ITV election debate – live: Farage accused of ‘dog whistle’ politics as Reform overtakes Tories in poll

Key takeaways from Labour’s general election manifesto

Nigel Farage has been accused of “dog whistle” politics on migration as a new YouGov shows that his Reform Party has overtaken the Conservative Party. Mr Farage claimed the immigration was making the country poorer as Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth responded by claiming the Reform Party leader was pushing “dog whistle” politics.

Meanwhile, Conservative candidate Penny Mordaunt lauded the education system while Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said only her party can be trusted with the NHS.

The Scottish National Party’s Stephen Flynn also claimed that there was not enough migrants in Scotland.

Senior Conservative and Labour figures are being grilled on their parties’ respective plans for government in this second seven-way live TV debate ahead of the general election.

At the top of the show, Mr Farage declared that his Reform Party are “now the opposition to Labour” after a YouGov poll published by The Times showed them one per cent above the Conservatives.

“Just before we came on air we overtook the Conservatives in the national opinion polls,” Mr Farage said, as he made his opening speech during an ITV debate. “We are now the opposition to Labour.”


The Penny v Angela fight is back on

They patted each other on the back after the last seven way debate but the one on BBC was dominated by Penny Mordaunt and Angela Rayner shouting at one another.

ITV separated them and banned interruptions in the hope that it would allow the others to speak.

The tactics have not worked and Mordaunt and Rayner could not contain themselves from the red and blue corners.

“You won’t let me finish!” says Rayner to Mordaunt.

Stephen Flynn shook his head and Farage noted “dear, dear”.

They do not mind the unedifying sight too much of a Tory/ Labour battle.

Tom Watling13 June 2024 21:19


Rayner says the Rwanda plan is a gimmick that won’t work.

Labour would target people smuggling gangs, she adds.

Mordaunt interrupts again.

Matt Mathers13 June 2024 21:18


Farage says neither party will bring down immigration numbers.

The audience laughs as he says he never lies.

The vast majority of the public wants the numbers to come down, he says.

Matt Mathers13 June 2024 21:17


Rayner hits back by saying that Labour respects the results of referendums – unlike the SNP.

She is interrupted again by Mordaunt, who says Labour has no plan for immigration.

Mordaunt also claims Labour will take health care workers.

Matt Mathers13 June 2024 21:16


Mordaunt says Labour has had 14 years to think about a plan for immigration but still doesn’t have one.

Rayner hits back by saying the Tories have had 14 years in government but not done enough.

Flynn moves the debate onto Brexit.

Matt Mathers13 June 2024 21:14


After four debates immigration finally gets its question

In the fourth debate, this may be the first time that immigration is an actual question on its own, The Independent’s Political Editor David Maddox writes.

Farage is on happy territory here knowing that he can go further and harder than all the other parties on the issue.

He has actually answered every other question by talking about migration anyway.

But the questioner points out that immigration is needed for the economy and to fill vacancies and skill shortages.

Angela Rayner and Penny Mordaunt look distinctly uncomfortable on the issue.

The other parties of the left are very happy to say they want largely unrestricted immigration.

Tom Watling13 June 2024 21:14


Farage claims that immigration is making the UK poorer.

Plaid leader accuses him of dog whistle politics.

Rayner says the Tories talk about a cap but the numbers have gone up in recent years.

Matt Mathers13 June 2024 21:13


Immigrants are more likely to work in – and prop up public services – than become a strain on them, Cooper says.

We also need to invest more in our domestic workforce, she adds.

Matt Mathers13 June 2024 21:11


Mordaunt says the public wants borders controlled.

The Tories will put a cap on the numbers every year, she adds.

This will bring the numbers down, she adds.

Matt Mathers13 June 2024 21:10


Cooper says Lib Dems will always welcome immigrants.

She adds that more investment is needed in public services.

Matt Mathers13 June 2024 21:09