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General election: Starmer to give first major speech of campaign

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Labour Party ‘leaks Sunak’s campaign diary’ in new election ad

Sir Keir Starmer will make the first major speech of his campaign this morning as he attempts to build a strong case for security and trust in the Labour Party.

Acknowledging that some voters are still unsure of whether Labour could be trusted on national security, he is expected to say some people are “fed up with the failure, chaos and division of the -Tories but they still have questions about us”.

“Has Labour changed enough? Do I trust them with my money, our borders and our security? My answer is yes you can – because I have changed this party. Permanently.”

It comes as Rishi Sunak has vowed to bring the controversial National Service scheme for 18-year-olds if he wins the general election.

Under the mandatory scheme, teenagers would be given a choice between a full-time placement in the armed forces for 12 months or spending one weekend a month for a year volunteering in their community.

Labour branded the announcement “another desperate unfunded commitment”, which would cost an estimated £2.5bn each year.

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Keir Starmer aims to end questions about his leadership in first major election campaign speech

The Labour leader’s “presidential” speech comes as the Tories have accused him of threatening to make a £38.5bn black hole in public finances with his spending plans.

Sir Keir has also been accused of being “boring” and lacking charisma as he tries to haul his party from near oblivion in 2019 to retaking Downing Street after 14 years in opposition.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain27 May 2024 09:50

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Farage’s comments are ‘incendiary rhetoric’- shadow education secretary

Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said Nigel Farage’s claim that a “growing number” of young people “loathe” British values was “incendiary rhetoric”.

Asked whether she agreed with the comments made by Reform UK’s honorary president, she told LBC Radio: “No, this is the kind of incendiary rhetoric and division stoking that we can expect from him.

“What I see when I visit schools, colleges, universities the length and breadth of the country is young people who are really hopeful and optimistic about the future, but also people who will often be making an enormous contribution to their own community – whether that’s through volunteering, young carers, people who are really committed and dedicated individuals.

“I think what we need in this election is a sense of how we bring our country together, how we focus on a more positive and hopeful mission for what our country can be – not this kind of division.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain27 May 2024 09:25

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‘Failure to carry out national service could harm people’s job prospects’

Foreign Office minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan has suggested that failure to carry out national service could harm people’s job prospects.

She told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “This will be encouraged and will become part of the norms.

“Importantly, of course, when you then as a young person apply for a job, there will be a question that employers will want to know how you got involved – either because were able to achieve one of the 30,000 places (in the armed forces) or because you were volunteering in one or other part of your community.”

Maryam Zakir-Hussain27 May 2024 09:15

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John Curtice warns Sunak that his National Service plan will not close poll gap with Labour

Rishi Sunak’s pledge to reintroduce National Service will not help him close the gap on Labour, leading pollsters have warned.

The Conservatives announced the policy over the weekend in the hope it would move the dial on terrible polling returns which have them trailing by more than 20 points behind Labour.

But while the announcement helped distract from a much criticised start to the election campaign by the prime minister and his inner circle, there are serious question marks over whether it will provide the Tories the poll boost they need.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain27 May 2024 09:05

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Starmer to aim speech at undecided voters as he insists he ‘changed’ Labour

In a keynote speech ahead of polling day, Sir Keir Starmer will try to persuade undecided voters to come on board Labour as he will insist his party has “changed”.

Acknowledging that some voters are still unsure of whether Labour could be trusted on national security, he is expected to say some people are “fed up with the failure, chaos and division of the -Tories but they still have questions about us”.

“Has Labour changed enough? Do I trust them with my money, our borders and our security? My answer is yes you can – because I have changed this party. Permanently. This has been my driving mission since day one. I was determined to change Labour so that it could serve the British people.”

(REUTERS)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain27 May 2024 08:47

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Nigel Farage condemned for ‘race baiting’ after claim Muslims are ‘hostile to British values’

Nigel Farage signalled a return to right-wing shock tactics for his Reform UK party, as he used his first election interview to attack Muslims in the UK for “not sharing British values”.

Speaking to Sir Trevor Phillips on Sky News this morning, Mr Farage accused Rishi Sunak of “not being a leader” and instead being “a follower of focus groups” who is “not willing to tackle the real issues in this country”.

He was dismissive of Tory plans to reintroduce compulsory national service for school leavers, describing the policy as “a joke” but then stunned Sir Trevor by launching into an attack on millions of voters.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain27 May 2024 08:45

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Starmer ‘would do everything’ to ‘keep our country safe’ if he becomes PM- Bridget Phillipson

Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said Sir Keir Starmer “would do everything within his power to keep our country safe” if he becomes prime minister.

She was addressing a report from the Times that a Labour government would bring together MI5, police and Whitehall departments to carry out a 100-day review of all the threats that Britain faces, including from Russia and Iran.

Ms Phillipson told Times Radio the decision was “about demonstrating the priority that we would attach to (security) because if we were to form the next government, we would very rapidly want to undertake a full review of the security risks and national security threats our country is facing at the moment because we know how important it is to the British people to know that we have a government focused on keeping them safe”.

Sir Keir Starmer and shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson during a visit to a school in Harlow in Essex
Sir Keir Starmer and shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson during a visit to a school in Harlow in Essex (PA Wire)

Maryam Zakir-Hussain27 May 2024 08:30

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Foreign Office minister says ‘very small proportion’ of British Muslims want to ‘challenge’ UK values

Foreign Office minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said a “very small proportion” of British Muslims wanted to “challenge” the country’s fundamental values.

She told LBC Radio: “The vast proportion of British Muslims are wonderful, peace-loving, community-minded people, certainly in the North East where I’m based, we have fantastic communities and they are a really important part of our social fabric.

“There are a very small proportion for whom they want to challenge those values that we hold dear in the UK, which are British values, and there we need to continue to work in community to bring those people to this.

“The UK has incredible values of freedom of speech, freedom of choice … these are incredibly important values, but they have to be nurtured and looked after, and where there are those who would threaten them we need to make sure that we deal with that.”

She was speaking after Reform UK’s honorary president Nigel Farage said there was a “growing number of young people in this country who do not subscribe to British values and “loathe much of what we stand for”.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain27 May 2024 08:21

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Is the National Service scheme a preparation for war?

Foreign Office minister Ann Marie Trevelyan indicated this morning that the plans to introduce National Service for school leavers was to help prepare the UK for war or other disasters.

She told Radio 4’s Today programme: “I am a Foreign Office minister so I spend my life talking to people and visiting around the world. And the world is a very unstable place. Not a reassuring pace at all.

“We need our young people to understand and be part of our communities, our incredible country that is the UK, but also making sure they have the skills and resilience because we need a secure future for our country because the world is not a safe place and freedom does not come for free.

“We need to make sure we have the skills that we need.”

David Maddox27 May 2024 07:52

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Foreign Office minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan did not rule out the possibility of parents being liable for fines if their adult children refuse to take part in the national service plan proposed by the Conservatives.

She said that the scheme would be compulsory in the same way as staying in education or training until 18 is.

Asked on Times Radio whether parents would face prosecution if their 18-year-olds refuse to sign up for the military or volunteering activity, she said: “I’m not going to write the detailed policy now. That’s what a royal commission programme of works will be for.”

(AAP Image)

Athena Stavrou27 May 2024 07:33

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