General election 2024 live: Nigel Farage accuses Sunak over Rwanda flights as Reform overtake Tories in poll

Nigel Farage teases leader of the opposition credentials as he makes Tory party declaration

Labour and Nigel Farage have accused the Tories of a ‘con’ over plans to send more migrants to Rwanda during the election campaign.

The Independent understands plans are in place to fly a person from Nigeria and another from Pakistan, who are in the UK illegally, to the East African country before the election on 4 July.

But much like the first person who was sent in April, it is a voluntary move and so not an enforced deportation.

It comes as Mr Farage claimed Reform UK is the “new opposition” following a YouGov poll that put his party ahead of the Conservatives for the first time.

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron has said Mr Farage is “incredibly divisive” and trying to “destroy” the Conservative Party.

Tory leadership hopefuls are already lobbying for support to take over as the next head of the party as fears abound that disaster will come in the general election under Rishi Sunak, The Guardian reports.


Wes Streeting warns of ‘nightmare in Downing Street’

Speaking at Bassetlaw Hospital in Worksop, Nottinghamshire on a visit with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow health secretary dodged a question about whether he had a “pet policy” from the 2019 manifesto which he wanted in the 2024 document.

“Look, I’m really proud of the manifesto that Labour’s put forward, because not only is it fully costed and fully funded, every promise in there is a promise we can keep and the country can afford,” Mr Streeting said.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain15 June 2024 17:30


SNP’s opposition to Trident puts national security at risk, Tories claim

The Scottish Conservatives have criticised the SNP’s opposition to Trident, the UK’s nuclear deterrent.

Deputy leader Meghan Gallacher is visiting Helensburgh in Argyll and Bute on Saturday, near the Faslane naval base which is home to the UK’s submarine fleet.

She highlighted a report from the GMB union which said thousands of jobs depended on the Faslane base – 6,500 military and civilian staff at the base and 4,000 in the supply chain and local economy.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain15 June 2024 16:30


Labour calls for tactical voting to oust Tory leadership hopeful Kemi Badenoch

Sam Rkaina15 June 2024 15:30


Starmer fears over right wing surge in Europe

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, whose party is leading the polls during the General Election, is “concerned” about the right wing “taking hold” in Europe.

Taking a question about the 2024 EU elections, Sir Keir said: “In Europe, obviously, it’s a different picture in different countries, and so there isn’t one picture.

“But, look, we’re a progressive party and I want to see progressive parties succeed in Europe, and I’m concerned where I see, you know, right or very right-wing politics taking hold.

“Obviously, what’s important here in the UK is that we fight this General Election in the progressive way that we are and hopefully bring about the change that we need.”

Sam Rkaina15 June 2024 14:58


Growth in the UK has been ‘missing’

Sir Keir Starmer said “growth” has been “the missing part” of Government since 2010, while on a visit to Bassetlaw Hospital in Worksop, Nottinghamshire.

Pressed on whether his party’s economic proposals were confusing for voters, Sir Keir said: “I reject the idea that the only levers a prime minister has to pull are either the tax lever or the spend lever – there’s growth.

“This has been the missing part for the last 14 years. It’s been the missing part of this general election campaign, frankly, a discussion about growth.

“Our manifesto is a manifesto for growth and a serious plan for growth.

“That’s what I set out we’re going to do, I’m planning on infrastructure and industrial strategy, on the national wealth fund, on GB Energy, these all ladder up to our argument on growth.”

Sam Rkaina15 June 2024 14:30


‘Voters will choose opposition leader, not Farage’

Voters will choose who the Leader of the Opposition is, not Reform UK leader Nigel Farage, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

The Labour leader told the press: “Well, I don’t think it’s for Nigel Farage to declare himself Leader of the Opposition.

“I’m actually Leader to the Opposition just at the moment. I’m hoping to change that.

“But, look, my focus is on talking to the voters directly, that’s why I’m out and about every day, because it’s their concerns and, at the end of the day, this is a contest.

“But it is a choice between five more years of Conservative government after the failure of last 14 years, or turning a page and a Labour government will rebuild the country.

“There are only two candidates for prime minister, Rishi Sunak and myself.”

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage says his party will replace the Tories
Reform UK leader Nigel Farage says his party will replace the Tories (PA Wire)

Sam Rkaina15 June 2024 14:00


Starmer says capital gains tax ‘never a policy’

Raising capital gains tax on primary residences “was never a policy”, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

Asked to “clear up the issue”, Sir Keir said: “Absolutely, it was never a policy.

“It doesn’t need ruling out, but let’s rule it out, in case anyone pretends that it was (a policy).”

Asked whether he had been “vague” in his tax pledges, Sir Keir said: “Well, I think when it comes to tax, we’ve been really clear they won’t rise, so that’s no rise in income tax and national insurance or VAT.

“This is just a desperate story by the Tories in relation to capital gains tax on primary residences.”

Sam Rkaina15 June 2024 13:45


Labour leader prepared to make ‘tough decisions’ on new homes

Sir Keir Starmer has said a Labour government would take “tough” decisions to drive through plans for new homes.

He was responding to questions about Labour candidate Marsha de Cordova’s opposition to a development in the Battersea constituency where she is standing for re-election.

Sir Keir said: “We have a clearly costed plan for building 1.5 million homes over the course of the next parliament if we are elected into government.

“I know how important it is for people to own their own home, to have that first place. That will require tough decisions.”

While planning rules would be changed, Sir Keir said Labour would “listen to local communities” who had concerns about infrastructure.

But “we have to build those homes and we are going to take tough decisions in order to fix that”.

Sam Rkaina15 June 2024 13:30


Starmer defends claim waiting lists could rise to 10m

Sir Keir Starmer has defended Labour’s disputed claim that NHS waiting lists could rise to 10 million if the Tories remain in power.

Speaking at a hospital in Nottinghamshire, the Labour leader said: “Waiting lists are an all-time high. They’ve never been at this level ever before in the history of the NHS. And therefore our job is to bring those lists down.

“What we’ve said is if the list was to increase at the same rate as it’s increased since Rishi Sunak has been Prime Minister, we will get – if we had more five more years of the Tories – to 10 million on that waiting list.

“That’s why it’s so important that this election is seen as a change election, the opportunity to turn the page on that, usher in a Labour government that is absolutely committed to rebuilding our country and starting, on day one, with our planning for 40,000 appointments each and every week.

“We will bring that waiting list down. We did it when we were last in government and we’ll do it again.”

(Getty Images)

Sam Rkaina15 June 2024 13:10


Starmer visiting NHS hospital on campaign trail

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has toured an NHS hospital in Nottinghamshire, where he saw a theatre used for common orthopaedic surgery.

He was joined by Wes Streeting, shadow health secretary.

Sir Keir asked about the specialist air flow equipment used during surgical procedures.

“I didn’t realise you were going to test me,” the senior sister said.

Mr Streeting interjected: “He’s worse than the CQC.”

Theatres in nearby Yorkshire are set for refurbishment to improve the specialist air flow around the surgical beds.

(Getty Images)

Sam Rkaina15 June 2024 12:52