General Election TV Debate: Rishi Sunak says he will ‘cut taxes and protect pensions’ as Starmer calls for an end to Tory ‘chaos’

General Election TV Debate: Rishi Sunak says he will ‘cut taxes and protect pensions’ as Starmer calls for an end to Tory ‘chaos’

WATCH: Rishi Sunak BOOED by live audience on NHS question

James Saunders

By James Saunders

Published: 04/06/2024

- 07:32

Updated: 05/06/2024

- 07:32

Meanwhile, Nigel Farage turned out to campaign in Clacton where he vies for a first ever seat in the Commons

  • Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer went head to head in a tv debate in Salford
  • Starmer branded Sunak the "British expert on tax rises"
  • Claims over NHS waiting lists was left with laughter and groaning from the audience
  • The two men differed on if they would want to use private healthcare if a family member was on a long waiting list for NHS care
  • Host Julie Etchingham stepped in to tell the men to stop talking over each other
  • Sunak and Starmer clashed over pre-politics careers

Additional reporting by George Bunn

Rishi Sunak has said "uncertain times call for a clear plan and bold action" while Keir Starmer said the Labour party is "back in service of working people."

The two party leaders went head to head in a live TV debate in Salford.

Starmer branded Sunak the "British expert on tax rises" while Sunak said the election was "about the future" and insisting he would keep cutting taxes while Labour would raise them.

Meanwhile, in his first major public speech since announcing his candidacy last night, Nigel Farage addressed a crowd of hundreds at Clacton Pier.

Shouts from the crowd included "get 'em Nige" and "we love you Nigel" as Farage's potential Clacton constituents turned out to support the former Ukip man. He told those in attendance: "Send me to Parliament to be a bloody nuisance."

However, a protester threw what appeared to be a McDonald's milkshake over the Reform UK leader.

Follow below for live General Election updates throughout the day.

Jonathan Ashworth back Keir Starmer's accusation that Sunak's line on tax rises was 'absolute garbage'

Jonathan Ashworth

Shadow Paymaster General Jonathan Ashworth speaks to GB News


Shadow paymaster general Jonathan Ashworth denied that Sir Keir Starmer had taken too long to push back on Rishi Sunak’s claims that Labour would raise tax by £2,000.

He told reporters: "He was very clear, he said it was absolute garbage.

"You’re right, Rishi Sunak, in a very tetchy way, continued to interrupt Keir so you can obviously see Rishi Sunak is under some pressure, so I’ll grant you that, he continued to interrupt time after time, but Keir said that figure from Sunak is absolute garbage, which it is."

Labour's national campaign co-ordinator says the party is leaving the debate 'stronger than they entered it'

Labour’s national campaign co-ordinator Pat McFadden told reporters: "Rishi Sunak says he’s got a plan, but the plan is for more of the same.

"More of the same chaos over the last 14 years, more of the same economic chaos that’s left us with the highest tax burden in 70 years, and more of the chaos on other fronts like the NHS.

"I think the lowest point in the debate was Rishi Sunak trying to claim success on the NHS on the basis that the plan is working. There are 7.5 million people who know that that’s not true.

"So we leave this debate stronger than we entered it and working hard for every vote between now and July 4."

Sunak and Starmer clash over pre-politics work

\u200bSunak and Starmer clash in a debate in Salford

Sunak and Starmer clash in a debate in Salford


Responding to a question on security, Sir Keir pointed to his experience as director of public prosecutions as evidence he could be trusted to keep Britain safe.

But he also sought to draw a contrast between himself and Mr Sunak, saying the Prime Minister had made millions “betting against the UK during the financial crisis”.

Mr Sunak responded that he would “rather have my job than work for Abu Qatada”, referring to Sir Keir’s work as a human rights lawyer when he represented the controversial preacher in his fight against deportation.

Laughter and groans break out in debate over NHS waiting lists

Asked how long it would take to fix the "broken" health service, the Prime Minister pointed to the damage done by the Covid-19 pandemic, acknowledged it would take time to recover "but we are now making progress: waiting lists are coming down."

There was laughter when the Labour leader countered: "They were 7.2 million, they’re now 7.5 million. He says they are coming down and this is the guy who says he’s good at maths."

The Prime Minister then blamed industrial action, eliciting groans from the audience of the ITV debate.

"It’s somebody else’s fault" Sir Keir said.

BREAKING: YouGov poll shows response to tonight's debate

YouGov asked "Who performed best overall in tonight's debate?"

  • Rishi Sunak - 51 per cent
  • Keir Starmer - 49 per cent

Sunak says Starmer is asking voters to hand him a 'blank cheque'

\u200bSunak and Starmer went head to head

Sunak and Starmer went head to head


In his closing argument, Sunak said: "You know what I stand for. I'll always have your back."

"Apart from higher taxes, you don’t know what you get, and neither does he”.

Starmer says that re-electing the Tories would be like seeing 'the arsonists handed back the matches

In his closing statement at the ITV debate, the Labour leader said: "I don’t offer you the gimmicks or unfunded promises that Rishi Sunak does.

"I don’t pretend there’s a magic wand that will fix everything overnight. Instead, I offer a practical common sense plan to change Britain."

He continued: "Imagine how you would feel waking up on July 5 to five more years of the Conservatives. Five more years of decline and division. The arsonists handed back the matches.

"Now imagine turning the page with a Labour government that rolls up its sleeves and gets on with the job that puts the country back in your service."

Sunak and Starmer on national security

Asked if Sir Keir Starmer could be trusted with the UK’s national security, Rishi Sunak said: “I don’t think the Labour Party can be trusted to keep this country as safe as the Conservatives. The world is a more dangerous and uncertain place since the end of the Cold War.

“I’ve made the decision to invest more in our defence, taking it up to 2.5% of GDP, the Labour Party have not matched that and, worse than that, the person who would be deputy prime minister under Keir Starmer does not believe in our nuclear deterrent.”

The Labour leader could be heard repeating “shocking” in response to this statement, adding: “This is shocking. Before I was a politician I was the director of public prosecutions, I was working on national security, I was dealing with terrorist plots.”

Mr Sunak accused Sir Keir of working for “extremists like Abu Qatada and Hizb ut-Tahrir”, with Sir Keir calling the Prime Minister’s response “desperate”.

Earlier in the ITV debate, Sir Keir said: “What we need now is a ceasefire, cessation of the hostilities straight away, and for these purposes which is very important because it’s a very grave situation. Firstly, we have to get the hostages out, they’ve been held for a very, very long time and I dread to think of the state they’re in.”

WATCH: Rishi Sunak BOOED by live audience at ITV debate over NHS question

Sunak and Starmer on a possible Trump re-election

Both Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer said the UK’s special relationship with the US would continue if Donald Trump re-enters the White House.

The Labour leader said: "If he’s elected president of the US, then we will deal with him.

"The special relationship transcends whoever fills the post of prime minister and president because it’s such an important strong relationship."

The Prime Minister said: "Yes, because having a strong relationship with our closest partner and ally in the United States is critical for keeping everyone in our country safe."

Sunak said he would choose 'our country's security' over ECHR 'every single time'

Rishi Sunak was asked whether the Tory manifesto would commit to leaving the European Convention on Human Rights if the Rwanda plan was blocked in the courts.

The Prime Minister told the ITV debate: “I’m crystal clear, I believe all our plans are compliant with our international obligations, but if I am forced to choose between securing our borders and our country’s security, or a foreign court, I’m going to choose our country’s security every single time.”

Sir Keir Starmer said the UK risked becoming a “pariah” state if it left international conventions.

“We will not pull out of international agreements and international law which is respected the world over,” he said.

“Because I want the UK to be a respected player on the global stage, not a pariah who doesn’t agree with international law.”

Starmer says the level of migration are at 'record highs'

\u200bSunak and Starmer

Sunak and Starmer


Sir Keir Starmer accused Rishi Sunak of being “the most liberal prime minister we’ve ever had on immigration”.

Asked by an audience member why either leader should be trusted to do anything about illegal immigration, the Prime Minister said deportation flights will take off to Rwanda "in July, but only if I’m your Prime Minister."

"Stick to our plan and illegal migrants will be on those planes – with Labour they will be out on our streets."

Sir Keir said: "The levels of migration are at record highs – 685,000. It’s never been that high, save in the last year or two. The Prime Minister says it’s too high. Who’s in charge? He’s in charge. He’s the most liberal prime minister we’ve ever had on immigration."

The Labour leader also said Mr Sunak had "completely failed" to meet his pledge to stop small boats crossing the Channel.

Sunak and Starmer clash over Labour's private school plans

Rishi Sunak said people who work hard and aspire to provide their children with private education, should have the “freedom” to do just that.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "There’s a pattern here, isn’t there? We’ve just been talking about the NHS and Janet says it’s broken, we’ve now gone to education and the teachers say that’s broken as well.

"And I know the Prime Minister has already said in the first, however many, minutes of this debate that he doesn’t have anything to do with the last 14 years – I’m sorry Prime Minister you may just want to cast it off, but everyone else is living with it.

"When it comes to schools we desperately need more teachers, because in secondary schools we do not have the teachers we need."

Rishi Sunak tells the audience to judge him on his actions during the Covid pandemic

The Prime Minister said: "Every week when I’m out and about, someone comes up to me and tells me how furlough saved their family, saved their home, because that’s who I am."

As ITV host Julie Etchingham tried to get him to finish his answer, Sunak said he wanted to cut taxes while Labour wanted to put them up.

Sir Keir Starmer suggested the Prime Minister did not understand the plight facing hard-pressed households.

Referring to his own childhood, he said: "I do know the anguish of worrying, when the postman comes with a bill, what is that bill going to be, can I pay it? I don’t think the Prime Minister quite understands the position that you and other people are in."

Sunak and Starmer on private healthcare

Sunak and Starmer with ITV debate host Julie Etchingham

ITV via Getty

When asked "If a loved one was on a waiting list, would you use private healthcare?" Sunak said: "Yes." Starmer said "No."

The Labour leader said: "I don’t use private health. I use the NHS. That’s where my wife works, in one of the big hospitals; as I said it runs through my DNA."

Starmer says the Government has 'lost control'  

The first question in the debate came from a woman from Huddersfield saying she is struggling to make ends meet and "genuinely worried about my future."

The Prime Minister told her: "I know how much of a strain the last few years have put on your family finances", adding "That’s why my priority has always been to do what I can to support you."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said "this Government has lost control" and that "it’s people like you that are paying the price."

He highlighted that former PM Liz Truss "crashed the economy" and will stand as a Conservative candidate in the election.

Sunak says Labour would 'raid' people's pensions

In his opening statement at the debate the Prime Minister said: "Uncertainty times call for a clear plan and bold action. So I’ll keep this simple: In five weeks, either Kier Starmer or I will be prime minister.

"Beyond raising your taxes and raiding your pensions, no one knows what Labour would actually do. But you know what I would do? I’ll cut your taxes, protect your pension and reduce immigration.

"I have a clear plan for a more secure future for you and your family."

Starmer slams Conservatives for 'chaos and division'

Sir Keir Starmer said voters had the chance to move on from the “chaos” of the Tory era as he opened the ITV leaders’ debate.

The Labour leader said: "This election is all about a choice. More of the chaos and division we’ve seen for the last 14 years or turning the page and rebuilding with Labour. I have ambition for our country. I have a practical plan to deliver it.

"I’ve changed the Labour Party and put it back in the service of working people. Now I’m seeking your backing to change our country, to make it work once again for you and your family. "

New Survation poll for Best For Britain has Labour set for record breaking majority

  • Labour - 487 seats
  • Conservatives - 71 seats
  • Liberal Democrat - 43 seats
  • SNP - 26 seats
  • Reform - 3 seats
  • Plaid Cymru - 2 seats
Labour majority of 324 seats.

Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer arrive in Salford ahead of tonight's TV debate

Sunak and Starmer


Former Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford's school holidays reforms shelved

Former First Minister Mark Drakeford had a dramatic outburst at the Senedd today over the Welsh Government shelving his plans to change the school holidays in Wales.

Proposals introduced by Drakeford outlined that the half term break in October 2025 would be doubled to a fortnight, but the summer holiday would be cut from the traditional six week period to a five week.

Read the full story here.

Green Party to review health policy after pledging to reduce caesarean sections

Green Party co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay

Green Party co-leaders Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay


The Green Party has confirmed it will conduct a full review of its health policy, after concerns were raised over its pledge to reduce the number of medical interventions in childbirth.

The party’s health policy document said there has been a rise in caesarean sections, which it described as “expensive and, when not medically required, risky”.

A change to NHS culture is also proposed in the document, to ensure that “birth is treated as a normal and non-medical event”.

Green Party health spokesperson Dr Pallavi Devulapalli said there is "no intention to stop or reduce medical care provision during pregnancy and childbirth."

The health policy document on the party’s website – which was last updated in April 2024 – has since been taken down.

Ukip announce they are not fielding candidates in six 'key' constituencies 

A spokesperson from Ukip said: "Following Nigel Farage’s seismic return to frontline politics, UKIP has decided not to field candidates in six key constituencies, demonstrating our commitment to goodwill and unity."

The six seats chosen by Ukip are:

  • Thurrock
  • Hartlepool
  • Barnsley Central
  • Barnsley East
  • Ashton-under-Lyne
  • Dudley
  • Weston Super Mare
Nigel Farage led the party from 2006 to 2009 and 2010 to 2016.

Angela Rayner said she would 'definitely vote' to keep Trident

\u200bAngela Rayner said she would vote to keep Trident

Angela Rayner said she would vote to keep Trident


Angela Rayner has said she would “definitely vote” to keep Trident, despiote having opposed it in 2016.

The deputy Labour leader said that it was 'very clear' that Britain needed nuclear armaments, confirming she would vote to keep it.

She told LBC: "I have never said I don’t want nuclear weapons at all, the nuclear deterrent triple lock is really important, when you see what’s happened with Putin invading Ukraine, it’s very clear that we need our nuclear armaments.

"So the triple lock about keeping nuclear weapons, about making sure we build those four submarines in Barrow and then about making sure we do the upgrades is absolutely lockstep with Keir.

"The vote some years ago didn’t mention multilateral disarmament, Margaret Thatcher wanted multilateral disarmament, it’s been UK policy for a very long time, and the world we live in at the moment unfortunately that is further away. I would [now] definitely vote to keep Trident."

Nigel Farage says being hit with the milkshake was 'quite frightening'

Farage told ITV News Politics: "I don’t know what was thrown at me but it hit me in the face, fair and square, quite frightening."

When asked why it kept happening to him, he replied: "Because I go out and meet the public, nobody else does. What does Rishi do? He gets a room with two-dozen councillors or whatever it is.

"Nobody goes out and does the old-style street campaigning the way that I do. And this is the risk that goes with it, and I’ll be honest, it is quite scary."

James Cleverly dismisses suggestions he could stand to be Tory leader after the election

Home Secretary James Cleverly


The Home Secretary said: "I have always said this, and this is boring and repetitive, but nevertheless it is the case that my focus is and will continue to be, and always has been, on returning a Conservative government with Rishi Sunak at the helm.

"I would say that those people whether they are in the media, completely legitimately, or in the party who are planning for what happens after the General Election should focus on influencing the outcome of the General Election."

A GB News People's Poll has put Labour at a 24-point lead among Conservative voters, with a YouGov poll forecasting Labour to win as many as 422 seats, with the Tories reduced to just 140.

BREAKING: A 25-year-old woman has been arrested after a milkshake was thrown at Nigel Farage

A spokesperson from Essex Police said: "It was reported a man had a drink thrown over him as he left a premises in the area. A 25-year-old woman, from Clacton, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of assault.

"While officers were responding and making this arrest, a second individual, a man, was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker. Both individuals remain in custody for questioning."

Plaid Cymru leader says his party is not for people who are 'giving up on politics'

Rhun ap Iorwerth

Leader of Plaid Cymru, Rhun ap Iorwerth


Rhun Ap Iorwerth told PoliticsHome he has since been trying to shape Plaid Cymru into a more "positive" party.

"I think positively about the future of my country" he said, when asked what motivated him to pursue a career in politics.

"I'm frustrated about where we are, but confident about where we could be. I want us to be bold enough to be willing to take those levers of change into our own hands."

Rachel Reeves says there would be 'no return to austerity' under Labour

Rachel Reeves and Anas Sarwar

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar


The Shadow Chancellor said: "Labour would bring down debt as a share of our economy. We would balance day-to-day spending through tax receipts and, subject to that, we’d be able to borrow to invest in things that improve our country’s growth and productivity."

Reeves, who is running in Leeds West, was also asked how quickly she would set out her first Budget if she becomes chancellor in a Labour government after the election.

She said there are "proper procedures to go through" including a 10-week process with the Office of Budget Responsibility.

She said: "I will do the budget properly in my own time, but of course I’m raring to get going."

The current list of candidates standing in Clacton

  • Giles Watling - Conservative Party
  • Jovan Owusu-Nepaul - Labour Party
  • Nigel Farage - Reform UK
  • Matthew Bensilum - Liberal Democrats
  • Natasha Osben - Green Party

Nigel Farage says he will be a 'champion on the national issues and the local issues'

Nigel Farage

Leader of Reform UK Nigel Farage speaks to the media


The Reform UK leader said: "I had to decide, do I want to stand as a Member of Parliament and spend every Friday working in Clacton? Huge decision for me, huge decision for me, I’ve decided, I do.

He added: "I’ll be here as many Fridays as I can, of course I will. My message to the people of Clacton is, ‘these people here supported me in Ukip and the local MP at the time, Douglas Carswell’.

"They supported me hugely in the Brexit referendum campaign, and they want someone to stand up for their beliefs, and they don’t see that in today’s Conservative Party, they certainly don’t see that in today’s Labour Party.

"I will be their champion on the national issues and on the local issues, having a national figure representing a forgotten, end-of-the-line town, who knows I may well be able to bring some investment and do some good."

EXCLUSIVE: Up to SIX Conservative MPs considering switching to Reform UK

GB News has learnt that up to six Tory election candidates could switch to Reform UK after Nigel Farage's shock decision to stand as a candidate and lead the party.

All parties must submit their nominations for the July 4 general election by 4pm on Friday this week.

Some of those who have yet to make up their mind are waiting for the first leader's debate between Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer.

Read the exclusive story here.

Nigel Farage drenched with milkshake while campaigning in Clacton


A drink has been hurled at Nigel Farage as he he left the Moon and Starfish pub in Clacton.

The punter threw the drink, which appeared to be a milkshake, after Farage launched his campaign to become the local MP for the constituency.

The liquid splattered over his suit as he boarded his campaign bus.

Eye-witness Jo Sullivan told GB News: "It was a young girl, not very, old. As Nigel came down the steps. She threw a drink in his face and ran off.

"It hit him right in the face. It could have had something harmful in it and it’s disgusting."

Meanwhile, Lee Hellier said: "People have the right to protest but that’s disgusting."


Faiza Shaheen resigns from Labour amid left-wing fury at Starmer 'cull' - 'Hierarchy of racism!'

Former Labour candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green, Faiza Shaheen, has resigned from the party after a row with its senior leadership over her alleged social media misconduct.

Shaheen had been controversially suspended by Labour over the alleged misconduct, but she has now claimed she had been "prevented on speaking out on issues that really matter to [her], including on public sector wages and Palestine".

She also said she had been "penalised for describing [her] experiences of Islamophobia and been dismayed at the hierarchy of racism that exists in [her] own party."

Her withdrawal comes amid Diane Abbott's claims of a "cull" on Labour's hard left, alongside the news that seven Labour councillors in Slough had resigned over what they claimed was "institutional racism" within the party.

Farage blasts Tories' Brexit betrayal

Addressing hundreds of supporters at a rally in Clacton-on-Sea after announcing he would stand for election there, Farage said the Tories should “pay a big price” for betraying the promises of Brexit.

The veteran Eurosceptic suggested a “chunk” of the Conservatives could join his party and compared the situation to Canadian politics, where Stephen Harper had been elected as a Reform MP but went on to head a “new Conservative” government.

Addressing a rally at Clacton Pier, Farage hit out at the Tories over the handling of Brexit: “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’ve opened up the borders to mass immigration like we’ve never seen before.
“And they deserve to pay a price for that, a big price for that.”

Farage said the General Election was already effectively over: “That breach of trust from the Conservatives means they are finished, they are done.

“We are going to get a Labour government. Whether you like it or not, we are going to get a Labour government – the question is, who is going to be the voice of opposition?”

Farage issues rallying cry as he urges Clacton to send him to Parliament

Farage at Wetherspoons

Farage beamed at crowds at a Wetherspoons pub in Clacton-on-Sea


Nigel Farage has vowed to be a "bloody nuisance" in Westminster if elected as MP in the Essex town of Clacton-on-Sea, where he's been campaigning today alongside his Reform leadership predecessor Richard Tice.

In his first major public speech since announcing his candidacy last night, the heavyweight Eurosceptic addressed a crowd of hundreds at Clacton Pier.

Shouts from the crowd included "get 'em Nige" and "we love you Nigel" as Farage's potential Clacton constituents turned out to support the former Ukip man.

He told those in attendance: "Send me to Parliament to be a bloody nuisance."

Farage will be hoping to unseat Conservative Giles Watling, who, before Parliament's dissolution last week, had served the people of Clacton since 2017.

The constituency is notable for its role in propelling Farage's ex-party Ukip to power - it was the first seat to be represented by a Ukip MP: Douglas Carswell, who took it in a 2014 by-election.

Labour promises to treat countryside with 'respect'

Shadow environment secretary Steve Reed told the Future Countryside conference – a gathering of rural, farming and environmental groups – in Syon Park that a Labour government would treat the countryside with respect.

“People from urban areas – like me – will not tell people who live and work in the countryside how they should live their lives,” he said, pledging Labour would devolve power from Westminster to countryside communities.

Reed promised Labour would fix issues including the housing crisis and what he said was a rural crime epidemic.

“We need more homes, but they will not be built at the expense of the environment,” he told delegates, adding that he wanted to see “biodiversity net gain” – the requirement that developers have to boost nature by 10 per cent linked to development – work.

“New homes will be built with tree-lined streets and access to green spaces and nature on their doorsteps.”

Sunak was warned about threat from Farage last year but ignored Tory pleas


Tory MPs warned Rishi Sunak and his aides about the threat from a “resurgent” Reform UK led by Nigel Farage last year but were ignored, a Conservative source has told GB News.

Downing Street was startled yesterday after Farage “changed his mind” on standing to become an MP on July 4.

The former Ukip leader, who has so far unsuccessfully stood for Parliament seven times, declared he will lead Reform UK and run as the party’s candidate in Clacton.

Tory sources yesterday told GB News that the decision puts the Conservative Party in “extinction territory”.


Labour blasts Sunak on immigration: 'Numbers have gone through the roof'

Sir Keir Starmer has dismissed Rishi Sunak’s plans for a cap on visas, saying the Conservatives were just “hoping for the best” in efforts to cut net migration.

The Labour leader told reporters in Bolton: “Net migration is far too high, this Government has lost control. It’s more than twice as high as it was when we were in the EU, that’s the irony of it.

“This Prime Minister is actually, for all his tough talk, the most liberal prime minister when it comes to immigration, those numbers have gone through the roof.”

Starmer declined to guarantee numbers would come down under Labour but said: “They need to come down, we’ve got a plan to bring them down.

“But you can’t wish them down, that’s what the Tories are doing. They are just plucking numbers and wishing and hoping for the best.”

Labour would tackle “bad bosses” using migrant labour to undercut standards and boost skills to get Britons into work, he suggested.

Nigel Farage standing as an MP 'makes no difference' to Labour, says Pat McFadden

Nigel Farage standing for election as an MP “makes no difference” to Labour’s plans, according to the party’s National Campaign Co-ordinator.

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.

“We’re offering them a changed Labour Party, we think we've got a good programme to turn the page on the Conservative years and that's what we're going to keep talking about between now and polling day.”


James Cleverly warns voters against backing Reform UK

James CleverlyJames Cleverly said Nigel Farage standing for Reform is 'exactly what Keir Starmer wants'GB News

Home Secretary James Cleverly has criticised Nigel Farage's "interesting" decision to stand in this year's General Election.

Cleverly told GB News: "I think it wasn't that long ago where he was questioning whether he really wanted to spend every Friday listening to the people of Clacton, but he's put himself forward.

"That's fine. But it doesn't change the fact that a vote for Reform is exactly what Keir Starmer wants people to do, if they're not going to vote Labour."


Starmer hit by seven resignations from councillors who slam party for 'institutional racism'

Away from the spotlight of the return of Nigel Farage and the ongoing Conservative voting intention collapse, Labour continues to grapple with its own issues.

Seven councillors in Slough have resigned from Labour in a significant escalation of a party row over the treatment of two of its prospective parliamentary candidates, Diane Abbott and Faiza Shaheen.

The septet of officials - Zaffar Ajaib, Sabia Akram, Haqeeq Dar, Mohammed Nazir, Naveeda Qaseem, Waqas Sabah and Jamilia Sabah - all announced their resignation late last night in a statement which also took aim at Labour's position on the conflict in Gaza and comments made by Slough's Labour parliamentary candidate Tan Dhesi.


Tories criticise Labour's illegal migration plan


Home Secretary James Cleverly said Labour’s new “border command” that would work with other countries to co-ordinate in tackling people-smuggling gangs “already exists”.

“The other thing which I think is really quite remarkable, and under-commented upon if you don’t mind me saying, is that Labour’s big reveal, this border command, already exists," he told the BBC.

“It’s called the Small Boats Operational Command, it’s commanded by a British Army General, it already liaises with domestic and international law enforcement and intelligence services.

“Now, either Yvette Cooper does not know this organisation exists, which is pretty embarrassing for the shadow home secretary, or she does know it exists and she’s pretending it doesn’t.”

Sunak promises annual migration cap as arrivals continue to soar

The Prime Minister has vowed that the amount of visas available to migrants to the UK would be reduced every year if the Conservatives are re-elected.

Under Rishi Sunak's plans, MPs would be able to vote on yearly proposals aimed at reducing numbers based on recommendations from the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).

More than 10,000 migrants have arrived in the UK so far this year after crossing the Channel, with immigration becoming a key campaign battleground - not least, with the now Nigel Farage-led Reform UK still in the mix.

Sunak's proposed plan would give Parliament a direct role in setting levels of migration, with MPs having a vote on the number.

The PM said: "We have taken bold action to cut the number of people coming to this country. The plan is working but migration levels are still too high, so we are going further.

"Labour's migrant amnesty will make the UK a global magnet for illegal immigrants and they have no plan to reduce net migration, while we have a clear plan to stop the boats and put a legal cap on numbers.

"The Conservatives are the only party that is willing take the bold action needed to cut immigration figures."

The annual cap would be imposed on the number of visas that can be granted to those coming to the UK on work or family routes, while temporary work routes, such as seasonal agricultural workers, would not fall within the cap.

Farage WILL stand: What does that mean for the Tories?

Christopher Hope and Nigel Farage

Farage spoke to GB News after his "emergency announcement" yesterday


Good morning, and welcome back to GB News' daily General Election LIVE coverage.

New polling has revealed that Nigel Farage - who, in his "emergency election announcement" yesterday afternoon, was confirmed as both the new leader of Reform UK and its candidate in Clacton - would be Conservative voters' top choice for their party's top job.

In exclusive data from the GB News People's Poll, 2019 Conservative Party voters were asked who they'd choose to replace Rishi Sunak. They chose:

  • Nigel Farage, at 17 per cent.
  • Penny Mordaunt, at 14 per cent.
  • David Cameron, at 8 per cent.
  • Suella Braverman, at 7 per cent.
Reacting to the figures, pollster Professor Matt Goodwin said: "What this shows is Farage's ongoing popularity among the Conservative rank-and-file - and his ability, if he were allowed to re-join the party, to stage a takeover."

Conservative voters' highest-ranked choice for their own party's top job announcing his standing for Reform will doubtless stir concerns among the Tory leadership - and, crucially, the polling data was gathered before Farage re-entered Reform.

And with the same polling (again, of 2019 Tory voters) handing Sir Keir Starmer's Labour a 24-point lead ahead of the Conservatives - who themselves have just a 12-point lead ahead of Reform - alarm bells will be ringing.

Prof Goodwin said: "We have next to no evidence that Rishi Sunak and the Conservative Party are turning the Titanic around.

"They are still heading straight for a heavy and historic loss while Labour are heading for a very comfortable majority.

"Reform remains in double-digits and is still poaching more than one in five 2019 Conservative Party voters, which is bad news for Rishi Sunak to say the least.

"Rishi Sunak might have claimed that the adults were back in charge when he replaced Liz Truss, but he is currently leading his party into electoral oblivion."

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