Richmond - Independent
  • Sir Archibald Stanton - Official Monster Raving Loony Party
  • Rishi Sunak - Conservative and Unionist Party
  • Lee Martin Taylor - Reform UK
  • Tom Wilson - Labour Party

Union boss says it will 'hold the next government to account'

GMB union chief Gary Smith

GMB union chief Gary Smith


Speaking at his union's annual conference, Gary Smith said: "My challenge to Labour is to recognise that ‘change’ can’t be just a snappy election slogan. It must be brought to life in the reality of government."

He added that the union would "hold the next Labour government to account" on its promises to strengthen workers’ rights

Union leaders were among those at a meeting on Friday to finalise the manifesto ahead of its launch next week.

Green co-leader pledges to make rail and bus travel cheaper by raising prices on fossil-fuelled flights and defends net zero policy

Speaking to ITV, Carla Denyer said: "The government subsidises aviation by not charging any VAT on airline tickets, by not charging tax on aviation fuel, and then on top of that, by directly subsidising domestic flights.

"So the Green Party would switch that around. We immediately stop subsidising aviation, and we put that support towards public transport."

She added that getting to net zero is an "investment in our future" which she claimed would only cost around one per cent of GDP.

Denyer said: "And that will then bring us benefits to the economy in terms of GDP, but also in terms of people's health, by having cleaner air, cleaner waterways, better public transport, better access to jobs in education, the benefits far, far outweigh the costs."

Plaid Cymru leader - 'We should aim for nuclear disarmament'

Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth

Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth


Rhun ap Iorwerth told the BBC: "I'm against the nuclear deterrent because I don't think that is the kind of defence that we need and should be building in the 21st Century.

"We absolutely, yes, need to be making sure that we have adequate defence forces. I don't think that our place here in Wales is to be talking about nuclear deterrence.

"It's about making sure that we have well-funded defence forces able to play their part in defending ourselves in peacekeeping roles.

"That does not mean to say that I don't think our armed forces and, in particular, those women and men who go into the armed forces who find themselves all so often left after they leave without the support in mental health in housing."

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan slams 'Labour's politics of envy' over VAT raid on private schools

The Conservative candidate for Chichester said: "Today Labour admitted their tax raid will lead to ‘larger classes’ in state schools, punishing children to pay for their plans.

"It’s not just hard-working parents who will pay the price for Labour with £2,094 of extra taxes, it’s also our children who will be impacted by Labour’s politics of envy.

"The choice is clear: stick with the clear plan that is working, taking bold action to drive up school standards with Rishi Sunak. Or go back to square one with Keir Starmer and larger school class sizes, damaging children’s futures."

Full List of candidates standing in Chichester

  • Jessica Brown-Fuller - Liberal Democrats
  • Tom Collinge - Labour
  • Andrew Emerson - Independent
  • Gillian Keegan - Conservative
  • Teresa De Santis - Reform UK
  • Tim Young - Green Party

Starmer's top points from Essex

Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer was in Essex today


Keir Starmer has waded into key political topics while out in Essex today.

Here's what he said:

  • The Labour Leader said he was “critical” of the early release scheme for prisoners but added that “tough decisions” would have to be taken should his party get the keys to No10.
  • He reiterated his party’s pledge not to raise taxes, despite reports from The Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) that tax rises would be necessary to maintain current levels of departmental funding.
  • He said “nobody wanted to vote” on the party’s General Election manifesto, because it was signed off with acclaim.
  • He criticised the Conservatives’ “scattergun approach of desperate policy” in response to their latest pledge to halt the rising costs of welfare by reforming the benefits system.
  • He also spoke to voters in Essex about crime

'He needs to answer!' Keir Starmer wades into Sunak D-Day row

Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer waded into the debate


Sir Keir Starmer has waded into the row currently surround Rishi Sunak after he left D-Day celebrations early for an interview.

Asked about the Prime Minister leaving D-Day commemorations during a campaign visit in Essex, Starmer said: “Clearly he’s got questions he needs to answer in relation to what happened on D-Day and at the moment he doesn’t seem to want to answer them.”

The Labour leader added: “I know what I stand for, I know why I was there on Thursday, paid my respects and saying thank you.

“And I was humbled actually, when I was there.”

Alex Salmond claims pro-independence Alba Party will make its mark in General Election

Former Scottish First Minister Alex SalmondFormer Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond departs Edinburgh High CourtGETTY

Alex Salmond’s Alba Party will “make its mark” at the General Election, the former first minister of Scotland has said.

The Alba leader took aim at his former party the SNP, claiming it has a lack of strategy to achieve Scottish independence following Humza Yousaf's resignation as leader just shy of a year into the role.

Speaking on BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show, Salmond said Alba is “credible” with “excellent prospects”, adding: “I think we’re going to do great and we are going to have substantial results in a number seats.

“You’ll see Alba making its mark at this election.”

Nigel West gives exclusive insight into the world of espionage

Richard Tice in heated clash with Camilla Tominey over Reform candidates

Richard Tice was on the defensive on GB News as Camilla Tominey probed his party’s choice of candidates.

It comes amid reports that a candidate, Guy Lachlan, who had been dropped after he liked tweets that favoured Tommy Robinson is now “back on the slate” and is gearing up to fight an election campaign.

Camilla quizzed Tice on whether this is true and whether Lachlan is the type of candidate Reform should be associating themselves with.

He responded: “I will have to check, Camilla. We have 611 candidates. I don’t know exactly all of them.


PM accepts that he made a mistake on D-Day, says Mel Stride 

Former deputy Labour leader pays tribute to Michael Mosley after body found

Tom Watson has described Michael Mosley as a “hero” after a body, which is yet to be formally identified, was found during a search for the missing doctor.

“It’s hard to describe how upset I am by this news,” the former deputy leader of the Labour Party said on X.

“Through courageous, science-based journalism, Michael Mosley has helped thousands of people get well and healthy. I’m one of them.

“He was a hero to me. He will be deeply missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Labour’s Emily Thornberry defends plan that could ‘overcrowd’ state schools

Labour Shadow Attorney Emily Thornberry has defended her party’s plans for a VAT raid on private schools, even if it means larger classrooms.

The party’s proposed tax is sparking furious debate amid fears many children could be forced out of the private sector.

Speaking on GB News, Thornberry admitted state schools could see an expansion of classrooms “in the short term”.


John Swinney urges Starmer to explain where £18bn cuts to come from

\u200bDeputy first minister John Swinney

John Swinney urges Starmer to explain where £18bn cuts to come from


First Minister of Scotland John Swinney has urged Labour to explain where £18 billion in cuts predicted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) will come from.

In a letter to Sir Keir Starmer, Swinney urged the Labour leader to “be open with voters and admit where the axe will fall under the Labour Party’s plan for £18billion cuts to public services”.

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner failed to answer the same question during the BBC leaders’ debate on Friday.

In the letter, Swinney said £18billion of cuts would be a “wrecking ball to public services”.

The letter read: “It is the equivalent of cutting 130,000 nurses, 150,000 teachers and 160,000 police officers.”

Nigel Farage says Reform will become the ‘real opposition’ to Labour

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage


Nigel Farage has said his party will replace the Conservatives as the opposition to Labour after the General Election.

Speaking to the Sunday Express, the Reform leader claimed his party is “the real opposition now” and that the election on July 4 “is our beginning”.

“This election is over. Labour are going to win by a mile,” he said. “The only question for voters now is who the opposition is going to be.”

Farage defends claim Sunak's early D-Day departure proves he does not unerstand 'our culture'

Nigel Farage defended his claim that Rishi Sunak’s early exit from D-Day commemoration events in France demonstrated that he did not understand “our culture”.

The Reform UK leader told Laura Kuenssberg: “I know what your question is leading at – 40 per cent of our contribution in World War One and World War Two came from the Commonwealth.

“He is utterly disconnected by class, by privilege from how the ordinary folk in this country feel. He revealed that, I think spectacularly, when he left Normandy early.

“And out there now there are millions and millions of people who were Conservative voters, traditional Conservative voters, not the red-wallers, who are now thinking ‘Do we go on supporting the Conservatives or do we support Reform?’

“And this is going to be, I think, the acid test of this election.”

Nadine Dorries sparks rumours Sunak could resign....

Tories and Reform now TIED in major part of UK as Farage handed huge boost

Nigel Farage

Tories and Reform now TIED in major part of UK as Farage handed huge boost

BBC News Pictures

Reform UK and the Conservative Party are now neck-and-neck in the polls as Nigel Farage was handed a major boost today.

In the latest poll in Wales by Redfield & Wilton, the Conservatives and Reform are now neck and neck - with both polling at 18 per cent.

Labour are still ahead on 45 percentage points despite the recent confidence vote of no-confidence in Vaughan Gething.

Just before 1pm today, Nigel Farage was handed a major boost as Reform UK membership reached 40,000.


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