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BBC election debate – live: Mordaunt says Sunak ‘completely wrong’ in Rayner clash

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Extraordinary moment Rishi Sunak is told a D-Day veteran has said he let the country down

Penny Mordaunt has said prime minister Rishi Sunak was “completely wrong” to have deserted D-Day commemorations early.

The leading conservative politician made the comments while facing off with Nigel Farage, Angela Rayner and senior party politicians including SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Greens, and the Lib Dems in the first BBC debate.

Rishi Sunak faced intense criticism for leaving the D-Day commemorations in Normandy early on Thursday to continue his election campaign trail.

For an hour and a half the seven main party representatives will face questions from moderator Mishal Husain and audience members, with their manifesto policies being scrutinised live by voters.

Amid a messy election campaign, the debate will be unpredictable, and the battle will likely see personal jibes thrown from all sides.

From D-Day snub, tax wars, small boats to Nigel Farage comeback, the seven senior politicians will have plenty of arms to choose from.

This is the latest political misstep from the PM after he was urged to give £5million from disgraced Frank Hester, who allegedly made racist comments about Diane Abbott, to a veterans’ charity.

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Full quote

(BBC)

Earlier, Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper made her feelings clear on prime minister Rishi Sunak’s early departure from D-Day events yesterday :

“It was not only politically shameful, but I think many of us feel personally insulted. I started yesterday morning watching a recording made by the Royal Mint of my late grandfather where he recounts catching his best friend who fell from the top of a Sherman tank who was shot in the head.

“And as he waded through the water he recounted in his words, men blown to pieces, hands, legs and heads.

“If he had been there yesterday and seen the prime minister walk away from him I would find that completely and utterly unforgivable.”

Howard Mustoe7 June 2024 20:04

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Farage attacks ‘dependent migrants’

It’s now Nigel Farage turn to talk about migration. Unsurprisingly he echoes Reform UK’s claims to “stop migrants from bringing their family members to the UK”.

Mr Farage says: “We’re living through a population crisis, and it is making us poorer, it has to do with putting our country’s interest first.

He then claims the UK needs to curve migrants to net numbers.

Salma Ouaguira7 June 2024 20:04

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Analysis: The damage of the D-Day fiasco was fully on display there.

Penny Mordaunt saying the prime minister was “wrong” and apologising for him did not protect her from a monstering by the other politicians on the panel.

Farage started the pile in but the most moving attack came from Daisy Cooper recalling her late grandfather’s horrific memories of D-Day 80 years ago catching his friend shot from a Sherman tank and seeing others blown to bits around him.

Penny Mordaunt Responds to Rishi Sunak leaving D-Day commemorations early

Athena Stavrou7 June 2024 20:02

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Stephen Flynn: ‘Migrants are needed’

The SNP is the first to answer questions over how to handle migration.

He says migrants are needed in key services and blasts Reform UK for planning to reduce the numbers.

Mr Flynn says: “We need to stand against the far-right wing.”

Salma Ouaguira7 June 2024 20:01

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Carla Denyer says richest should pay for NHS

The Green party co-leader has promised that “those with the broadest shoulders” will pay for the NHS, followed by a round of applause.

Her party has vowed to increase the NHS funding in a £30bn annual package by 2030 by taxing the wealthy.

Salma Ouaguira7 June 2024 19:59

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Question 3: Migration

The third question asked by an audience member at the live debate centres around controlling migration.

The SNP representative answered by emphasising the need to stop “demonising” migrants.

Athena Stavrou7 June 2024 19:59

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Farage vows for French-style NHS funding model

The Reform UK leader says: “The model through which we fund health is wrong.”

Mr Farage is vowing for a french-style NHS model. The system is financed through employer contributions by earmarked taxes on various revenues.

But Stephen Flynn cuts him saying: “This is Nigel Farage telling you he doesn’t believe in the NHS.”

Salma Ouaguira7 June 2024 19:57

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Rishi Sunak missing in action in this debate

As with previous elections the PM will only take part in head to heads with his Labour opponent.

But he is the missing man in this debate, unable to defend his D-Day snub. 

His cabinet colleague Penny Mordaunt described it as “completely wrong” although she emphasised he has apologised.

But there was no one there to set out Mr Sunak’s explanation for what is the biggest controversy of this election so far.

Kate Devlin7 June 2024 19:55

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Rayner to Mordaunt: ‘You made people like me redundant’

While Penny Mordaunt is trying to convince the audience that her party will raise NHS spending, Angela Rayner accuses the Tory candidate of crashing the health service.

Rayner shouts: “You made people like me redundant.”

Salma Ouaguira7 June 2024 19:54

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Applause for SNP on tuition fees

Audience members at the BBC’s first general election debate gave their first round of applause to the SNP’s Stephen Flynn.

In answering a question about the party’s pledges for the NHS, Stephen Flynn highlighted to a medical student in the audience that free university tuition fee’s would benefit students and the NHS alike.

Salma Ouaguira7 June 2024 19:53

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