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General election latest: Keir Starmer ‘infuriated’ by secret Diane Abbott briefing

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Related video: Diane Abbott ignores media outside London home as she accuses Keir Starmer of ‘culling left-wingers’

As political leaders kickstart the second week of the election campaign, Sir Keir Starmer is set to dub the “nuclear deterrent triple lock” as he tries to convince voters that Labour is the “party of national security” in a visit to Greater Manchester.

But the Diane Abbott row is still overshadowing Labour’s campaign efforts, with his biographer claiming Keir Starmer was “infuriated” by “anonymous” briefings against Diane Abbott.

Last week reports claimed the veteran left-winger Ms Abbott had been banned from standing again in her London constituency.

Meanwhile, the Tories hope to lure other voters in with the promise to amend the Equality Act to redefine what the term “sex” means in law.

Kemi Badenoch said the definition of sex needs to be clarified so it applies to only “biological sex”, the pledge means Trans women could be blocked from entering some spaces like hospital wards and toilets.

It comes as the SNP leader accused the Tories of being “chaotic” and urged voters to put Scotland first to end a decade of “destructive decisions at Westminster”.

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Starmer prepared to press nuclear button, says shadow defence secretary

John Healey has said Labour would be prepared to push the nuclear button if elected.

He added the Labour leader would do “whatever is required, if it is required”.

Mr Healey told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “The importance about a deterrent is there is a deliberate ambiguity and Keir Starmer has said ‘I will do what is necessary to defend this country’ and that is an important message to any would-be adversaries.” 

Asked whether Sir Keir would push the nuclear button, he said: “No one should doubt Keir Starmer… he knows what needs to be done to protect this country, he will do what is required, if it is required.”

Keir Starmer is set to reiterate Labour’s commitment to Nato and Trident today as he visits Great Manchester.

(Danny Lawson/PA Wire)

Salma Ouaguira3 June 2024 08:50

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Badenoch refuses to condemn Liz Truss’ appearance on Carl Benjamin podcast

The women and equalities minister was speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

She was quizzed about calls to de-select the former PM over her appearance on Carl Benjamin’s podcast.

The content creator and former UKIP MEP candidate has been under attack for claiming he “wouldn’t even rape” Labour MP Jess Phillips.

But Kemi Badenoch has refused to condemn Truss’ participation in his show.

She said: “We don’t live in a society that bans people from speaking. It is for her constituency to decide whether she has done a good job.”

(PA Archive)

Salma Ouaguira3 June 2024 08:30

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Badenoch says ‘changing your clothes doesn’t change who you are’

Kemi Badenoch has suggested transgender people could be banned from certain spaces under new gender definitions, if elected.

Speaking to LBC radio, she said: “Changing your clothes doesn’t change who you are, we want people who are trans to be protected as well, people who want to change their clothes should not be able to exploit the scenarios we have prepared and the laws we have put in place to protect those people who are genuine transgender people, those who suffer gender dysphoria.

“Just putting on a different set of clothes does not make you transgender.”

She added: “We want people to have privacy and dignity. This is about protecting those who are vulnerable, it is not about stopping trans people from having privacy and dignity.

“That’s why we have said you should have unisex toilets, a disabled toilet is an example of that, or where there are shared spaces, they should be on the basis of biological sex.”

Salma Ouaguira3 June 2024 08:21

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Badenoch: ‘Trans athletes shouldn’t compete against biological women’

Kemi Badenoch has said allowing transgender athletes to compete against biological women to stop “unfair disadvantages”.

The Tories are today reinforcing their promise to change the Equality Act to rewrite the definition of “biological sex”.

Ms Badenoch told Sky News: “We believe that sport is something where there are sex categories for a specific reason. People compete in women’s sports because they are biological women, not because they identify as women.

“It is for sporting bodies to be able to manage that. Transgender athletes are not stopped from competing, they may in some cases have to compete with their biological sex, they may in some cases have open categories.

“But what we are trying to stop is the scenario where we see very obvious unfair advantages, people who have gone through male puberty towering over fragile and in some cases much smaller females and think that that is fair competition. That is not right.”

Salma Ouaguira3 June 2024 08:08

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Donald Trump thanks Boris Johnson for defending him after hush money conviction

Salma Ouaguira3 June 2024 07:54

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Sir Keir Starmer to unveil nuclear deterrent triple lock 

Sir Keir Starmer will pitch Labour as the “party of national security” as he seeks to switch attention to defence matters during the general election campaign.

The Labour leader is expected to meet with forces veterans and a group of his party’s candidates when he campaigns in the North West of England on Monday.

Sir Keir will reaffirm his commitment to a “nuclear deterrent triple lock” as well as his ambition to increase defence spending to 2.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of the size of the economy.

Labour says its nuclear deterrent triple lock involves: a commitment to construct the four new nuclear submarines in Barrow-in-Furness; maintaining Britain’s continuous at-sea deterrent; and the delivery of all future upgrades needed for the submarines to patrol the waters.

Salma Ouaguira3 June 2024 07:50

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Kemi Badenoch defends gender plans to stop people ‘misinterpreting law’

The Minister for Women and Equalities said the Conservatives would set out a “clarification in the law”.

She told Sky News this morning: “What we are doing is making sure that people understand what the law says.

“We have seen a lot of problems with people misinterpreting the law.”

Salma Ouaguira3 June 2024 07:29

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Tories pledge to overhaul equality laws

The Conservative party has pledged to amend the Equality Act to rewrite the definitions and allow organisations ban transgender women.

The Tories claim a new definition will improve the safety of women and girls from single-sex spaces.

However, the party says the proposed changes would not scrap existing protections against discrimination on the basis of gender reassignment.

The sex of those with a Gender Recognition Certificate will still align with their acquired gender in law outside the Equality Act.

Under the new scheme the Conservatives will also establish in law that gender recognition is a reserved matter, claiming that “this will mean that an individual can only have one sex in the eyes of the law in the United Kingdom”.

Kemi Badenoch has unveiled the Conservative’s new pledge to allow organisations to bar Transgender women from single-sex spaces
Kemi Badenoch has unveiled the Conservative’s new pledge to allow organisations to bar Transgender women from single-sex spaces (PA Wire)

Salma Ouaguira3 June 2024 07:24

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It’s officially the start of the second full week of the campaign trail

Parties are heading out across the nation to convince voters ahead of the big day on July 4.

Here’s what you can expect from today’s campaigning:

  • The Tories have unveiled a pledge to over overhaul equality laws to redefine what the term “sex” means in law.
  • Rishi Sunak is expected to visit the South East as he sets out “confusions around definitions of sex and gender”.
  • Sir Keir Starmer will outline Labour’s defence and naitonal security stance.
  • He will visit forces veterans in the North East of England.
  • The Liberal Democrats are set to announce a new Blue Flag status for rives to expand marine protected areas.
  • SNP, Reform UK, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru candidates will be out speaking to voters.

Salma Ouaguira3 June 2024 07:13

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Rishi Sunak and the truth about a ‘Canada 1993’ election wipeout

Over 30 years ago in Canada, a ruling Conservative Party was demolished in an election thanks to a party called ‘Reform’.

But anyone predicting history will repeat itself in Britain this year is set to be sorely disappointed, writes Jabed Ahmed.

Read Jabed’s piece in full here:

Matt Mathers3 June 2024 07:00

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