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UK politics live: Hunt attacks Starmer for ‘fake news’

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Hunt attacks Labour and says he refutes ‘myths’ the economy is worse under Tories

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveiled new tax cuts if the Conservatives win the general election as he accuses Labour of “playground politics” following Sir Keir Starmer’s speech on Thursday.

Speaking from London, he hinted at further National Insurance cuts before the general election kicks off after Summer.

He claimed Labour’s electoral pledges would cost tax payers £59 billion over the next four years and accused Labour of “lying” and labelled “fake news” their economic plans.

He has also pledged “taxes will go down under a Conservativegovernment” and accused Sir Keir Starmer of planning to hikes as “sure as night follows day”.

Meanwhile, David Lammy has launched Labour’s foreign policy campaign pledge as he vowed voters to reinstall trust between the UK and the EU amid security threats.

He added the country is currently facing key challenges around war and security, over-dependency with unfriendly states, and low growth around West.

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Breaking: Plaid Cymru ends agreement with Welsh Labour

The party has pulled out of a cooperation agreement with Welsh Labour.

In a statement, the party leader Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “Plaid Cymru has ended its Co-Operation agreement with the Welsh Government with immediate effect.“I am proud of the way in which the Agreement demonstrated a new way of doing politics which focused on areas of policy which impact people’s everyday lives.

“These include rolling out free school meals, expanding the free childcare offer for thousands more families, taking radical action to address the housing crisis, steps to safeguard the Welsh language, the creation of a national energy company Ynni Cymru and more.

“Working collaboratively was a constructive response to the chaos and uncertainty of Brexit and the Covid pandemic and the harm caused by the UK Conservative Government. We will continue to try to secure the delivery of policies agreed as part of the Co-operation Agreement.”

Attacking the new first minister, Vaughn Gething, he added he is “worried by the circumstances around the decision to sack” Hannah Blythyn as minister for social partnership yesterday, whom Mr Gething accused of leaking to the media (which she denies).

Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 14:30

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‘Labor Welsh Government is falling apart,’ Welsh Tories say

Welsh Conservatives have hit out at Vaughan Gething after Plaid Cymru announces it is scrapping the cooperation agreement.

Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 14:48

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‘Labour has no plans for tax changes,’ says Shadow Financial Secretary

James Murray says the party has specific tax measures to inject cash into public services if the party gets elected.

To fund the pledges made by Sir Keir Starmer on Thursday, he claims Labour will get the economy growing.

But he adds: “We’ve got no plans for any tax changes beyond what we’ve set out.”

“We think the tax burden on working people is already too high, and we want to see the tax burden come down.

“And we’re very clear we would only do that on the basis of responsible management of the economy, of a stable economy, of economic growth.

“We wouldn’t make any unfunded or uncosted spending commitments, like the Conservatives are doing with the £46bn pledge to end National Insurance.”

Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 14:26

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Social media, the new elections campaign playground

Beyond the conference stages, a fiery campaign war is being played online.

Labour and the Conservatives’ are hitting at each other on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 14:20

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Vaccines minister talks of ‘overwhelming’ death threats days after Slovakian PM assassination attempt

The vaccines minister has spoken of the “overwhelming” death threats she receives, just days after the leader of Slovakia was shot in an assassination attempt.

Maria Caulfield said threats on her life rose every time the House of Commons discussed jabs.

Mr Fico remains “between life and death”, his ally the Hungarian leader Viktor Orban said on Friday.

The shooting, the first major assassination attempt on a European political leader for more than 20 years, has sent shockwaves through Westminster.

Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 14:14

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Health Secretary has seen “darkest corners” of NHS

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins previouslys aid NHS England must make changes (PA Wire)

Victoria Atkins, who said she gave birth on the NHS, has recognised people are “not getting the services they should do”.

Speaking on BBC, she said: “I have seen some brilliant parts of the NHS, but I’ve also seen some of its darker corners.”

The Conservative MP, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, said working conditions are also an issue.

She then promised to “help junior doctors with some of the working conditions that they are facing that make life really tough for them”.

Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 14:09

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In full: Jeremy Hunt launches Tory fightback over Labour’s ‘disgraceful, fake news, lie’

Jeremy Hunt accused Labour of telling “a lie” about Tory tax plans as he launched his party’s fightback in a week where the starting gun on the election campaign was fired.

In an unusually fiery speech by the chancellor, he claimed Labour’s attempts to scare voters about the future of the state pension was “disgraceful”.

He also alleged that “the most conservative estimate” of Keir Starmer’s spending plans would cost £38.5billion and means “Labour will have no choice but to put up taxes further” to fill a £10billion black hole in government finances by 2028/29.

Mr Hunt acknowledged that “difficult decisions” are needed because of the global financial shocks of the covid pandemic, and that war in Ukraine had meant he had been forced to increase taxes. However, he insisted that the election “will be framed about what the parties want to do about the tax burden”.

Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 13:55

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Voters back taxing rich more to help pay for NHS, poll finds

To know more, click on Andy Gregory’s story bellow:

Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 13:45

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David Lammy: ‘Labour will empower the Foreign Office’

In a bid to convince voters, he has promised that his party will replace the existing foreign and diplomatic strategy with the sharpest geopolitical minds.

He added: “We cannot meet the disruptive challenges of the 2020s with a 20th century diplomatic playbook. In an era of fiscal constraint, we need to work smarter, adapt our tools and make better use of technology.”

(left to right) Labour deputy Leader Angela Rayner, shadow leader of the House of Lords Baroness Angela Smith, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and shadow foreign secretary David Lammy (PA) (PA Archive)

Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 13:35

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‘UK foreign relations suffer lack of grand strategy,’ David Lammy says

The Shadow Foreign Secretary has outlined his own policy pledges as part of Labour’s fierce electoral campaign.

During his speech today at the Institute for Government, he said the UK needs to tackle the lack of diplomatic strategy or it will be “buffeted by the tides of superpower competition”.

He said: “The last Labour government upgraded the-then policy planners function into an expanded strategy unit. Countries that execute international strategy effectively, from the US to Singapore, place a huge emphasis on such functions.

“But at present, neither the FCDO nor the national security council is delivering the sharp, coherent international strategy which the country urgently needs.

“Without such strategy we should expect to be buffeted by the tides of superpower competition, not only between the US and China, but also by the many rising powers who are threatening our competitive advantages economically and militarily.”

Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 13:25

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