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General election 2024 – live: Tory ‘day of shame’ as Douglas Ball picked over sick MP

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Nigel Farage claims people ‘loathe’ the Tories and Labour will win election

A fresh row has erupted for the Tories after an MP was deselected from the Scottish Tory party to make way for Douglass Ross, who previously claimed to only focus on Holyrood.

The U-turn sparked a wave of furore with SNP campaign director claiming the decision to replace David Duguid, who recently had spinal surgery, represents a “day of shame for the Tories”.

Mr Duguid was ready to campaign across his constituency before being blocked.

In response, Stewart Hosie blasted: “Three-jobs Douglas Ross taking a seat from David Duguid to keep his third salary at Westminster.

“The way the Tories have treated Mr Duguid is indefensible. The nasty party just got nastier.”

It comes as Rishi Sunak was branded “a man with no integrity” for accepting a further £5m from a donor accused of making racist comments about a senior MP, the Labour Party chair has claimed.

The Conservative Party accepted another mega donation from Frank Hester, who apologised to Diane Abbott after saying she made him “want to hate all Black women”.

Anneliese Dodds, the Labour chair, said on Thursday that the prime minister would have returned the money if he had a “backbone”.

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Reeves ‘under pressure’ from frontbenchers to increase capital gains tax

The Labour shadow chancellor is reportedly under pressure from members of her party to hike capital gains tax.

According to The Guardian, some shadow cabinet ministers want to see the change materialised at an autumn Budget to raise more cash for public spending.

But Ms Reeves ruled out rising income tax, National Insurance and VAT.

A Labour spokesperson said: “Nothing in our plans requires any additional tax to be increased and there will be no return to austerity if Labour are elected on 4 July.”

(PA Wire)

Salma Ouaguira6 June 2024 13:30

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Pictured: Scottish Lib Dems to ‘brush away SNP’

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton and Edinburgh West candidate Christine Jardine in Edinburgh with 'brush away the SNP' signs, as they highlighted their party's dentistry policies
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton and Edinburgh West candidate Christine Jardine in Edinburgh with ‘brush away the SNP’ signs, as they highlighted their party’s dentistry policies (Neil Pooran/PA Wire)

Salma Ouaguira6 June 2024 13:26

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Watchdog investigates Sunak’s claim ‘the economy is going gangbusters’

The UK Statistics Authority is looking into whether the Prime Minister took the phrase out of context and if overplayed the Tories economic record.

Mr Sunak said in an interview with BBC Radio 4 in May: “The facts are the facts. You had, I think, the person from the Office for National Statistics talking about the economic growth that the country produced in the first quarter of the year.

“He said what he said about that and I think he used the term ‘gangbusters’, so I will leave it at that.”

The PM was quoting Grant Fitzner, the chief economist at the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

But a spokesman for the ONS said: “We have clarified to any outlet or journalist that has approached us that [gangbusters] is not a word we would use to describe the UK economy.”

Salma Ouaguira6 June 2024 13:20

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Tories pledge cheaper railcards and tax breaks for veterans

Amid D-Day celebrations, the Conservatives have promised to cut prices on rail travel for veterans.

Under the new Veterans’ Bill, Rishi Sunak has pledged to give tax breaks to former members of the Armed Forces if elected.

The Prime Minister has said the bill is a tribute to the “heroes who have put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms”.

If the policy goes ahead, it will also ensure military qualifications have an equal standing with civilian qualifications, the PM said.

Mr Sunak added: “The heroes who have put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms represent the very best of our country.

“That’s why we have prioritised making the UK the best place in the world to be a veteran with our clear plan to give them the opportunities, aftercare and support they deserve to live prosperous, fulfilled lives.”

(Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)

Salma Ouaguira6 June 2024 13:15

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Lib Dem leader says his top priority is to ‘defeat out of touch Tories’

Sir Ed Davey evaded questions about the Liberal Democrats’ potential role as “kingmakers” if there is a hung parliament after the General Election.

The party leader said: “I’m just not thinking about after the election.

“When I became leader of the Liberal Democrats, I made it very clear that my top priority was to defeat Conservative MPs. This government is out of touch, out of ideas and out of excuses.”

He argued that “it’s only the Liberal Democrats who can beat the Conservatives” in former Tory heartlands and in the West Country.

“We’ve been pretty strong in these areas. In the West Country, everyone will remember, we used to have a lot of Liberal Democrat MPs here, and people can see that we’re coming back.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain6 June 2024 13:00

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Essex Tories had ‘gun to head’ to accept ‘unwanted’ party chairman as their candidate

Tories in the nominally safe seat of Billericay and Basildon in Essex have spoken of their fury over the way party chairman Richard Holden was forced on them as their general election candidate last night.

It comes as embarrassing video footage of Mr Holden has emerged from February describing how he was “loyal to the north east” of England and denying he was seeking a safe seat elsewhere.

Mr Holden was the MP for Durham North West which disapeared in the boundary review but rejected the opportunity to stand in neighbouring Bishop Auckland which had been won for the tories by Dehenna Davison in 2019.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain6 June 2024 12:58

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‘Douglas Ross will reap a whirlwind’: Reaction to David Duguid deselection

Ballot Box Scotland, a Scottish version of Britain elects, tweeted: “I try to be careful with my words on this project, but to deselect at last minute an unwell MP; stand again yourself after having said you wouldn’t; in a safer seat than your current? Sordid.”

Former Scottish first minister now Alba leader Alex Salmond said: “David Duguid is a decent man, well thought of locally, whose illness has drawn great sympathy. Douglas Ross will reap a whirlwind from this sort of behaviour.”

Political analyst Mark McGeoghegan noted: “I’m not going to pretend to have any special insight into what’s going on in the Scottish Tories, but this very much looks like Douglas Ross getting a seriously ill MP and candidate, David Duguid, deselected so he can stand instead.”

David Duguid has not been selected to stand in the General Election
David Duguid has not been selected to stand in the General Election (PA Media)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain6 June 2024 12:39

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Lib Dems share no values with Farag, says Sir Ed Davey

Sir Ed told the PA news agency: “I and the Liberal Democrats don’t share any of the values of Nigel Farage, and I’ll let the Conservatives worry about their problems.

“What I’m clear about is our Liberal Democrat ideas on the NHS and care, on tackling the sewage scandal, on the cost of living, they are attracting Conservative voters as well.

“We are finding lots of lifelong Conservatives switching to us. They aren’t really attracted by Nigel Farage’s ideas.”

Speaking during a campaign visit to the village of Lacock in Wiltshire, Sir Ed added: “The Liberal Democrats in this election are putting forward costed, practical policies that I think will actually appeal to people who previously voted Conservative.”

(James Manning/PA Wire)

Salma Ouaguira6 June 2024 12:20

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Only we can beat Tories in ‘blue wall’ seats – Tories

Only the Liberal Democrats can beat the Tories in the ‘blue wall’ seats in the south of England, party leader Sir Ed Davey has claimed.

Sir Ed refused to be drawn on whether questions about whether his party could be “kingmakers” in the event that Labour of the Tories fall short of an overall majority.

Speaking to reporters in Wiltshire while out on the campaign trail, he said: “

“When I became leader of the Liberal Democrats, I made it very clear that my top priority was to defeat Conservative MPs. This government is out of touch, out of ideas and out of excuses.”

Referring to the ‘blue wall’, he added: “We’ve been pretty strong in these areas.

“In the West Country, everyone will remember, we used to have a lot of Liberal Democrat MPs here, and people can see that we’re coming back.”

Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey and his party’s candidate for Cheadle, Tom Morrison, play Jenga during a visit to Cheadle, Greater Manchester during day 13 of the election campaign (Peter Byrne/PA)
Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey and his party’s candidate for Cheadle, Tom Morrison, play Jenga during a visit to Cheadle, Greater Manchester during day 13 of the election campaign (Peter Byrne/PA) (PA Wire)

Matt Mathers6 June 2024 12:14

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Hester donation: ‘Sunak should hang his head in shame,’ say Lib Dems

Sir Ed Davey has said Rishi Sunak should “hang his head in shame” for accepting more fresh cash from disgraced Frank Hester.

Sir Ed said: “I don’t know how low the Conservatives are going to go – and this is the fault of Rishi Sunak.

“Why did Rishi Sunak take this donation? He took it after the previous scandal around Frank Hester and he went ahead.

“I think lifelong Conservative voters will be appalled by this. I think all those other people donating money to the Tory party should ask for their donations back. Rishi Sunak should hang his head in shame.”

Salma Ouaguira6 June 2024 12:07

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