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Election news – live: Tories face wipeout in poll as minister condemns D-Day blunder

Minister denies Rishi Sunak will quit before general election after D-Day blunder

The Conservative Party is facing electoral wipeout, the latest poll has revealed, as a close ally of Rishi Sunak was forced to deny speculation that the prime minister could quit before the general election on 4 July.

Labour is set for a majority of 416 at the upcoming general election, leaving the Tories at just 37 seats, according to the new Deltapoll survey, which puts Sir Keir Starmer’s party on 46 per cent compared to the Conservatives on 21 per cent – with even the prime minister set to lose his Yorkshire seat.

Mr Sunak is claimed to be despondent over the furious backlash to his decision to skip a D-Day memorial attended by other world leaders, and he appeared to dodge questioning on Saturday after a scheduled press event was cancelled during a campaign visit to a walled garden at Auckland Castle.

With fierce critic Nadine Dorries claiming to have heard rumours on Saturday “that Sunak’s about to fall on his sword”, cabinet minister Mel Stride was forced to insist there was “no question” whether or not Mr Sunak would lead the Tories into polling day.


Like him or not, there’s a reason voters keep coming back to Nigel Farage

To what may we attribute the current success of Nigel Farage and his latest vehicle, Reform UK? Without exaggerating their strength – Reform UK is not about to win the general election and Farage is not going to be asked by the King to form an administration in his name – their rise is undeniable and, for the Tories, terrifying.

Quite a lot of that is down to one man and, whether you think him evil or not, the political gifts he undoubtedly possesses. He is, to many of us, a fascistic demagogue; but not every wannabe authoritarian leader gets very far, and it still takes skill, as well as luck and some judgement, to get as far as he has for as long as he has. After all, he first emerged as leader of Ukip in 2006 and has been part of the national scene, from Brussels to I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, ever since. Whether we like it nor not, he is a force in British politics.

Tara Cobham10 June 2024 04:00


Sunak sets out plan for 8,000 more ‘bobbies on the beat’

Rishi Sunak has promised to recruit 8,000 more neighbourhood police officers, paid for by hiking the cost of visas if the Conservatives win the General Election.

The prime minister said “more bobbies on the beat” with greater powers would help drive down crime.

The Tories said the plan would be funded in part by increasing visa fees by 25 per cent and making overseas students pay a higher level of immigration health surcharge.

The prime minister highlighted the Tory record of recruiting 20,000 officers since 2019, although this matched the number of officers lost during the years of austerity after 2010.

Mr Sunak said: “Our new 20,000 new police officers since 2019 have made a huge difference, with neighbourhood crime down 48% as a result.

“We will now go further by hiring 8,000 more police officers, each one dedicated to their local community.

“People deserve to feel safe in their neighbourhood.

“More bobbies on the beat and increased powers will give police forces the tools they need to drive down neighbourhood crime even further.”

The Tories plan to press ahead with extra powers for officers to crack down on so-called zombie knives and use GPS tracking technology to search for stolen phones without a warrant which were included in the Criminal Justice Bill which was halted when Mr Sunak called the General Election.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on the campaign trail
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on the campaign trail (PA Wire)

Tara Cobham10 June 2024 03:00


Mapped: Tactical voting poses threat to half of projected Tory election wins

More than a hundred seats across the UK could be ripe for tactical voting at the general election, according to a new analysis by The Independent.

Based on a major poll from YouGov, published on Monday, almost half of the Conservatives’ projected wins come with a margin under 5 points.

The Tories themselves may have an eye on 50 seats Labour and the Liberal Democrats are projected to win, if they can persuade Reform UK voters to back them.

Data Correspondent Alicja Hagopian reports:

Tara Cobham10 June 2024 02:00


Labour promises school breakfast clubs will save parents £400 a year

Labour has said its commitment to delivering free breakfast clubs in primary schools will save parents more than £400 a year and cut almost half a million days of school absence.

In the first phase of the party’s childcare plan, it promises to slash absence and save primary school parents hundreds of pounds a year.

By Labour’s estimates, for parents who already pay for alternative before-school childcare such as childminders, funded breakfast clubs could cut the cost by up to £50 a week, delivering savings of almost £2,000 across a school year.

Bridget Phillipson, the shadow education secretary, said the breakfast clubs plan is the first step towards delivering a transformation in childcare which supports families from the end of parental leave to the end of primary school.

Ms Phillipson said: “Families’ childcare needs don’t end when their kids leave nursery, that’s why we’ll put free breakfast clubs in every English primary school.

“We’ll fund our clubs by clamping down on tax dodgers and save hardworking parents over £400 every year.

“Breakfast clubs are proven to improve kids’ behaviour and grades, and get those regularly missing class back into school – giving them a great start to their day and getting them ready to learn.”

Labour has said it will roll out the fully funded breakfast clubs across all primary schools in England, expanding significantly from the Conservatives’ plans which it claims reach just one in every seven primary schools.

In addition to providing vital childcare for parents, Labour analysis claims breakfast clubs could also cut 450,000 days of school absence among primary school pupils.

School attendance has been described as a national crisis as the number of children not attending school has risen in recent years.

Tara Cobham10 June 2024 01:00


Tory party must embrace Farage to ‘unite the right’, says Braverman

The Conservative Party must embrace Nigel Farage to “unite the right”, Suella Braverman has urged, following a disastrous few days for Rishi Sunak.

The former home secretary told The Times there was “not much difference” between the new Reform UK leader’s policies and those of the Tories, as senior Conservatives start debating the future of the party.

Tara Cobham10 June 2024 00:11


Tories embroiled in hypocrisy row over anti-Ulez pledge

But Mr Sunak was accused of hypocrisy after it emerged his own ministers had supported many of the measures he is now railing against.

Archie Mitchell and David Maddox report:

Tara Cobham10 June 2024 00:00


Watch: Labour candidate parachutes into Normandy to raise money for British Legion

Labour candidate parachutes into Normandy to raise money for British Legion

Tara Cobham9 June 2024 23:00


Lord Heseltine warns spiralling Tory party is ‘fighting for its life’

Lord Heseltine has issued a rallying cry to the Conservative Party warning it is in the “fight for its life” and needs to focus on attacking the enemy.

The dramatic intervention by a former deputy prime minister who was at the heart of grasping the Tories’ most unlikely victory in 1992 comes as the polls are predicting a Canadian style wipeout of the party.

Political editor David Maddox reports:

Tara Cobham9 June 2024 22:00


Labour pledges to create 100,000 extra childcare places in schools

Labour has set out plans to turn primary school classrooms into 3,300 new nurseries to create an extra 100,000 childcare places.

Sir Keir Starmer said a shortage of childcare meant parents were being held back in their careers and children were “starting school already behind”.

Under Labour’s plan, empty or under-used classrooms in England’s primary schools could be converted to nurseries.

The spare capacity in schools has been caused by declining birth rates and under the plan some 3,334 classrooms would be converted at an average cost of £40,000.

The nurseries could be run by the schools themselves or local private or voluntary-sector providers.

Funding for the scheme would come from imposing VAT on private schools.

Labour said it would target its new school nursery places at areas of highest need, where parents are struggling to find childcare.

Sir Keir said: “Childcare is critical infrastructure. It’s vital for children’s opportunities, and essential for a stable economy.

“After 14 years of Conservative government, too many children are starting school already behind, and too many parents are being held back from fulfilling their career ambitions.

“This election is about change. Labour will roll up our sleeves and take the tough decisions needed to support parents’ progression, improve kids’ life chances and ultimately, drive growth. We will create the childcare places needed to turn the page, and rebuild Britain.”

Tara Cobham9 June 2024 21:20


Tory candidate defends renting Airbnb property 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.

Mr McGuinness told the PA news agency the property was a former Airbnb he was renting and that it had not yet been removed from the site.

He said: “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.”

The listing has since been removed from Airbnb.

Tara Cobham9 June 2024 21:00

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