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Election news – live: Tories must embrace Farage to ‘unite the right’, says Braverman

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

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.

The prime minister will return to the campaign trail on Monday after his decision to skip a D-Day memorial event attended by other world leaders last week sparked a furious backlash from some Tories and political rivals alike.

With fierce critic Nadine Dorries claiming to have heard rumours over the weekend “that Sunak’s about to fall on his sword”, cabinet minister Mel Stride was forced to insist there was “no question” of the prime minister quitting before the general election on 4 July.

It comes as Labour is set for a majority of 416, leaving the Tories at just 37 seats, according to a new Deltapoll survey. It 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.

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Bridget Phillipson: Private schools exodus under Labour is scaremongering

The shadow secretary has dismissed the idea that there will be a wave of exists from schools because of Labour’s policy.

Ms Phillipson says to claim that by imposing VAT on private school fees can lead to a pupil exodus is “scaremongering”.

Asked about the exodus claim, she told Times Radio: “It is scaremongering from the private schools lobby I’m afraid. All of the independent work on this from the Institute for Fiscal Studies is clear that they anticipate little effect.

“And the reality is that private schools have whacked up their fees year on year, way beyond inflation and it hasn’t had an impact on pupil numbers.

“Private schools are not required to pass this onto parents. State schools have had some pretty tough choices in recent years about how they manage their budgets given all the pressures they are under. I think private schools can cut their cloth accordingly.”

Salma Ouaguira10 June 2024 07:36

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Labour shadow cabinet at odds over private school fees tax

Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson has stepped in to correct her colleague Emily Thornberry who had suggested that taxing private schools will lead to bigger class sizes in state schools, David Maddox reports.

Ms Thornberry was responding over the weekend to concerns that thousands of children will be forced to leave independent schools if 20 percent VAT is imposed on fees with the removal of charity status.

She suggested Labour was comfortable with larger class sizes in the short term with the policy. But Ms Phillipson insisted this was not the case.

She told Times Radio she is happy to have a word with Ms Thornberry as it is just not true there will be bigger classroom sizes as a result of Labour’s VAT raid on private schools.

(Getty Images)

Salma Ouaguira10 June 2024 07:26

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Conservatives vow to recruit 8,000 more cops

Chris Philip is doing the morning media round for the Tories.

Speaking on Sky News, he has pledged to recruit 8,000 additional police officers.

The Tories say the plan would be funded by increasing vis fees by 25per cent and making overseas students pay higher immigration health surcharge.

The Prime Minister plans 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.

Salma Ouaguira10 June 2024 07:21

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General election campaign trail: Manifesto week

Another week of campaigning begins and parties are ready to reveal their manifesto.

The Liberal Democrats are first out of the traps, with the Tories, Labour and Greens all expected to produce their policy promises this week.

Here’s what we can expect today:

  • Sir Ed Davey launches Lib Dems manifesto with a speech in north London this morning.
  • Nigel Farage and Richard Tice to launch Reform UK’s economic policy in Westminster this afternoon.
  • Rishi Sunak is campaigning in the South East.
  • Sir Keir Starmer and shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson will visit a nursery in the West Midlands.

Salma Ouaguira10 June 2024 07:12

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Watch: Stride responds to Farage’s claim Sunak does not understand ‘our culture’

Mel Stride responds to Nigel Farage’s claim that Rishi Sunak does not understand ‘our culture’

Tara Cobham10 June 2024 07:00

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Gove’s replacement caught out on claim he moved to Surrey Heath as home found on AirBnb

Political correspondent Archie Mitchell reports:

Tara Cobham10 June 2024 06:00

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Watch: Sunak ‘utterly disconnected’ from ordinary people, Farage says

Rishi Sunak ‘utterly disconnected’ from ordinary people, Nigel Farage says

Tara Cobham10 June 2024 05:00

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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

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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

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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

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