General election latest: Sunak on course to be first sitting PM to lose seat as Tories face wipeout in poll

Rishi Sunak is predicted to become the first sitting prime minister ever to lose their seat at a general election, according to a new poll.

The polling from Savanta for The Daily Telegraph consulted around 18,000 people between 7 June and 18 June, and found Mr Sunak was likely to lose his North Yorkshire Richmond seat to Labour.

It comes as a mega-poll revealed the Tories are set to suffer the party’s worst loss in more than a century with senior Cabinet ministers losing their seats.

With just two weeks to go before the general election, the Blue Wall could be shaking as safe seats like Jeremy Hunt’s constituency in South West Surrey is set to fall, the survey predicts.

More In Common UK pollsters warned the results show the Conservatives could emerge with only 155 seats, which is the worst number since 1906.

The astonishing defeat was already predicted by senior frontbenchers this morning with work and pensions secretary Mel Stride claiming that Labour could win the “biggest majority in UK history” if Sir Keir Starmer secures a landslide victory on July 4.

Key Points

  • Sunak set to lose seat, poll predicts

  • Conservatives on course for worst defeat in over a century

  • PM plays down highest day of small boats crossings

  • Farage set to win ‘biggest swing majority’ in Clacton

  • Jacob Rees-Mogg says Reform UK has ‘stolen all his best policies’

Breaking: Conservatives on course for worst defeat in over a century with Jeremy Hunt to lose seat, new mega-poll shows

16:02 , Salma Ouaguira

The Conservatives are on course for their worst defeat in more than a century with high-profile names including Jeremy Hunt set to lose their seats, according to a new poll.

Adding further misery to a raft of gloomy polls for the government, the party will also be completely wiped out in Wales on July 4, the survey predicts.

Luke Tryl, executive director of More In Common UK, which carried out the research, said the findings showed that the Tories were in a “deep hole” and the problem was getting worse.

Conservatives on course for worst defeat in over a century, new mega-poll shows

Voter registrations tank for under-25s

21:30 , Salma Ouaguira

The deadline to register to vote passed yesterday (18 June), and over 630,000 people applied to register on the final day, Alicja Hagopian reports.

This marks 2.9m voter registrations since the election was called on 22 May. This figure is down by 1 million from the same period before the 2019 general election (29 October-26 November), when 3.85m people registered to vote.

Though 18-34 year olds had the highest proportion of registrations overall, the Gen-Z population may not be showing up to the ballot in high numbers.

The under-25 age group has sent in just 746,000 applications to vote ahead of the registration deadline — compared to double that (1.4m) before the 2019 general election.

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21:00 , Salma Ouaguira

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Mother of Manchester Arena attack victim confronts Sunak during radio interview

20:30 , Salma Ouaguira

Mother of Manchester Arena attack victim confronts Sunak during radio interview

Politics Explained | Is Boris Johnson oven-ready for a return to the Tory front line?

20:00 , Salma Ouaguira

As rumours swirl about a Boris Johnson comeback, Sean O’Grady looks at what impact the former prime minister could make in the floundering Tory general election campaign.

He writes: “Rumours of some sort of Johnson comeback have been swirling on and off almost since he was pushed out of the Commons for lying to parliament.

“Some believe, to borrow a phrase, that he is oven-ready for a return.”

Read the full article here.

Boris Johnson to go on second holiday instead of joining Tory election campaign

19:30 , Salma Ouaguira

Boris Johnson to go on second holiday instead of joining Tory election campaign trail

19:00 , Salma Ouaguira

Rishi Sunak ‘fighting the wrong campaign’

18:40 , Salma Ouaguira

Rishi Sunak was warned he is “fighting the wrong campaign” as he has placed his hopes on an intervention by Boris Johnson to try to stave off an election meltdown.

The prime minister today took a trip to southwest England in a bid to rescue seats from a pincer movement by Nigel Farage’s Reform UK on the right and Labour and the Liberal Democrats on the left.

But as Mr Sunak was openly mocked by his rivals amid images of him speaking on hay bales and sheep running away when he tried to feed them, former chancellor George Osborne, who ran the winning election campaigns in 2010 and 2015, heaped criticism on the beleaguered prime minister.

Read the full article here.

Most bizarre moments from 2024 general election campaigning

18:34 , Alexander Butler

18:20 , Salma Ouaguira

Exclusive: Tories called ‘pathetic’ for ad showing Starmer cheered by Kim Jong Un

18:00 , Salma Ouaguira

A Tory advert suggesting dictators are looking forward to a Labour government has been branded “shameful and demeaning” by the former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, Archie Mitchell reports.

Crossbench peer Lord Carlile said the Conservatives “should be ashamed of themselves” for publishing a photoshopped image of Sir Keir Starmerbeing cheered on by North Korean despot Kim Jong Un.

The party’s official X account shared the image, in which the North Korean leader is flanked by Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping.

All three dictators are cheering on the Labour leader, with the image apparently suggesting the trio hope Sir Keir wins the 4 July general election, an outcome which polls suggest is highly likely.

Lord Carlile told The Independent: “It’s shameful and demeaning nonsense. The Conservatives should be ashamed of themselves for stooping to those debts. It demeans the reputation of politics.”

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Carlile chaired the inquiry (Rex Features)
Liberal Democrat peer Lord Carlile chaired the inquiry (Rex Features)

Senior Tories call for amnesty for those fined under Covid rules

17:40 , Salma Ouaguira

Calls for Covid fine amnesty by Tories to ‘wipe slate clean’ for those prosecuted

Sunak’s Titanic, photobombs and upside down flags: The best general election gaffes so far

17:20 , Salma Ouaguira

Sunak’s Titanic, photobombs and upside down flags: Best 2024 general election gaffes

Sunak set to lose seat, poll predicts

17:01 , Alexander Butler

Rishi Sunak is predicted to become the first sitting prime minister ever to lose their seat at a general election, according to a new poll.

The polling from Savanta for The Daily Telegraph consulted around 18,000 people between 7 June and 18 June, and found Mr Sunak was likely to lose his North Yorkshire Richmond seat to Labour.

The Conservatives are also on track to slump to just 53 seats, with around three-quarters of the Cabinet voted out, the poll found.

17:00 , Salma Ouaguira

Labour frontbencher says party should go ‘further’ on child poverty

16:30 , Salma Ouaguira

Shadow work and pensions secretary Liz Kendall has said Labour should go “much much further” in tackling cjild poverty.

Asked whether she found it difficult that Labour would not scrap the two-child benefit cap, Ms Kendall told the Evening Standard: “It’s a Tory policy and we voted against it and I am passionate about tackling child poverty.

“That’s why we have a commitment to a bold and ambitious cross-government strategy to tackle child poverty in our manifesto and that starts with free breakfast clubs in every primary school, a big warm homes initiative to make sure homes are insulated, our plans for a genuine living wage, our back to work plan and our plan to create more jobs.

She added: “Look, I know there’s much much further that we need to go, but we are also honest with people that we won’t make promises that we can’t keep, that we can’t show how we’ll deliver.

“That is a real priority for me, tackling child poverty. We’ve set out our first steps, but I know there’s further to go.”

IFS: SNP pledge to rejoin EU could ‘significantly’ boost NHS revenue

16:16 , Salma Ouaguira

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has said the SNP’s manifesto would bring a “genuily significant funding boost” for the NHS.

IFS associate firector David Phillips said: “The SNP propose a range of tax rises at the UK level. The biggest would be big income tax increases for higher-income individuals to match Scotland’s system, raising an estimated £16.5bn in 2028-29.

“This would see income tax for someone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland earning £50,000 a year rise by £1,600, while those earning £125,000 would see an increase of £5,200.

“By far the biggest revenue-raiser, though, is the proposal that the UK rejoin the EU. The SNP assumes that the resulting boost to economic growth would increase revenues by £30bn a year. In the seemingly unlikely event that the UK did rejoin the EU within the next parliament, this would not be an unreasonably high figure for the eventual boost to revenues.”

Pictured: George Galloway launches Workers Party of Britain manifesto in Manchester

15:55 , Salma Ouaguira

Leader of the Workers Party of Britain George Galloway holds a copy of the manifesto during his party's manifesto launch at the Voco hotel in Manchester (Getty Images)
Leader of the Workers Party of Britain George Galloway holds a copy of the manifesto during his party's manifesto launch at the Voco hotel in Manchester (Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

15:55 , Salma Ouaguira

Boris Johnson to go on second holiday instead of joining Tory election campaign

15:49 , Salma Ouaguira

Boris Johnson to go on second holiday instead of joining Tory election campaign trail

Multimillionaire entrepreneur donates hundreds of thousands to Reform

15:46 , Salma Ouaguira

Zia Yusuf, co-founder of Velocity Black, has backed the right-wing party saying the government has “completely lost control of our borders.”

Mr Yusuf told The Telegraph: “Having spent time with Nigel Farage it’s clear to me that he wants the best for Britain and its people, no matter their religion or skin colour.

“No-one is more aware than I am of the contribution immigrants can make. My parents came here 40 years ago and they travelled all over the country to find work and advance their careers.”

Starmer says Tories ‘out of touch’ after senior figures call for Covid amnesty

15:43 , Salma Ouaguira

Sir Keir Starmer has accused the Tories of being “out of touch” after senior party figures called for an amnesty for people convicted over Covid rule-breaking.

It comes after former justice secretary Sir Robert Buckland told the Telegraph that 29,383 people with Covid convictions should have their “slates wiped clean” rather than have their career prospects hampered.

Sir Keir, a former director of public prosecutions, said: “Sorry, let me understand that. Does Rishi Sunak want his fine removed?”

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves added: “What about the one he got for not having his seatbelt on? Does he want that one to be quashed too?”

The Labour leader said: “I mean, seriously, they want Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak’s convictions to be removed in some great amnesty. Come on. Many, many people paid a very high price in that pandemic.

“The now Prime Minister and his predecessor bar one were convicted of breaking the rules that they put in place and if they don’t understand how deep that goes for people, it just reinforces how out of touch they are.”

Farage accuses Boris’ allies of offering him peerages and a knighthood to stand down in 2019

15:38 , Salma Ouaguira

Nigel Farage has claimed that Boris Johnson’s alllies offered him ten peerages and a knighthood to stand aside in the 2019 general election.

The former Brexit Party leader said he declined the offer branding the move “corruption on the most extraordinary level”.

The Reform UK leader told The Sun: “I wouldn’t take a peerage because I said I wouldn’t take a peerage under any circumstances.

He added: “And those that know me when this offer was made said they’d never heard me shout so loudly. I was that angry at total corruption.”

The former prime minister has previously denied the claims and said they are “nonsense”.

Lib Dem policies will not increase immigration, says Davey

15:30 , Salma Ouaguira

Sir Ed Davey has insisted the Liberal Democrats would bring immigration down, rejecting claims some of their policies would see the figure rise.

In an interview with Sky News, the Lib Dem leader said the rise in legal immigration since 2019 was “a massive broken promise by the Conservatives” that had led to “disillusionment in politics”.

He said: “Since we left the EU, immigration has more than doubled, completely against what the Conservatives and the Brexiteers promised. So the question is, how do you bring it down?”

The Liberal Democrat manifesto contains no explicit pledge to reduce overall migration numbers, instead promising a “fair, effective immigration system that treats everyone with dignity and respect”. But Sir Ed denied that these policies would lead to higher migration.

He said that increasing the minimum wage for care workers to £2 above the general minimum wage would encourage British people “who are currently working in, say, an Amazon warehouse or a supermarket” to enter the sector, removing the need for foreign labour. And added that the Conservatives “refuse to pay people properly” and had “issued hundreds of thousands of healthcare visas” instead.

Former Lib Dem MP praises Reform and Farage’s election campaign

15:16 , Salma Ouaguira

Former Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik has praised Reform UK and Nigel Farage for having “plausible charisma”.

Mr Opik told The Telegraph: “I think by far the best campaign has been run by Reform. Compared to the other parties, Reform looks like an adult in a kindergarten.“

Farage has plausible charisma, he looks present, whereas the other ones look vacant. Farage is saying things which are really specific, for example junking net zero, which I find very attractive. There are really clear things that nobody else is saying.

“They are Premier League material in a third division election. I think Nigel has got the best natural leadership, from a theoretical point of view. It’s not going to happen this time, but it could happen in 2029 and as long as he had a good team, at least it would be a change.”

 (UPPA)
(UPPA)

Starmer labels Just Stop Oil ‘pathetic’ after activists cover Stonehenge in paint

15:09 , Salma Ouaguira

Pictured: Akshata Murty, Lucia Hunt and Susie Cleverly campaigning with Lucy Frazer in Cambridgeshire

15:06 , Salma Ouaguira

(left-right) Lucia Hunt wife of Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt, Akshata Murty wife of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport, Lucy Frazer and Susie Cleverly wife of Home Secretary James Cleverly in Fordham, Suffolk (Chris Radburn/PA Wire)
(left-right) Lucia Hunt wife of Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt, Akshata Murty wife of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport, Lucy Frazer and Susie Cleverly wife of Home Secretary James Cleverly in Fordham, Suffolk (Chris Radburn/PA Wire)
Akshata Murty wife of Rishi Sunak (second right) meets a Conservative Party member in Fordham (Chris Radburn/PA Wire)
Akshata Murty wife of Rishi Sunak (second right) meets a Conservative Party member in Fordham (Chris Radburn/PA Wire)
Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport, Lucy Frazer (left) and Akshata Murty (right) wife of Prime Minister (Chris Radburn/PA Wire)
Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport, Lucy Frazer (left) and Akshata Murty (right) wife of Prime Minister (Chris Radburn/PA Wire)

Comment | Keir Starmer is right to keep his wife Victoria out of the spotlight

15:02 , Salma Ouaguira

Very little is known about life at the Starmers’ – but maintaining privacy will become much harder should the family move into No 10, writes John Rentoul.

“I rather admire the way Starmer has struck a deal with the devil of media intrusion on his own terms,” says Rentoul.

“He will use his wife’s work as an occupational therapist to buttress his pro-NHS credentials, and he will talk about his son and daughter enough to prove that he is a centrist dad; but he has not (yet) asked Victoria to introduce him at Labour Party conference, and he never uses his children’s names in public or allows photographs of them.”

Read the full opinion piece here.

PM plays down highest day of small boats crossings

14:57 , Salma Ouaguira

Rishi Sunak has played down the Home Office figures that revealed 882 people crossed the Channel in small boats yesterday - the highest total since late 2022.

The PM said there would always be some days “worse than others”.

He reiterated that the election was a choice between him and Labour and advocated for the Rwanda plan.

Nigel Farage comments about Muslims ‘worrying’, anti-Islamophobia organisation warns

14:48 , Salma Ouaguira

A community leader has said comments made by the Reform UK leader about Muslims are “worrying” and urged other parties to “step up” to address divisions.

Iman Atta, of the Tell Mama organisation which monitors Islamophobia in the UK, accused Mr Farage of “attacking and undermining Muslim communities” in an effort to get votes at the General Election on July 4.

Last month, Mr Farage said there are “a growing number of young people in this country who do not subscribe to British values, in fact loathe much of what we stand for”, when asked about Conservative plans to bring in national service for 18-year-olds.

Asked during that interview on Sky News if he was referring to Muslims, Mr Farage said: “We are.”

Ms Atta said that, while his comments were “disgraceful”, they are “nothing new”, referring to other remarks he has made within the past decade.

She added that now is the time for “leadership that is calling out hatred and division, that is promoting integrity, that is addressing really what brings our communities together in a challenging time across the world.”

Rishi Sunak condemns Just Stop Oil activists

14:40 , Salma Ouaguira

The prime minister has described the spraying of orange paint on Stonehenge by Just Stop Oil activists as “a disgraceful act of vandalism” as two people were arrested on suspicion of damaging the monument.

Video footage posted on social media showed two people wearing white shirts with the slogan Just Stop Oil, approaching the monoliths with canisters spraying orange powder paint.

Mr Sunak said: “This is a disgraceful act of vandalism to one of the UK’s and the world’s oldest and most important monuments.

“Just Stop Oil should be ashamed of their activists, and they and anyone associated with them, including a certain Labour Party donor, should issue a condemnation of this shameful act immediately.”

Voter registrations tank for under-25s

14:37 , Salma Ouaguira

The deadline to register to vote passed yesterday (18 June), and over 630,000 people applied to register on the final day. This marks 2.9m voter registrations since the election was called on 22 May, Alicja Hagopian reports.

This figure is down by 1 million from the same period before the 2019 general election (29 October-26 November), when 3.85m people registered to vote.

Though 18-34 year olds had the highest proportion of registrations overall, the Gen-Z population may not be showing up to the ballot in high numbers.

The under-25 age group has sent in just 746,000 applications to vote ahead of the registration deadline — compared to double that (1.4m) before the 2019 general election.

You can read The Independent full story here.

Sunak: Starmer would send ‘wrong message’ on defence to Russia and North Korea

14:26 , Salma Ouaguira

Rishi Sunak has warned Sir Keir Starmer would send “exactly the wrong message” on degence to Russia and North Korea if Labour wins on July 4.

The prime minister said the Labour leader’s decision not to match the Tories’ commitment 2.5 per cent defence spending increase is “deeply” concerning.

The Prime Minister said: “In fact if Keir Starmer is elected, one of the first things he will do is head off to a Nato summit having cut British defence spending from the planned increases that I’ve announced.

“I think that sends exactly the wrong message, both to our allies, where we want to lead so that they invest more in their defence as well, but also to our adversaries, like Putin, and like the North Koreans, and actually we need to deter them with strength.”

14:23 , Salma Ouaguira

George Galloway launches Workers Party manifesto

14:17 , Salma Ouaguira

Workers Party of Britain leader George Galloway has launched its manifesto today from Manchester.

The MP for Rochdale accused Reform UK of “running away” with this election and said Labour and the Tories afe “two cheeks of the same backside”.

He said the party is not in favour of mass immigration and Great Britain “isn’t great anymore”. Mr Galloway also accused Labour and the Tories of supporting a genocide in Gaza.

Here are the key pledges from his party’s manifesto:

  • Withdraw from Nato.

  • Provide “decent, cheap and secure” housing.

  • Free access to childcare, education, vocational training and healthcare.

  • Deliver a new package of workers’ rights

  • Bring cheap or free transport.

  • Improve services for women, disabled people, the elderly and families.

  • Allow access to culture and media and prioritise the endironment.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Farage set to win ‘biggest swing majority’ in Clacton

13:56 , Salma Ouaguira

Nigel Farage is set to win Clacton with an overwhelming majority on July 4, according to a Survation poll.

The Reform UK leader could be on course to get 42 per cent of the votes in the Essex seat, the Times reports.

Survation told the newspaper that such a victory in a seat would be “unprecedented in modern electoral history”.

The survey was commissioned by Arron Banks, who is a former Ukip donor and close ally of Farage

 (AFP/Getty)
(AFP/Getty)

Rachel Reeves and Keir Starmer clash over whether working people have savings after Labour tax pledge

13:45 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Rachel Reeves has clarified Sir Keir Starmer’s definition of “working people” days after the party pledged not to raise taxes on workers if it got into power.

The shadow chancellor backed up the promise in the party’s manifesto in a video message where she said she would not put up income tax, National Insurance or VAT.

But after Sir Keir appeared to omit pensioners and savers when asked for his definition of “working people”, senior Tories claimed it indicated the party actually intended to raise taxes.

Rachel Reeves and Keir Starmer clash over whether working people have savings

Farage labels small boat crossings a ‘national security emergency'

13:37 , Salma Ouaguira

Sunak: SNP focused on ‘constitutional wrangling'

13:36 , Salma Ouaguira

Rishi Sunak has accused the SNP of “constituational wrangling” after John Swinney launched the party manifesto.

The Prime Minister told broadcasters: “All the SNP do is focus on constitutional wrangling. They’re the ones that aren’t focused on what people care about day to day.

“They have already made Scotland the highest tax capital of the UK, and if Labour are elected, they would just do the same, hike up everyone’s taxes, just like the SNP have done.

“A vote for anyone who’s not a Conservative candidate at this election is just a vote for higher taxes. I don’t want to see that happen. That’s not how you deliver financial security.”

Russian interference in UK general election will likely ramp up dramatically, warns senior US senator

13:35 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Russian interference in the UK general election will likely “ramp up dramatically” over the next fortnight, the chair of the United States senate intelligence committee has warned.

Washington has witnessed “egregious efforts” by Moscow to interfere in the democratic process across the globe, similar to those alleged in the 2016 US presidential election, said Mark Warner.

The senior senator, who is regularly briefed on secret US intelligence, said he had been closely monitoring the situation in the UK, adding: “I think the next big test of the state of play will be the British elections in a few weeks.”

Russian interference in UK election may ramp up dramatically, warns senior US senator

Breaking: Just Stop Oil protesters cover Stonehenge in orange paint ahead of summer solstice

13:31 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Climate protesters have covered Stonehenge in orange paint on the eve of summer solstice.

Two Just Stop Oil activists began spraying rocks at the ancient site at around midday on Wednesday, just one day before thousands are expected to descend on the site to celebrate the longest day of the year.

The group demands that the next government sign up to a legally binding treaty to phase out fossil fuels by 2030.

Rishi Sunak condemned the attack, saying: “This is a disgraceful act of vandalism to one of the UK’s and the world’s oldest and most important monuments.

“Just Stop Oil should be ashamed of their activists, and they and anyone associated with them, including a certain Labour Party donor, should issue a condemnation of this shameful act immediately.”

Just Stop Oil protesters cover Stonehenge in orange paint ahead of summer solstice

PM visits Sizewell B nuclear power station

13:25 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Rishi Sunak visited Sizewell B nuclear power station on the campaign trail on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister toured the cavernous yet warm turbine hall, where steam heated by the nuclear reactor is used to generate electricity.

Mr Sunak wore a white safety helmet emblazoned with EDF’s logo, ear protectors and a long blue workman’s coat as he toured the upper gantries of the vast building.

The Prime Minister placed his hands against the blue painted hull of a turbine as mighty vibrations could be heard and felt underfoot.

Mr Sunak later met with apprentices in a simulation room alongside Conservative former minister Therese Coffey, the candidate for the Suffolk Coastal constituency.

“What’s an example of something that might go wrong?” Mr Sunak asked the apprentices after twisting a button which simulates turning on a cooling pump.

 (James Manning/PA Wire)
(James Manning/PA Wire)

Sunak slams Starmer’s approach to defence spending

13:20 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

On defence spending, Rishi Sunak said Sir Keir Starmer would send “exactly the wrong message” to the UK’s adversaries, such as Russia and North Korea.

Speaking to reporters in East Anglia, the Prime Minister repeated his concerns of an “axis of authoritarian states, including Russia, Iran, North Korea and China, who are increasingly acting together in a way that threatens our values, our interests and our security”.

He continued: “That’s why I made the decisions to increase investment in defence spending to 2.5% of GDP, because we’re living in the most dangerous and uncertain time that our country has known since the end of the Cold War.

“Just from the conversations I’ve been having at the G7, and the Ukraine peace summit, that is a view that is shared widely across the world, that’s why it’s the right thing to do to invest more in our defence, to keep everybody safe.

“Keir Starmer has not matched that pledge and that deeply concerns me ‘cause the first duty of government is to protect the country.

“In fact if Keir Starmer is elected, one of the first things he will do is head off to a Nato summit having cut British defence spending from the planned increases that I’ve announced, and I think that sends exactly the wrong message, both to our allies, where we want to lead so that they invest more in their defence as well, but also to our adversaries, like Putin, and like the North Koreans, and actually we need to deter them with strength.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg says Reform UK has ‘stolen all his best policies’ as he jokes about party’s manifesto

13:17 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg said Reform UK’s manifesto is a “whole load of nice-sounding pledges” that don’t add up - then joked the right-wing party had taken his “best policies”.

The Brexiteer is facing a battle for his political future in North East Somerset and Hanham where regional mayor Dan Norris is projected to win the seat for Labour, according to the latest polls.

Canvassing on Tuesday, Mr Rees-Mogg, who has held the seat since 2010, came across voters in the constituency who said they’d be voting for Nigel Farage’s Reform UK.

Jacob Rees-Mogg jokes Reform UK has ‘stolen all his best policies’

13:09 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Rishi Sunak said he was “not familiar” with a former Tory minister’s call for an amnesty for people convicted of Covid rule-breaking.

Asked whether he agreed with former justice secretary Sir Robert Buckland that the slate should be wiped clean for people sanctioned over breaches, he told reporters in East Anglia: “I’m not actually familiar with what Robert has said.”

The comments were on the front page of the Telegraph newspaper.

“I haven’t seen the details of that,” the Prime Minister said.

Mr Sunak, who was fined for a Covid rule breach while serving as chancellor, said: “This election is about the future. Covid was a very difficult time for our country, right? And that was followed by a war in Ukraine ... this election is about how do we build going forward.

“When it comes to Covid, it’s important we learn all the lessons of Covid and that’s why we have a full public inquiry.”

12:56 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Mother of Manchester Arena attack victim confronts Sunak during radio interview

Starmer slams Sunak over billionaires switching to Labour

12:45 , Salma Ouaguira

Rishi Sunak was “talking nonsense” when he said billionaires switching to Labour can afford the tax hikes the party will introduce, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

The Prime Minister made the comment in response to Phones4U founder John Caudwell and Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe abandoning the Tories in favour of Sir Keir’s party.

Sir Keir told reporters on a campaign visit to Wiltshire: “He’s talking nonsense and not for the first time.

“Rishi Sunak should stop lecturing anybody else about the economy. Ask people as you meet them around the country as we do, ‘do you feel any better off now than you did 14 years ago?’ And there is a resounding no to that question.”

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves added: “We’re clearly proud to have the support of businesses. John Caudwell is one of the most successful entrepreneurs and businessmen in this country.

“If Rishi Sunak wants to do him down, that’s up to him. But we’re really proud to have the support of a former Conservative donor and one of the most successful entrepreneurs in our country.”

Sunak: SNP only focused on ‘constitutional wrangling’

12:40 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

The SNP are only focused on “constitutional wrangling”, Rishi Sunak said following the party’s manifesto launch.

Asked about NHS funding commitments in the SNP manifesto, the Prime Minister said: “Under the Conservatives right now, we’re investing record sums into the NHS and that will continue if we’re re-elected, with NHS spending and investment going up in real terms ahead of inflation every year at the next parliament.

“We’re also hiring more doctors and nurses, and training more for the future, and doing things differently by making sure people can see their pharmacists instead of their GP to get treatments for common ailments.”

He added: “All the SNP do is focus on constitutional wrangling. They’re the ones that aren’t focused on what people care about day to day.

“They have already made Scotland the highest tax capital of the UK, and if Labour are elected, they would just do the same, hike up everyone’s taxes, just like the SNP have done.

 (PA)
(PA)

Starmer describes himself as a ‘working person'

12:35 , Salma Ouaguira

Sir Keir Starmer has described himself as a “working person” and expanded on his definition of “working people” as those who cannot “write a cheque when they get into trouble”.

He told reporters in Wiltshire: “The response of the Tories to this shows just how out of touch they are, of course people have savings.”

The Labour leader added: “Of course, our definition covers people who’ve got savings, but it covers people who can’t just afford on top of that, to pay for other things. And nobody wants to use their savings to pay the bills of the day because the Government’s lost control of the economy.

“So, I’m afraid that’s an attack, which has backfired spectacularly, in terms of showing just how out of touch they are.”

Asked if he would consider himself a “working man”, Sir Keir said: “Yes. I’m a working person.”

He continued: “I come within my own definition of a working person, which is earning my living, paying my taxes and knowing what it means to save money, and when you do save money, not wanting to use that money to get out of a cost-of-living crisis which is of the Government’s making.”

Starmer: Sunak ‘talking nonsense’ about billionaires affording Labour tax hikes

12:32 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

Rishi Sunak was “talking nonsense” when he said billionaires switching to Labour can afford the tax hikes the party will introduce, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

The prime minister made the comment in response to Phones4U founder John Caudwell and Manchester United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe abandoning the Tories in favour of Sir Keir’s party.

Sir Keir told reporters on a campaign visit to Wiltshire: “He’s talking nonsense and not for the first time...

“Rishi Sunak should stop lecturing anybody else about the economy. Ask people as you meet them around the country as we do, ‘do you feel any better off now than you did 14 years ago?’ And there is a resounding no to that question.”

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves added: “We’re clearly proud to have the support of businesses. John Caudwell is one of the most successful entrepreneurs and businessmen in this country.

“If Rishi Sunak wants to do him down, that’s up to him. But we’re really proud to have the support of a former Conservative donor and one of the most successful entrepreneurs in our country.”

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

In pictures: Sunak visits Sizewell

12:29 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

 (James Manning/PA Wire)
(James Manning/PA Wire)
 (James Manning/PA Wire)
(James Manning/PA Wire)
 (James Manning/PA Wire)
(James Manning/PA Wire)

Rachel Reeves rules out rejoining EU single market

12:24 , Salma Ouaguira

Rachel Reeves has ruled out rejoining the EU single market or customs union if Labour fails to achieve the highest growth in the G7 by the end of a five-year term.

Speaking to reporters in Wiltshire, the shadow chancellor said: “No, we’ve been really clear.

“We’re not going to re-enter the EU, the single market, the customs union or bring back free movement of labour. But we do think there are practical improvements we can make to the deal the Tories got.”

Starmer: John Caudwell backs Labour because we’re the party of wealth

12:22 , Salma Ouaguira

Sir Keir Starmer has said former Tory donor John Caudwell has switched his allegiance to Labour because the party now represents “growth and wealth creation”.

Speaking to journalists on the campaign trail, the Labour leader said: “Look at John Caudwell coming out last night, this is a serious entrepreneur who’s putting his backing behind Labour because he thinks we’re the party of growth and wealth creation that understands how you get investment in.

“That is, in the end, the only way we’re going to make sure that people are better-off.

“When Jim Ratcliffe and John Caudwell say ‘we’re switching sides because Labour is the party of economic growth’, that’s serious.”

Phones4u billionaire John Caudwell has said he will voting Labour, after donating £500,000 to the Tories in 2019 and supporting them for 51 years (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Archive)
Phones4u billionaire John Caudwell has said he will voting Labour, after donating £500,000 to the Tories in 2019 and supporting them for 51 years (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Archive)

Labour vows to set up a border security command ‘straight away'

12:18 , Salma Ouaguira

Sir Keir Starmer has blamed the latest small boat ccrossing numbers on the Tories and said he would implement a border security command “straight away” to tackle immigration.

The Labour leader said the governmnet “has lost control of our borders” and the country needs a “serious response”.

Keir Starmer added: “That is a new command, with new resources and new powers, including counter-terrorism powers, with the single objective of taking down the gangs that are running this vile trade in the first place.”

He added: “We would be able to set up this command straight away, as one of the first steps in government. I want people to have that image of an incoming Labour government, sleeves rolled-up, getting on with the job from day one.

“The Rwanda scheme is a gimmick, we will cancel that, stop wasting money on that.”

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

‘People crossing the Channel is shocking,’ Starmer says

12:14 , Salma Ouaguira

Reacting to the latest migration figures, the Labour leader has described the numbers “shocking”.

The Home Office reported 882 people made the journey in 15 boats on Tuesday, taking the total number of arrivals this year to 12,313, also a new record.

Speaking from Wiltshire, Sir Keir Starmer said: “The number of people crossing the Channel now is shocking.

“It’s record numbers, as you rightly say, and this was Rishi Sunak’s pledge to the country 18 months ago, he would stop the boats – numbers have gone up.

“The way to bring this down – it has to be dealt with, this is a very serious issue – is what we would do, which is to set up a border security command to smash the gangs that are running this vile trade.”

Starmer declines to rule out raising inheritance tax

12:11 , Salma Ouaguira

Sir Keir Starmer has refused to rule out raising inheritance tax in the first term of a future Labour government.

Asked whether he could rule it out, the party leader repeated what he previously said about tax plans: “We’ve been really clear that we’re not raising income tax, national insurance or VAT.

“All of our plans are fully funded, don’t require tax rises over and above what we’ve already set out. And that is because we’re focusing on growing our economy.”

Starmer: Voters ‘fed up’ with Tories on economy

12:09 , Salma Ouaguira

Sir Keir Starmer has said voters are “fed up” with the government saying “everything is fine” with the economy after inflation fell to 2%.

Speaking to broadcasters in Wiltshire, he said: “Inflation is now down to where it was three years ago. That doesn’t mean that for many people life’s suddenly got easier.

“So, yes, it’s back where it was three years ago, but that doesn’t mean that prices are coming down, it doesn’t mean that mortgages are coming down.

“If there’s one thing that’s been picked up on this campaign trail over and over again, it’s people being fed up with the Government sort of saying, ‘oh, you need to thank us now, we are turning a page, everything is fine’.

“Everybody here at Morrisons that we’ve been talking to, people across the country, don’t think it’s fine because they know that they are still paying the cost of the Government losing control of the economy.”

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Swinney: People are ‘crying out for principled leaders’

11:45 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

People are “crying out for principled leadership”, SNP leader John Swinney has said.

Launching his party’s manifesto ahead of the July 4 General Election, the First Minister said: “We are living in a period of rapid change where new technology, the climate emergency and the implications of an ageing population will all have a profound impact on the way we live our lives in the future.

“Given this atmosphere of turmoil, more than ever I believe political leaders and political parties need a set of values as a foundation from which to respond to those challenges.

“I believe people are crying out for principled leadership which is prepared to argue for what it believes in.”

SNP pledge to abolish the House of Lords

11:44 , Salma Ouaguira

John Swinney has promised to “support the abolition of the undemocratic House of Lords” under a potential future Scottish governmnet.

The first minister of Scotland also vowed to scrap the Rwanda scheme and end the “demonisation of migrants”.

In a bid to stop “waistful spending” and investment, the party promised to scrap Trident and use the money to fund “conventional defence and public services”.

'A vote for SNP is a vote for Scotland’s values’

11:40 , Salma Ouaguira

A vote for the SNP, First Minister John Swinney said, is a vote for “Scotland’s values”.

The party would fight against the two-child benefit cap, he said, as well as nuclear weapons and the push for the abolition of the House of Lords.

“Elected government, not ermine-clad cronies, lift the two-child cap, not the cap on bankers’ bonuses, bairns, not bombs, and investment, not cuts,” he said.

“I believe these choices represent the values most of us share.

“They are Scotland’s values - and a vote for the SNP - a vote for this manifesto - is a vote for those values.”

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Swinney fails to rule out tax rises

11:38 , Salma Ouaguira

Asked whether he will raise taxes, John Swinney says: “We’ve taken some hard decisions in the Scottish government - we’ve increased tax on higher earners so we could invest more in our public services.”

He then fails to confirm whether he would rise tax rises in a future SNP government.

Swinney: ‘No other way’ to independence than democracy

11:35 , Maryam Zakir-Hussain

John Swinney has said there is “no other way” to Scottish independence than through democracy.

Speaking as he launched his party’s manifesto in Edinburgh, the First Minister said: “With independence, people in Scotland will always get the governments they vote for.

“That’s how democracy should work: engaging in respectful persuasion, taking account of everyone’s view, working together wherever possible in the national interest.

“And it is through the power of democracy that we will win our independence - there is no other way.

“We must never lose faith in the power of the democratic voice of the people of Scotland.”

Scots voted in a “clear majority” of independence-supporting MSPs in the 2021 Holyrood election, the First Minister said, a “democratic choice which must be respected”.

SNP’s manifesto key pledges

11:25 , Salma Ouaguira

While John Swinney unveils the party’s manifesto, the document has already been published on the SNP official website. Here are the key pledges:

  • Deliver independence. The party says starting a new referendum process would “strengthen our economy, tackle the cost of living, and bring about a fairer country”.

  • End 14 years of austerity by “reversing deep damaging cuts to public services that have put real pressure on the money available for the NHS and schools”. The SNP vows to stand against the Westminster consensus on cuts.

  • Rejoin the EU. The party pledges to reverse Brexit and re-enter the single market to “restore free movement for EU citizens”.

  • Provide urgent support for household finances and reduce the impact of rising interest rates and inflation.

  • Protect the NHS from “the twin threats of Westminster privatisation and austerity”. The party urged the future UK Government to back the SNP Bill to keep the NHS in public hands and invest at least £16bn of funding each year, providing an extra £1.6bn to NHS Scotland.

  • Reverse the £1.3bn Westminster cut to Scotland’s capital budget, “to enable us to invest in new hospitals, schools, rail and road infrastructure and help to achieve net zero”.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Tories on course for worst defeat in over a century, new poll shows

16:23 , Salma Ouaguira

Conservatives on course for worst defeat in over a century, new mega-poll shows

Sunak LBC grilling: From being branded a ‘liar’ to ‘pound shop Nigel Farage’ attack

10:50 , Salma Ouaguira

Rishi Sunak has faced a brutal grilling from voters on LBC phone-in. In case you missed Nick Ferrari’s show, here are the top contributions from callers:

  • A young caller asked what had the Tory governmnet donef or young people. After listening to the prime minister’s response, the caller slammed: “Frankly, you are lying through your teeth. You’ve had a decade and a half to improve housing, to improve rental conditions, to improve any of the issues that you talk about and you haven’t, and I think young people just don’t believe your promises anymore.”

  • A woman from Bury accused Mr Sunak of lying over supporting people during Covid. She said: “I don’t think that you understand what it’s like to be on the shop floor to speak. You’re richer than the king. I don’t believe that you understand how hard it is for people to support food banks.”

  • Another caller from Manchester who lived with HIV over 16 years accused the PM of not voting for gay marriage to be extended to Northern Ireland, never wearing a red ribbon on World Aids day, and to have “behaved disgracefully” over the trans community. He then said the PM is becoming “a pound-shop Nigel Farage, and you’re not succeeding”.

  • A final caller asked Mr Sunak why he made a joke about his sugar consumption when sugar is a serious problem which an cause child tooth decay. The PM said he will not apologise for eating Twixes.

 (LBC)
(LBC)

Stride: Labour on course for ‘largest majority virtually in the history of this country'

09:46 , Salma Ouaguira

Mel Stride has warned Labour could deliver the “largest majority virtually in the history of this country” if current polling materialises on July 4.

The work and pensions secretary said recent polls results confirmed the Conservatives are a “long way behind” Sir Keir Starmer.

Mr Stride told the BBC: “That shows us a long way behind Labour and, indeed, if you take those polls and extrapolate that into a result, you could end up seeing a Labour government with 450 or 460 seats, the largest majority virtually in the history of this country.

“And I think the question that Grant is servicing, which I think is a perfectly sensible question to ask, is that if that is where it goes – if the polls are right, and they stick where they are through to election day and that is the result – it is to some degree about what government colour you get, but it is also substantially about what kind of opposition you’re going to get.

“And whether you’re going to have a Parliament that is able actually to hold a government to account or not.”

09:36 , Salma Ouaguira

Hunt: Labour could be in power for a ‘very long time’

09:24 , Salma Ouaguira

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has predicted that Labour could be in power for “a very long time” if Sir Keir Starmer wins by a landslide.

He told broadcasters: “I think when people go to the polls, they will reflect on the dangers of Labour having such a big majority and then changing the rules by giving votes to people at the age of 16, giving votes to EU citizens, so that they’re here not just for a short time, for a very long time indeed.

“Compared to that, they will look at a Conservative government that hasn’t got everything right but took difficult decisions having inherited an economy that had higher inflation than nearly any of our major competitors.

“It is now lower, not just lower inflation but lower taxes, and soon hopefully lower mortgages as well.”

 (PA Video/PA Wire)
(PA Video/PA Wire)