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General election final 2024: Starmer and Sunak gear up for ITV debate as Tories promise immigration cap

Starmer says he would be willing to use nuclear weapons if necessary to defend Britain

Rishi Sunak has pledged to cut immigration as he unveiled a new visa cap, while Sir Keir Starmer promised Labour’s proposed GB Energy company would “close the door” to Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Both Labor and the Tories made their latest election announcements late on Monday night, after a major YouGov poll suggested Sir Keir was on course to win more seats than Tony Blair’s landslide victory in 1997.

Hours after Nigel Farage announced in Clacton his intention to stand as a candidate to reform Britain, Mr Sunak unveiled a pledge – long pushed by Tory hardliners – to impose an annual visa cap, where Parliament had voted in favor.

And Sir Keir accused the Tories of letting the nation down by failing on energy security, as he insisted Labour’s plan to create GB Energy – a state-owned clean energy company – would help protect against fuel price spikes like this. which followed the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Tonight, Sunak hopes the live TV debate can turn around his party’s fortunes. But with four weeks to go, the debate on ITV could represent a final chance for Sunak and the Tories.

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What’s happening today?

  • Home Secretary James is campaigning smartly in the South East.
  • Lib Dem campaign manager Sir Ed Davey is visiting Cheadle this morning and North Shropshire this afternoon.
  • Rachel Reeves and Anas Sarwar will host a question and answer session with financial services professionals in Edinburgh.
  • Nigel Farage launches general election campaign in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex.
  • Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer in the ITV general election debate.
  • The debate will be followed by interviews with leaders of other parties, with the Liberal Democrats, SNP, Reform UK and the Greens invited.

Maryam Zakir-HusseinJune 4, 2024 7:48 AM

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Sir Keir Starmer met people at the Bridge Cafe in Bolton during a campaign visit ahead of Tuesday’s ITV debate with Rishi Sunak.

The Labor leader, accompanied by shadow work and pensions secretary Liz Kendall, spoke to 77-year-old Mandy Snelgrove, a lifelong Conservative voter who said she would now vote Labor because of her experience with the NHS and the cost of living.

She said she recently waited 12 hours at the hospital before being sent home unseen, then went back the next day and waited another six hours without being seen.

When asked what she thought of the current government, she told reporters: “It’s a bit of a mess, if I may say so. It’s a bit of a big mess.”

When asked what she thought of Sir Keir, she replied: ‘He’s lovely. He’s prettier today than I thought. I think he is a very nice man.”

Maryam Zakir-HusseinJune 4, 2024 11:02 am

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In pictures: Starmer speaks to pensioners about the energy crisis in Bolton

(Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)
(Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)
(Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

Maryam Zakir-HusseinJune 4, 2024 11:00 am

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Starmer is ‘looking forward’ to tonight’s TV debate with Sunak

Sir Keir Starmer has said he is “looking forward” to Tuesday night’s TV debate.

When asked how he was feeling ahead of the showdown with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the Labor leader said: “Very good, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to speak directly to voters through the debate and put our case forward. because at the end of the day it’s that clear choice, and I think the voters will see that tonight.

“More of the same, we’ve been through this for fourteen years and after fourteen years nothing is better than when the Tories started. We can put an end to that, turn the page and start rebuilding our country with the Labor Party.

“I look forward to making that argument in the debate tonight.”

When asked if he had prepared for the debate, Sir Keir said: ‘Well, look, I’ve got a team preparing with me, it’s pretty much the same team as for PMQs, and I think the best thing for it staff is that they get the opportunity in the debate to ask them the difficult questions, so they enjoy that.”

(Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

Maryam Zakir-HusseinJune 4, 2024 10:45 am

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Starmer dodges question about seven Slough councilors who resigned over leader’s treatment of Abbott and Shaheen

Asked about the Labor resignation of seven councilors in Slough over the handling of the candidacies of Diane Abbott and Faiza Shaheen, Sir Keir Starmer told broadcasters: “Across the country we have brilliant Labor teams in every constituency, fighting for votes in this general. election.

“We are in good shape, we are making a positive argument about the choice of the country.

“I am very happy that the Prime Minister has called elections because we have been waiting for this, we have been working for this for a long, long time.

“It is our chance to get out, to make our case to the country and to every voter about the choice in this election, about more of the same or about turning the page and rebuilding with Labour.”

Former Labor candidate Faiza Shaheen addresses supporters at a rally
Former Labor candidate Faiza Shaheen addresses supporters at a rally (PA wire)

Maryam Zakir-HusseinJune 4, 2024 10:28 AM

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Starmer: ‘Sunak is the most liberal prime minister on immigration’

When asked about reducing net migration, Sir Keir Starmer told Sky News: “Net migration is far too high. This government has lost control. It is almost twice as high as when we were in the EU. That’s the irony of it.”

He added: “This Prime Minister, for all his tough talk, is actually the most liberal Prime Minister on immigration. Those numbers have gone through the roof.

“They have to come down, we have a plan to take them down.”

(PA wire)

Maryam Zakir-HusseinJune 4, 2024 10:26 AM

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Starmer has not spoken to Diane Abbott since her candidacy

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

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

“The question before the country now is about the decision, the choice that will be made on July 4, whether to continue with this chaos and division or to turn the page and start rebuilding the country with Labour.”

Maryam Zakir-HusseinJune 4, 2024 10:20 am

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Tory campaign blunders as video shows Union Jack flag flying upside down

“We are facing unprecedented challenges here at home due to global uncertainty, but by sticking to the plan, Rishi Sunak is steadying the ship and making progress,” says a deep-voiced narrator over footage of the Prime Minister in action.

Maryam Zakir-HusseinJune 4, 2024 10:18 am

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Businesses warn Starmer UK needs foreign workers after Labor pledged to cut immigration

Business groups, food manufacturers and a Labour-supporting union have warned Sir Keir Starmer that Britain needs foreign workers to help ease labor shortages, after he pledged to cut immigration.

The Labor leader said the net migration figure of 685,000 “must come down” and hit out at Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives for failing to reduce numbers.

He said businesses had become too dependent on workers from abroad and said Labor would train more Britons to do jobs in areas where there was a labor shortage.

Maryam Zakir-HusseinJune 4, 2024 9:50 am

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Angela Rayner said she wants to scrap nuclear weapons, hours after Starmer said the Shadow Cabinet backs him

Maryam Zakir-HusseinJune 4, 2024 9:41 AM

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