General election 2024 latest: Rishi Sunak accused of ‘lying through his teeth’ at LBC phone-in as PM gets inflation boost

Grant Shapps says Tories ‘fighting for every single vote’ as he faces questions on campaign

Rishi Sunak is facing grilling questions from voters in a grilling LBC phone-in this morning. The prime minister is taking calls from the audience abd Nick Ferrari about the NHS, tax and the future of young poeple.

During the show, he has hit back at billionaires John Caudwell and Sir Jim Ratcliffe after they announved they were backing Labour. The PM has also promised to serve as an MP for five years if the Tories lose the election.

Mr Sunak hailed “good news” after official figures confirmed a drop in the rate of inflation. According to the Office for National Statistics, the rate of Consumer Prives Index fell to 2 per cent in May, down from 2.3 per cent in April.

It comes as a new poll found more than half of the UK public thinks Reform UK leader Nigel Farage would make a bad or terrible prime minister.

A YouGov survey found 55 per cent of Britons thought Mr Farage would make a bad (12 per cent) or terrible prime minister (43 per cent) a day after he unveiled his party’s manifesto.


LBC plays clip from Figen Murray

Rishi Sunak has been confronted by Figen Murray, the mother of Manchester Arena bombing victim Martyn Hett, over why he has not passed a law in her son’s honour yet, Archie Mitvhell reports.

The prime minister was asked why it is referred to as a “priority” in the Conservative Party manifesto despite him promising Ms Murray 18 months ago that he would pass it.

She said: “You have put in your manifesto that Martyn’s law is a priority. I don’t know what you mean by that because you promised me 18 months ago, in a phone call on what would have been Martyn’s 35th birthday, that you’re going to really Hurry up with Martyn’s law and you’re very committed to it. And there has been nothing since then.”

The PM said he is still planning to pass the law before summer recess if he is re-elected, despite only having a week of time scheduled between the reopening of parliament after the election and MPs going on their holidays.

Mother of Manchester Arena victim finished 200 Mile campaign walk to Downing Street
Mother of Manchester Arena victim finished 200 Mile campaign walk to Downing Street (Getty Images)

Salma Ouaguira19 June 2024 08:53


Prime minister denies being anti-LGBT rights

The prime minister has been forced to deny he is against LGBT rights after a gay man confronted him on LBC, Archie Mitchell reports.

The caller said: “You did not vote for gay marriage to be extended to Northern Ireland, you never wear a red ribbon on world AIDS day and you have behaved disgracefully when it comes to the trans community and when Brianna Ghey’s mother came to parliament.

“And you are obsessed with divisive culture war issues.”

Mr Sunak said he was “sorry to hear that you feel that way” and said he wants people to be respected and treated with compassion “whatever their backgrounds”.

He also said he never wears ribbons to mark social causes other than poppies because he does not want to give the impression of prioritising some while ignoring others.

Salma Ouaguira19 June 2024 08:46


Will Rishi Sunak restore trust in the resignation honours process?

Rishi Sunak has been asked whether he will pack the House of Lords with allies in his resignation honours list or help to “restore trust in our institutions”, Archie Mitchell reports.

The prime minister said he would not speculate on future appointments but that he has always followed the recommendations of the House of Lords Appointment Commission (HOLAC).

Salma Ouaguira19 June 2024 08:42


Rishi Sunak having a tough time on LBC

Rishi Sunak’s LBC phone-in got off to a cracking start, with the prime minister able to talk up the benefits of inflation returning to the Bank of England’s 2 per cent target, Archie Mitchell reports.

But it was quickly downhill from then, with Mr Sunak coming under fire over the state of the NHS, Tory donor Frank Hester (who said Diane Abbott “should be shot”), soaring tuition fees and the lack of affordable housing for young people.

He has insisted he is fighting for every vote in the general election and that he believes the Conservatives can win.

But the audience is notably more hostile for Mr Sunak today than it was for Sir Keir Starmer, who took an hour of calls from LBC listeners on Tuesday.

The Labour leader came unstuck over his past support for Jeremy Corbyn and potential tax rises if he wins the election, but otherwise was less criticised than the PM has been today. One caller went as far as accusing Mr Sunak of “lying through his teeth”.

The show has taken a break for the news, but the PM has just under half an hour to go.


Salma Ouaguira19 June 2024 08:39


‘Why has the NHS gone from five stars to one stars?’

A caller who has breast cancer has asked Rishi Sunak about the state of the NHS. She says the treatment has been horrible and what is happening with the health service is “frightening”.

Mr Sunak says he is “sorry” to hear about what she had to go through. The prime minister said the pandemic made a differenxe to treatment quality and outlines the breast cancer measures he plans to implement.

He adds: “Community diagnostic centres are opening…and the government is hiring more oncologists.”

Salma Ouaguira19 June 2024 08:37


Rishi Sunak accused of ‘lying through his teeth’

An LBC caller has accused Rishi Sunak of “lying through his teeth” after the PM defended the Tories’ record on housing after 14 years.

In a tough phone-in, Mr Sunak was told: “You’ve had a decade and a half to improve housing, to improve rental conditions, to improve any of the issues I talked about and I think that young people just don’t believe your promises anymore.”

Mr Sunak said he had abolished tenant deposit fees and that the quality of rental accommodation has risen under the Tories.

Salma Ouaguira19 June 2024 08:28


Sunak compares Diane Abbott comments to Tory donor Frank Hester’s racist remarks

Rishi Sunak has repeated that the Tories’ biggest donor Frank Hester was “wrong” to say that Labour veteran Diane Abbott “makes you want to hate all black people” and “should be shot”, Archie Mitchell reports.

But he said that “if people who are genuinely contrite have apologised and understand what they’ve done, that should be accepted”.

The prime minister compared Mr Hester’s comments to comments made by Ms Abbott which she was suspended from the Labour Party for.

She has since been readmitted, and the PM told LBC: “Diane Abbott has been readmitted into the Labour Party, and she herself had made some comments in the past, that weren’t appropriate, but she apologised for those and was readmitted back into the Labour Party after having the whip withdrawn.”

Salma Ouaguira19 June 2024 08:25


Sunak challenged over life chances for young people

A young caller has challenged the prime minister over the life chances of young people after 14 years of Conservative government, Archie Mitchell reports.

The LBC listener said housing is now unaffordable, tuition fees have risen, the NHS is crumbling and that the Tories have done little to tackle climate change. “How could you possibly argue that life is better for young people after consecutive Tory prime ministers?” the caller asked.

Mr Sunak did not address the party’s record, promising instead to make it easier for young people to buy houses if he is re-elected.


Salma Ouaguira19 June 2024 08:21


Rishi Sunak vows to serve five years as a backbench MP

Rishi Sunak has promised to serve his five year term as a backbench MP for Richmond and Northallerton if he loses the general election but holds his seat, Archie Mithell reports.

The prime minister had been expected to swan off to California rather than spend five years travelling between the North Yorkshire seat and London.

He told LBC he was focused on winning the general election but he “hopes very much” to represent them for another parliament.

Salma Ouaguira19 June 2024 08:15


Labour’s new donors can afford Sir Keir’s tax rises, Rishi Sunak says

Rishi Sunak has brushed off the defection of major Tory donor John Caudwell to Labour, saying he can “probably afford the party’s tax rises”, Archie Mitchell reports.

The prime minister said as “Britain’s richest men”, Mr Caudwell and Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who is also backing Labour, they will be fine under Sir Keir Starmer’s rule.

“But for tens of millions of people who are working really hard, they can’t and I want to cut people’s taxes,” Mr Sunak told LBC.

Salma Ouaguira19 June 2024 08:14