Home » UK general election LIVE: BBC journalist makes on-air apology to Nigel Farage over ‘inflammatory language’ remark after admitting it fell below standards as Rishi Sunak insists national service will become ‘rite of passage’

UK general election LIVE: BBC journalist makes on-air apology to Nigel Farage over ‘inflammatory language’ remark after admitting it fell below standards as Rishi Sunak insists national service will become ‘rite of passage’

Advertisement

Rishi Sunak has insisted his plan to reintroduce national service for teenagers will become a ‘rite of passage’ in their lives as he visited the Red Wall today on the campaign trail.

The Prime Minister visited a pottery factory in Stoke-on-Trent where he claimed the policy will boost security and social cohesiveness.

Meanwhile, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has boasted Labour is the ‘natural party of business’ after more than 120 executives signed a letter endorsing its economic strategy heading into the July 4 vote.

Follow Mail Online’s coverage below of day six of the general election campaign

Breaking:Sunak and Starmer ‘agree to ITV debate next week’

Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer have agreed to take part in a head-to-head debate on ITV next week, The Daily Telegraph has reported.

While no specific date has been reported, the Conservative and Labour leaders are said to have signed up in principle to a first televised debate between them.

Mr Sunak has previously challenged Sir Keir to six debates, with one taking place every week, but the Labour leader has said he will agree to two on the BBC and ITV.

Watch: Labour planning no more tax rises during election campaign

We can now bring you footage from Rachel Reeves’ speech earlier today in which she indicated Labour will not announce any additional tax rises during the election campaign.

Conservatives target Labour over ‘retirement tax’

The Conservatives’ social media team has gone into overdrive today with several attacks aimed at Labour’s tax plans.

It comes after Rishi Sunak unveiled a new £2.4 billion policy to raise the tax-free pension allowance via a “Triple Lock Plus” if they win the general election.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves called the scheme a ‘desperate gimmick’.

But with Labour not planning to match the commitment, Tory MP say the party will drag millions of pensioners into paying income tax.

Hence, plenty of attacks on social media today.

Labour MP to stand down at general election

Lyn Brown, the Labour MP for West Ham, has announced she will not be seeking re-election on July 4.

Ms Brown released a statement on X along with a letter confirming her decision.

Our deputy political editor David Wilcock reports Angela Rayner vowed a Labour government would recognise the state of Palestine as she urged Muslim voters to back her and the party at the next election.

In the footage, believed to have been shot at an event on Sunday Mr Rayner tells the audience of voters in her Ashton-under-Lyne seat that Labour ‘supports’ the International Criminal Court.

Last week, the court said it would seek the arrest of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu – and senior Hamas leaders – over claims of war crimes in Gaza.

Read David’s report here:

Watch: Sir Ed Davey falls off paddleboard on Lake Windermere

In case you haven’t seen it, one of the funniest moments on the campaign trail took place in the Lake District where Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey went paddleboarding.

What could possibly go wrong?

Rachel Reeves – I’m not a socialist

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer and Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and Labour MP Rachel Reeves visit the Rolls-Royce Aerospace Campus, during a Labour general election campaign event at Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust, in Derby, Britain, May 28, 2024. REUTERS/Maja Smiejkowska

One line we can bring you from Rachel Reeves is declining to declare she is a ‘socialist’ after Sir Keir Starmer insisted he was one yesterday.

Asked on the campaign trail whether she would call her herself a socialist, Ms Reeves said:

I’ve always called myself a social democrat, and what I mean by that is I believe children from whatever background should get an equal start in life.

We suspect more Labour MPs may well receive this question the further we go on in the campaign.

Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds described himself as a ‘Christian socialist’ in a BBC interview this morning

Geeta Guru-Murthy profile: Who is the BBC journalist who apologised to Nigel Farage?

Born in Liverpool. Ms Guru-Murthy joined BBC regional programme Look North before heading to 5 News where she covered the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair in Washington.

After rejoining the BBC, the 56-year-old anchored the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the global financial crash and Donald Trump’s presidency.

In February, she was appointed a chief presenter on the BBC’s news channel in February along with Annita McVeigh and Ben Brown.

Her brother Krishnan is the lead presenter on Channel 4 News.

Our politcal editor James Tapsfield and deputy political editor David Wilcock reported on Mr Farage’s speech earlier in which he claimed the UK is in the middle of a ‘national security emergency’.

The Reform UK honorary president warned of a growth in the numbers of young men with ‘radical anti-British’ views.

Breaking:BBC journalist apologises to Nigel Farage over ‘inflammatory language’ remark

BBC journalist Geeta Guru-Murthy has apologised on-air after she said Nigel Farage used ‘customary inflammatory language’ during his speech in Dover earlier today.

Mr Farage shared footage of the incident on his X account in which he asked ‘what happened to impartiality’.

Ms Guru-Murthy told viewers:

Now an apology. Earlier today we heard live from Nigel Farage, speaking at that election event we just saw.

When we came away from his live speech, I used language to describe it which didn’t meet the BBC’s editorial standards on impartiality. I’d like to apologise to Mr Farage and viewers for this.

In pictures: Day six of the campaign trail

Let’s take a look at the day so far in pictures with all parties out on the campaign trail at various events across the country.

So far we’ve had Nigel Farage speaking in Dover, Rachel Reeves in Derby, Sir Ed Davey in the Lake District and Rishi Sunak in Stoke-on-Trent.

Nigel Farage poses for photographers in Dover, after announcing Howard Cox as the Reform UK candidate for Dover, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Tuesday May 28, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Election Reform. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Britain's Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and Labour MP Rachel Reeves speaks during a Labour general election campaign event at Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust, in Derby, Britain, May 28, 2024. REUTERS/Maja Smiejkowska
WINDERMERE, ENGLAND - MAY 28: Liberal Democrats Leader Ed Davey falls into the water while paddle boarding on Lake Windermere during a campaign visit, with Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, on May 28, 2024 in Windermere, England. The UK general election will be held July 4th. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
epa11375082 British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (C) holds a question and answer session with staff during a visit to Churchill China during a campaign event in Stoke-on-Trent, Britain, 28 May 2024. Britain will hold a snap general election on 04 July 2024.  EPA/ADAM VAUGHAN

BBC announce Laura Kuenssberg and Clive Myrie will lead election night coverage

The BBC has announced its election night line up with Laura Kuenssberg and Clive Myrie leading the coverage on July 4.

They will be assisted by BBC political editor Chris Mason. Reeta Chakrabarti will join them in the BBC’s London studio to analyse the results as they come in, while Jeremy Vine will be broadcasting from Cardiff, Kirsty Wark from Glasgow, and Andrea Catherwood from Belfast.

Fiona Bruce, Victoria Derbyshire, Naga Munchetty, Nick Watt and Alex Forsyth will be among those reporting from key locations around the country, the BBC said.

There will also be dedicated TV results programmes in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Deborah Turness, chief executive of BBC News, said:

A truly fantastic line-up of journalistic talent, headed by Laura and Clive, will bring voters the results and help make sense of them.

We’ve assembled a fresh, dynamic team to bring insight, experience, and perhaps a little wit, to audiences for the whole election night and beyond. It’s incredible to have such breadth and depth of expertise to call upon, up and down the country, when it matters most.

Our deptuy politcal editor David Wilcock reports Sir Ed Davey has gone overboard today as he tried to put pressure on the Tories over the UK’s sewage crisis.

The Lib Dem leader’s love of a stunt saw him embark – and then rapidly disembark in an uncontrolled manner – from a paddleboard on Windermere, the scene of a highly controversial effluent spillage in February.

Watch: National service would have helped my sons, mother tells Rishi Sunak

We can now bring you some footage from the Q&A held by Rishi Sunak at a Stoke factory where one worker told him the national service plan would have helped her adult sons.

Rishi Sunak speech: Five things we learned from PM’s visit to the Potteries

epa11375097 British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (C) waves during a question and answer session with staff during a visit to Churchill China during a campaign event in Stoke-on-Trent, Britain, 28 May 2024. Britain will hold a snap general election on 04 July 2024.  EPA/ADAM VAUGHAN

Rishi Sunak has visited the Red Wall this morning as he dropped by a factory in Stoke-on-Trent where he addressed workers on his latest stop of the campaign trail.

Here’s five things we learned from Mr Sunak’s speech:

  • National service will become a rite of passage for British teenagers if the policy is reintroduced under a Conservative government, according to Mr Sunak
  • Military roles in the proposed scheme will be ‘very competitive and selective’ with options instead to volunteer for civic roles such as search and rescue and helping elderly people
  • He laughed off suggestions that St George’s Day could become a bank holiday in England insisting ‘there’s lots of other things’ that come along with national holidays that would need to be taken into account.
  • Mr Sunak claimed Labour is ‘clinging to the idea’ that going to university is the only way to succeed in life and added that under the opposition, the number of apprenticeships would be halved
  • On the economy, Mr Sunak said the choice facing voters was who they trusted with bringing financial stability to the country, claiming Labour would ‘run out of money and put up your taxes’

We will continue to bring you reaction to the speech as and when we get it.

Rishi Sunak urged to make St George’s Day a bank holiday

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak takes part in a Q and A session with employees during a visit to a pottery factory in Stoke On Trent, Staffordshire, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Tuesday May 28, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Election. Photo credit should read: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Rishi Sunak was pushed to make St George’s Day a bank holiday during a visit in Staffordshire.

During a Q&A the Prime Minister was asked why it could not be a bank holiday in England.

Responding to Keith, a forklift driver who posed the question, Mr Sunak said:

We all love to have days off, right. Let’s be honest, I would definitely love a day off, I can tell you that.

But there’s lots of other things that come along with bank holidays and the impact they have which we need to take into account.

But the thing that you touched on though, which is important, is that taking a moment to celebrate and be proud of who we are, and our country. And that is an incredible thing and whether we need bank holiday for that as a separate thing.

But we should never be ashamed to be proud of our identity, of who we are as a country. And actually what we’ve seen over the last several months in particular, is sadly there are forces who are trying to divide us, who are trying to emphasise all the differences. And I think that’s sad, and it’s wrong.

Rishi Sunak – National service will be ‘rite of passage’

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visits a ceramic manufacturing plant during a Conservative general election campaign event in Staffordshire, Britain, May 28, 2024. Alastair Grant/Pool via REUTERS

Military roles in the Conservatives’ proposed national service scheme will be “very competitive and selective”, Rishi Sunak said.

Speaking at a Q&A during a visit in Staffordshire, he said:

I think all of us have felt that our society could do with being more cohesive, right, reminding us we’re all on the same side, bringing us together, and this will do that. It will foster that culture of service and make our society more cohesive.

But it also, in a very uncertain time, will make our country more safe, so in years to come, and we have thousands and thousands of people who have been trained and things that are practically helpful for our country’s resilience or our security.

And remember, there’s a choice, so if people want to they can do the military component of this, but it will be very competitive and selective.

And for everyone else, there’ll be civic roles, search and rescue, first aid, lifeboats, helping elderly people, but all of these things will just contribute to our country’s resilience and our security.

So I think it’s going to be fantastic. It will become a rite of passage and important part of who we are as a nation.

Rishi Sunak – Education is most powerful way to transform lives

Mr Sunak has reiterated his ambition to prioritise teaching maths as he insisted education is the powerful way to transform lives

Answering a question on what skills training and education will be in place in the future, Mr Sunak said:

I’ve been going on for a while now about the need for our society to prioritise maths because we’re not going to be able to train people in the skills of the future, the jobs of the future, particularly in things like material science and engineering, unless we have more maths.

And we as a country have not prioritised maths in the way that we should have done.

We’re one of the few countries in the world where we say to our young people ‘you don’t have to study maths up to 18’ and I want to change that.

That doesn’t mean everyone has to study maths A-level but just just being more familiar with maths is a good thing for the country.

Breaking:Rishi Sunak – Labour will run out of money and put up taxes

The Prime Minister has claimed Labour will not provide financial stability and security for families.

Speaking in Stoke-on-Trent, he said:

The only certainty you’re going to get with a Labour Party is that they are going to run out of money and put up your taxes.

Rishi Sunak speaking at campaign event in Staffordshire

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak with Mark Meaney, Works Manager, during a visit to a pottery factory in Stoke On Trent, Staffordshire, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Tuesday May 28, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Election. Photo credit should read: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

The Prime Minister is speaking at a campaign event in Staffordshire.

We will bring you his remarks.

In pictures: Sir Ed Davey takes a tumble in Lake Windermere

Some striking pictures have just dropped of Sir Ed Davey struggling to paddleboard in the Lake District.

The Liberal Democrat leader plunged into Lake Windermere after heading out on the water with the party’s former leader Tim Farron.

Britain's Liberal Democrat party Leader Ed Davey falls from a paddle board, during a Liberal Democrat general election campaign, at Lake Windermere, in north west England, on May 28, 2024. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain's Liberal Democrat party Leader Ed Davey falls from a paddle board, during a Liberal Democrat general election campaign, at Lake Windermere, in north west England, on May 28, 2024. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
WINDERMERE, ENGLAND - MAY 28: Liberal Democrats Leader Ed Davey enjoys some paddle boarding on Lake Windermere during a campaign visit, with Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, on May 28, 2024 in Windermere, England. The UK general election will be held July 4th.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
WINDERMERE, ENGLAND - MAY 28: Liberal Democrats Leader Ed Davey enjoys some paddle boarding on Lake Windermere during a campaign visit on May 28, 2024 in Windermere, England. The UK general election will be held July 4th.(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Day six on the campaign trail: What has happened this morning?

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves delivers a speech during a visit to Rolls-Royce in Derby, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Tuesday May 28, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS ElectionLabour. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves and Reform UK honorary president Nigel Farage have appeared at campaign events in the Midlands and Dover respectively with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also expected on the trail later today.

Here’s everything you need to know this morning:

  • Labour has boasted it is the ‘natural party of British business’ after 120 executives signed a letter endorsing the party’s economic strategy in an open letter published today
  • Nigel Farage has doubled down on controversial remarks aimed at Muslims and fired potshots at both Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer, describing them as a ‘frightened rabbit’ and a ‘middle manager lacking energy’
  • The Conservatives have accused Labour of dragging millions of pensioners into paying income tax after Rishi Sunak announced a new ‘Triple Lock Plus’ policy announcement aimed at shoring up Tory support among the older generation
  • Labour’s shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds said he wants the Diane Abbott situation resolved amid reports an investigation into her conduct was completed last year

We will bring you more news, reaction and analysis throughout the day.

Watch: Reeves boasts Labour is ‘party of business’

We can now bring you some of Rachel Reeves’ speech in Derby in which she insisted Labour is now the ‘natural party of business’.

Rachel Reeves – I’m ready to move into Number 11

Britain's Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and Labour MP Rachel Reeves speaks during a Labour general election campaign event at Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust, in Derby, Britain, May 28, 2024. REUTERS/Maja Smiejkowska

Ms Reeves insisted she is ‘ready’ to move into 11 Downing Street as she set out Labour’s ‘five missions’ for what what has been described as a ‘decade of national renewal’.

She detailed plans for 40,000 new appointments every single week, a Border Security Command to “smash the criminal gangs and strengthen our borders”, a publicly owned Great British Energy company, an antisocial behaviour crackdown and plans for 6,500 new teachers.

To serve as chancellor of the exchequer would be the privilege of my life, not to luxuriate in status, not as a staging post in a career, but to serve.

I know the responsibility that will come with that – I embrace it.

As I travel around the country, I see great potential wherever I go, in dynamic great British businesses like this one, in labs and classrooms in our world-leading universities, and in the talent and the effort of working people.

It is time to unlock that potential, to turn the page on chaos and decline, and start a new chapter for Britain. Labour is ready.

Rachel Reeves – I won’t play Tory game of undermining Bank of England

Britain's Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and Labour MP Rachel Reeves speaks during a Labour general election campaign event at Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust, in Derby, Britain, May 28, 2024. REUTERS/Maja Smiejkowska

Ms Reeves also promised to ‘never play fast and loose with the public finances’ as she insisted she wouldn’t ‘play the Tory game of undermining the Treasury or the Bank of England.

In a speech in Derby, the shadow chancellor said:

I have been very clear that every policy that we announce, every line in our manifesto will be fully costed and fully funded – no ifs, no ands, no buts.

That is the attitude that I will take into the Treasury, because taxpayers’ money should be spent with the same care with which people spend their own money.

Stability will rest, as it always has done when Britain has enjoyed economic success, on strong institutions. I started my career as an economist at the Bank of England. I know why the stability that it brings and the independence from short-term politics matter to economic success and the battle against inflation.

So Labour will not play, I will not play the Tory game of undermining the Treasury or the Bank of England.

I will never play fast and loose with the public finances, because when you do so, you put family finances at risk.

Rachel Reeves – Sunak’s election call shows his plan isn’t working

Ms Reeves said Rishi Sunak’s decision to call a general election is proof ‘he doesn’t believe that his plan is working’.

The Conservatives are insulting the intelligence of millions of people like these forced to deal with the consequences of their failure. But we won’t let them get away with it. Because the Conservatives do deserve to be judged on their record of those 14 years.

Five prime ministers, seven chancellors, 12 plans for growth, each delivering less than the last.

To put it in perspective, if our economy had grown at the average rate of OECD countries these last 14 years, our economy today would be £150 billion larger, worth £5,000 for every household and providing £55 billion more investment for our public services.

That is their record and they deserve to be judged on it. The Conservatives have failed on the economy. The plan isn’t working. And Rishi Sunak’s decision to call a snap General Election is the clearest sign of that. If he doesn’t believe that his plan is working, why should you?

Rachel Reeves – Labour is natural party of British business

Britain's Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and Labour MP Rachel Reeves speaks during a Labour general election campaign event at Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust, in Derby, Britain, May 28, 2024. REUTERS/Maja Smiejkowska

Let’s now bring you the highlights from shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves’ speech in the Midlands which took place at the same time as Nigel Farage’s event.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has boasted Labour is the ‘natural party of British business’ while on a visit to Rolls-Royce in Derby.

In five weeks’ time, the British people will go to the polls to make a profound choice about the future of our country.”

Today, I want to put forward a simple proposition: that this changed Labour Party is today the natural party of British business.

And I want to set out the central economic faultline in this election, the choice before the British people on July 4: five more years of chaos with the Conservative Party leaving working people worse off; or stability with a changed Labour Party.

Nigel Farage – Voting Tory is a ‘wasted vote’

Honorary President of the Reform UK party Nigel Farage speaks at a Reform UK press conference in Dover, Britain, May 28, 2024. REUTERS/Chris J Ratcliffe

Mr Farage has claimed the Conservatives have “wrecked it for themselves” and pushed back against the argument that voting for Reform is a vote for Labour and Sir Keir Starmer.

Speaking in Dover, he said:

This election is a foregone conclusion. Labour are going to win and they’re going to win quite big.

And therefore, you could argue actually, that a vote for the Conservative Party is a wasted vote. And given that, you know, Labour are going to win, why not vote for something that you actually believe in?

He said he changed the party’s name from Brexit to Reform because the party is not after a “quick hit” but rather is seeking to “build a base” and “launch a serious assault” in the next election of 2028 or 2029.

I hope and believe we can get a cohort of MPs in Westminster so that we can be the voice of opposition.

Watch: Farage doubles down on ‘radical Islam’ remarks

We can now bring you footage of Nigel Farage’s remarks in Dover in which he fired potshots at Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer.

He also doubled down on remarks that there is a ‘growing number of young people’ in the UK who do not subscribe to British values’.

Nigel Farage – Women are being excluded from politics

Nigel Farage has claimed the UK is moving into ‘sectarian politics with women completely excluded’.

Speaking in Dover, he said:

I think what we ought to be doing with this situation here is declaring a national security emergency and this is an emergency.

I talked over the course of the weekend to Trevor Phillips, about the small but worryingly growing number of young men, predominantly young men in this country, adopting radical views, views that aren’t just un-British, but views that frankly are extremely anti-British.

You might have noticed that Angela Rayner yesterday was campaigning in her constituency, begging, begging a group of Muslim leaders to please vote Labour, you will have noticed not a single woman in the room.

So we’re moving into an age in our inner cities and towns, I’m afraid, I’m worried to say, of sectarian politics with women completely excluded.

Nigel Farage – I was right to use ‘invasion’ on migration

DOVER, ENGLAND - MAY 28: Nigel Farage speaks during a Reform UK event at the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club on May 28, 2024 in Dover, England. The UK general Election will be held on July 4th.(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Nigel Farage has defended his decision to use the word “invasion” when describing migration.

Speaking from Dover at a Reform UK campaign, Mr Farage said:

I said that I thought unless something dramatic was done, that there would be an invasion. Now, of course, for using that word, I was called all the names under the sun.

But 3,800 boats later, 125,000 people later, you can use whatever word you want. I happen to think that invasion, frankly, was pretty appropriate.

So I’ve campaigned hard on this issue throughout this four-year period. And I’m gonna say to you, frankly, I was ahead of the curve on this. I was right.

Nigel Farage – Election campaign has got off to ‘dullest start’ I can remember

Honorary President of the Reform UK party Nigel Farage speaks at a Reform UK press conference in Dover, Britain, May 28, 2024. REUTERS/Chris J Ratcliffe

Nigel Farage has taken aim at Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer as he unloaded both barrells during a speech in Dover.

Reform UK’s honorary president said the election campaign had got off to ‘the dullest start I can ever remember in my entire life’ as he appeared at a launch event for Reform’s candidate for Dover.

He stood in front of a Union Flag backdrop with the words ‘Britain needs reform’ and in front of a podium that said ‘Rishi can’t stop the boats’ to announce the candidacy of Howard Cox in Dover.

He said Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer were ‘men with the appearance and energy of middle managers vying to become a national leader.’

Sir Keir has ‘no energy, no optimism’, while Mr Sunak looks ‘more like a frightened rabbit than someone who is bold’, Mr Farage said.

Mr Farage is campaigning for Reform but will not stand as a candidate in the General Election.

Mr Farage said he was ‘very disappointed’ to decide not to stand in the election and said he felt he could not fight a seat and campaign around the country in six weeks.

Sunak’s national service plan mocked on social media

Reaction continues to pour in to the Rishi Sunak’s proposal to reintroduce some form of national service which has been roundly mocked by young people on social media.

Amid scrutiny about the details of the plan and how it would work, the Prime Minister has assured voters it would open doors for teenagers that they wouldn’t otherwise get through.

But his policy announcement sparked a heated debate over the weekend – with Labour branding it ‘desperate’ and even some Conservatives worried that it was akin to a ‘grown-up Boy Scouts’.

Here are some of our favourite social media posts in response to the policy:

Gen Z/social media reaction to national service
Gen Z/social media reaction to national service
Gen Z/social media reaction to national service
Gen Z/social media reaction to national service

Lib Dems want guaranteed police response for burglaries

Some news from the Liberal Democrats this morning with the party calling for a new statutory guarantee that all burglaries will be attended by police and properly investigated.

Urging the public to back the ‘Burglary Response Guarantee’ on its website, the Lib Dems say:

Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own home.

But last year there were 45,233 reported burglaries where a police officer didn’t then visit the scene of the crime. Too many victims are let down while criminals are getting away with it

No family should be denied justice after suffering the distress and trauma of being burgled. At the very least, people should know that if they are burgled, the police will attend the scene and investigate properly.

Why are business leaders backing Labour?

Britain's Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Rachel Reeves attends a Labour Party general election campaign event in Ossett, West Yorkshire, Britain, May 26, 2024. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja

Labour was won the support of 120 business executives who have endorsed the party’s pledge to restore stability to the British economy if it wins power on July 4.

Business leaders signed a letter published in The Times which criticised the Conservative government’s stewardship of the nation’s finances.

The letter comes as shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves delivers a speech in the Midlands this morning to press home Labour’s case it will be a ‘pro-business, pro-worker’ should it win the July 4 poll.

Here is the text of the letter:

We, as leaders and investors in British business, believe it is time for a change. For too long, our economy has been beset by instability, stagnation and a lack of long-term focus.

The UK has the potential to be one of the strongest economies in the world. A lack of political stability and the absence of consistent economic strategy have held it back. The country has been denied the skills and infrastructure it needs to flourish.

We are looking for a government that will partner fiscal discipline with a long-term growth strategy, working in partnership with the private sector to drive innovation and investment to build digital and physical capital and fix our skills system. This is the only way to put us on track for sustained productivity growth.

Labour has shown it has changed and wants to work with business to achieve the UK’s full economic potential. We should now give it the chance to change the country and lead Britain into the future. We are in urgent need of a new outlook to break free from the stagnation of the past decade and we hope by taking this public stand we might persuade others of that need too.

Watch: Nigel Farage grilled over Muslim claims on Good Morning Britain

Nigel Farage was grilled on Good Morning Britain over the Reform UK founder’s controversial comments on Muslims by presenter Richard Madeley who asked him, ‘What on earth were you talking about?’

Farage provoked a backlash on Sunday when he warned of the ‘growing number of young people in this country who do not subscribe to British values’ and ‘loathe much of what we stand for’.  

He later clarified he was talking about Muslims.

Dad’s Army jokes rumble on over national service plan

Labour is pressing ahead with more Dad’s Army jokes at the expense of the Conservatives this morning.

During his speech yesterday, Sir Keir Starmer dismissed Rishi Sunak’s plan to reintroduce a form of national service as a ‘teenage Dad’s Army’.

It appears the gag is being repeated today after shadow paymaster general Jonathan Ashworth handed out a dossier denouncing the proposal.

A booklet given to journalists by shadow paymaster general Jonathan Ashworth on board the Labour Party media bus as it heads out on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Tuesday May 28, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Election Labour. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Shadow paymaster general Jonathan Ashworth talks to journalists on board the Labour Party media bus this morning as it heads out on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Tuesday May 28, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Election Labour. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Businesswoman whose firm received investment from PM’s wife backs Labour

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty leave after a Conservative general election campaign event in Stanmore, London, Britain May 26, 2024. REUTERS/Chris J Ratcliffe/Pool

A businesswoman whose childcare firm received investment from Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty (pictured) is among more than 120 leaders to have endorsed Labour in an open letter today.

Rachel Carrell, the CEO of Koru Kids, is among the signatories to the note that say it is ‘time for a change’ with TV chef Tom Kerridge also putting his name forward.

Mr Sunak’s wife once held shares in Koru Kids but donated them to charity following concerns about whether she stood to benefit from government policies.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride was asked about Ms Carrell’s inclusion and denied suggestions it was ‘not at all embarrassing’ for the Conservatives.

Whether the PM’s wife has invested in any particular business does not detract from the things that really matter, which is that this is the government that has turned the economy around.

Nigel Farage – Send boats back to France if they don’t ‘play ball’

Nigel Farage has said he would propose tackling the Channel migrant crisis by sending small boats back to France if the French ‘don’t play ball’.

Mr Farage, who is campaigning for Reform UK but is not standing in the General Election, told Good Morning Britain that the UK should leave the European Court of Human Rights, which halted flights to Rwanda.

Speaking from Dover, he said the UK should ‘make clear that nobody that comes via this route will ever be granted settled status in our country’

What is a Christian socialist?

Labour’s Jonathan Reynolds has caused somewhat of a stir on social media after he described himself as a ‘Christian socialist’ during an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

But many on social media appeared confused with Mr Reynolds’ self-proclamation and questioned whether it would go down well with voters.

Shadow business secretary – We want Diane Abbott situation resolved

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Thabo Jaiyesimi/SOPA Images/Shutterstock (14453990e) Diane Abbott looks on in Hackney Downs Park during the rally. Union Leaders Call for Restoring Labour Whip to Diane Abbott Amidst Racism Allegations. Stand With Diane Abbott ,Community rally in London - 28 Apr 2024

Mr Reynolds has said he does not know whether Diane Abbott (pictured) will stand as a Labour MP in the election amid reports a disciplinary process involving her ended in December last year.

BBC Newsnight has reported Labour’s investigation into Diane Abbott over comments she made on racism has been completed which resulted in a formal warning over her conduct and a requirement to complete an ‘antisemitism awareness course’.

Mr Reynolds told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme:

We want that situation resolved, we all want to see that resolved. I genuinely don’t know the circumstances that you’re describing.

I think in any disciplinary matter you need both sides to engage in it, I genuinely have no additional information other than that but we are all keen to see every situation like this resolved as soon as possible.

Our political editor James Tapsfield has more on the new ‘Triple Lock Plus’ policy announcement aimed at shoring up Tory support among the older generation.

Under the plan, the Prime Minister is vowing to maintain the mechanism that hikes payouts by whichever is highest out of inflation, average wage growth or 2.5 per cent.

But the Conservatives would also guarantee that the personal allowance will rise at the same pace for those over retirement age – ensuring it will always be higher than the state pension.

Shadow business secretary – I’m a Christian socialist

(left to right) Jonathan Reynolds shadow secretary of state for business and trade, Lisa Nandy shadow cabinet minister for international development, Anneliese Dodds (hidden) shadow secretary of state for women and equalities, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, shadow secretary of state for health and social care Wes Streeting and Pat McFadden shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and national campaign coordinator, watching an U17 England women's football training session following a shadow cabinet meeting at St. George's Park, Burton-Upon-Trent in the West Midlands. Picture date: Monday April 22, 2024. PA Photo. Labour has committed to halting the decline in children's access to team sports, saying the next generation of sporting talent could only be developed by "harnessing the strength of England's national pride" See PA story POLITICS Labour. Photo credit should read: Jacob King/PA Wire

Jonathan Reynolds (pictured), the shadow business secretary, is on the morning round of interviews for Labour this morning.

He has been asked about Sir Keir Starmer’s remarks that he is a ‘socialist’.

Mr Reynolds was asked by Emma Barnett on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme whether he identifies with the term.

Yes, I would describe myself as a Christian socialist in the best traditions of that (term) because that’s about putting people first and to do that, you’ve got to have a set of policies that will deliver for people.”

I think it’s the best tradition of the things that have been delivered in the UK, whether it’s the national parks or the NHS, have come from people with a similar background to mine.

Cabinet minister – National service is a great idea

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a visit to RAF Lossiemouth military base in Moray, Scotland, to praise members of the RAF, Army and Navy who will spend time away from their families this Christmas while on duty. Picture date: Monday December 18, 2023.

Mr Stride has described Rishi Sunak’s proposals for teenagers to carry out national service as a ‘great idea’ which can help them give them resilience to lean on in later life.

He added those who choose not to sign up would not face criminal sanctions

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he said:

When it comes to the national service, I think this is a great idea. We’re not unique in putting this forward, it’s something that for example, is happening in Sweden, where those young people that go through their version of what we’re suggesting, 80% of them actually come out the other end of say they would recommend doing it to a friend.

And I think this is a real opportunity for young people to get experience that they wouldn’t otherwise have, to build friendships, to build skills, to build confidence, the kind of building blocks that will set them up give them resilience, to go forward in their lives.

He added that the armed forces element of the policy would ‘provide the country with additional resilience in what is a much more uncertain world’.

Cabinet minister – I’ve got ‘no idea’ if Boris Johnson will campaign for us

Taking to the airwaves this morning, Mr Stride was also asked whether former prime minister Boris Johnson would play part in the Conservatives’ campaign in the run up to the general election.

But he told Sky News he had ‘no idea’ on the level of Mr Johnson’s involvement, if any.

Mr Johnson is understood to have booked a series of foreign trips that will take him out of the UK for the majority of the critical period.

Read our story here which is available to Mail Plus subscribers:

Cabinet minister – Labour would drag millions of pensioners into paying income tax

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Thomas Krych/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock (14511368a) Work and Pensions Secretary MEL STRIDE is seen outside Westminster studios during a morning media round. Mel Stride During the Morning Broadcast Round, London, England, United Kingdom - 28 May 2024

Battle lines have been drawn between Labour and the Conservatives over Rishi Sunak’s new proposal ensuring pensioners will never have to pay income tax on their state pension.

Tories say the tax break would equate to a tax cut of around £100 for eight million pensioners next year – increasing to £300 in five years’ time.

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride (pictured) said under a Labour government, millions of pensioners would be dragged into paying income tax.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Stride said:

We will not only up rate by the triple lock across the whole of the next Parliament, but we will also up rate something called the personal allowance, which is the amount you can earn without paying income tax by the triple lock as well.

And that will mean millions of pensioners are getting a tax cut through time. Now Labour have dismissed that, they say they wouldn’t do it, which will drag millions pensioners into tax.

Day six of the campaign trail: What is on the agenda

Britain's Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Rachel Reeves attends a Labour Party general election campaign event in Ossett, West Yorkshire, Britain, May 26, 2024. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja

Rishi Sunak will be out campaigning in the Midlands today, while Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves (pictured) will also be in the region delivering a speech.

Reform UK founder and honorary president Nigel Farage is expected to be in Dover this morning, while Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey heads to the Lake District.

The Scottish Tories will launch its election campaign north of the border this morning.

We will bring you the latest news, pictures and reaction from events as and when they happen.

In pictures: Our favourite images from day five of the campaign trail

Photo ops are a politician’s bread and butter during an election so let’s take a look at our favourite images from day five of the campaign trail:

Sir Keir Starmer was pictured having a cup with Tom Rutland, the Labour candidate for East Worthing and Shoreham after delivering a speech to supporters in Lancing.

Rishi Sunak visited Chesham United Football Club where he enjoyed a kickabout with children.

And Sir Ed Davey was all smiles as he launched the Liberal Democrats Scottish campaign in North Queensferry.

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer (left) meets Tom Rutland, the Labour candidate for East Worthing and Shoreham after delivering a speech to supporters in Lancing, West Sussex, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Monday May 27, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS ElectionLabour. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during his visit to Chesham United Football Club, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Monday May 27, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Election. Photo credit should read: Aaron Chown/PA Wire
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey during their party's Scottish launch at North Queensferry, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Monday May 27, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Election LibDems. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Before we look forward to today’s agenda, let’s take a look at the front page story of today’s Daily Mail after a major report found nearly half of fee-paying pupils would be forced into the state system under Labour’s planned tax raid on private schools.

Read the story from the Mail’s Education Editor Eleanor Harding here:

What happened yesterday?

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak holds the cup of newly promoted Chesham United Football Club, while on the General Election campaign trail in Chesham. Picture date: Monday May 27, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Election. Photo credit should read: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

For those of you who enjoyed your bank holiday Monday and missed all the action on the campaign trail, here are yesterday’s highlights:

We will bring you the main stories from the campaign today throughout the morning and afternoon.

Good morning

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during his visit to Chesham United Football Club, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Monday May 27, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Election. Photo credit should read: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Hello and welcome to MailOnline’s live coverage of day six on the general election campaign trail.

After showing off his somewhat dubious skills on the football pitch, Rishi Sunak will have hoped to scored a goal with pensioners with his announcement for a new age-related tax cut which is dubbled ‘triple lock plus’.

While, avid Arsenal fan Sir Keir Starmer was aiming to impress rival supporters as he promised economic stability and protecting national security in his first major speech of the campaign.

And more Tory turmoil as one outgoing MP told voters to back the Reform UK candidate in her constituency and one government minister suggested the new national service plan was ‘sprung on’ candidates.

Join us for the all the latest news, analysis and reaction from the campaign today and join in the conversation in our comments section.