BBC's Mishal Husain sparks laughter with Keir Starmer put-down over Corbyn (2024)

Table of Contents
Snap YouGov poll says no one won the debate Debate wraps up after bruising 75 minutes Rishi Sunak says he has 'enormous gratitude' to Britain Rishi Sunak warns that Keir Starmer wants EU freedom of movement 'by the back door' Sunak and Starmer spark over women's vs trans rights Audience member applauded for brutal attack on Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer Mishal Husain sparks laughter and applause with put down of Keir Starmer Prime Ministerial Debate: Mishal Husain interrupts Keir Starmer Rishi Sunak: I was right about Liz Truss so you can trust me on Labour Rishi Sunak wins audience support has he blasts Labour's migrant policy as 'nonsensical' Sunak asks whether Starmer will negotiate with the Taliban Rishi Sunak: 'What would you do!' about illegal migrants Rishi Sunak says Keir Starmer can't commit to tax cuts for this one simple reason Audience applaud anti-Sunak put-down by Keir Starmer Mishel Hussain explains protest is causing distracting background noise during debate Rishi Sunak hammers Keir Starmer over Darren Jones' eco spending confession Sunak tears into Starmer over tax truths Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer asked about integrity in politics The debate begins... Tory MP Philip Davies accused of placing £8,000 bet on election Tory HQ rebrands Twitter account as 'Tax Checker' Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer arrive at debate Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer to debate for final time this election Man admits throwing objects at Nigel Farage Criticism of the Tories' environmental record 'not fair' Greenpeace defends its Tory election battlebus stunt Greenpeace protester named Tory battlebus delayed by protesters 'Labour Party member' arrested in Westminster honeytrap plot Police probe criminal damages at DUP candidate's office PopCon to hold rally days after election Salmond unveils Alba manifesto Starmer insists Labour candidate bet is 'materially different' to Tories Starmer and Streeting visit GP surgery Starmer says he has never placed political bet Starmer appears to slap down David Tennant Tories claim Labour plotting ‘pensions tax raid’ Davey performs CPR to 'Stayin' Alive' song Migrants crossings since Sunak became PM hit 50,000 Four men arrested at PM's home released on bail Sunak hits out at Tennant over Badenoch row Want more politics news from the Express? Starmer’s 'secret pact' revealed as leaders accused of cooking up deal to hammer Tories Blur drummer's cocaine-fuelled binge in a 'murderous rage' before running to be Labour MP Stride says he does not know how many Tories embroiled in election betting scandal Tory minister warns Labour heading towards 'massive majority' Election betting scandal 'deeply disappointing', says Stride What is happening on the campaign trail on Wednesday? Good morning

Christian Calgie

Snap YouGov poll says no one won the debate

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer drew a dead tie in this evening's debate, according to a snap poll from YouGov.

A poll of viewers found that 50% said Rishi Sunak won, and 50% said Keir Starmer won.

A match draw.

SNAP POLL/ Who performed best overall in tonight's debate?

Rishi Sunak: 50%
Keir Starmer: 50%https://t.co/wjNCCLj6Mn pic.twitter.com/3vqFyOaxUV

\u2014 YouGov (@YouGov) June 26, 2024

Christian Calgie

Debate wraps up after bruising 75 minutes

The debate has just come to a close after a brutal knock-about between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer.

There will be a poll shortly from YouGov to tell us who voters believe won the debate.

BBC's Mishal Husain sparks laughter with Keir Starmer put-down over Corbyn (1)

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer after the debate (Image: BBC)

Christian Calgie

Rishi Sunak says he has 'enormous gratitude' to Britain

During a debate about housing, Mr Sunak said the issue of young people is "fundamentally the reason I got into politics".

"My grandparents emmigrated to this country with very little, two generations later I have the enormous privilege of standing here as your Prime Minister.

"I don't think my story would be possible in any other country, and that's why I feel an enormous sense of duty and gratitude to our country for what it's done for me.

"I'm in politics to make a difference. To make people's lives better and that starts with young people."

Christian Calgie

Rishi Sunak warns that Keir Starmer wants EU freedom of movement 'by the back door'

Rishi Sunak has warned voters that Keir Starmer's promise to get a better trade deal with the EU will lead to freedom of movement by the back door.

Asked by the BBC host whether Britain could get a better trading deal with Europe, Mr Sunak replied: "You know what, you might be able to, but you know what the price will be? It'll be free movement of people".

"That's what Keir Starmer's not being straight with you about. The price of anything - and I know because I've sat across them for the last 18 months - all the things he's talking about involve accepting more migrants.

"Free movement by the back door - that is the choice for you at this election!"

Christian Calgie

Sunak and Starmer spark over women's vs trans rights

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer have traded blows over women's rights, with Rishi Sunak hammering the Labour leader over his flip-flopping on the issue.

Rishi Sunak emphatically backed women-only spaces, pledging a change to the equality act to back them.

Keir Starmer insisted that changing equality legislation isn't necessary, but flailed as he defended his various positions on the issues.

Christian Calgie

Audience member applauded for brutal attack on Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer

An audience member sparked applause when asking: "Mr Sunak, I think you made a fair job of being Chancellor but you're a pretty mediocre Prime Minister".

"Sir Keir: I think that your strings are being pulled by very senior members of the Labour Party.

"Are you two really the best we've got to be the next PM of our great country?"

After loud audience applause, Mr Sunak said he understands everyone's frustration with the last few years as the UK battles strong headwinds.

Sir Keir reiterated his background in the legal profession and reforms within the Labour Party.

Christian Calgie

Mishal Husain sparks laughter and applause with put down of Keir Starmer

BBC Host Mishal Husain sparked laughter and applause with a put down of Keir Starmer.

As the Labour leader tried tying Rishi Sunak to Liz Truss, Ms Husain interrupted to point out: "You know what it's like to fall in behind a leader of your party!"

A clear jibe about Jeremy Corbyn.

Prime Ministerial Debate: Mishal Husain interrupts Keir Starmer

Christian Calgie

Rishi Sunak: I was right about Liz Truss so you can trust me on Labour

Rishi Sunak has said he was right to warn about Liz Truss's policies and is now right about Labour.

"Two years ago I warned repeatedly about what Liz Truss's policies would do to the country, even if it wasn't what people wanted to hear at the time.

"I was right then and that's why you can trust me now when I say that the Labour Party's policies mean all your taxes are going to go up by thousands of pounds.

"It is in their DNA! Mark my words, your pension your council tax your home your car, you name it, they will tax it which is why he cannot rule out raising your taxes."

Christian Calgie

Rishi Sunak wins audience support has he blasts Labour's migrant policy as 'nonsensical'

Rishi Sunak won audience applause after blasting Labour's migrant policy as 'nonsensical'.

He asked how Labour would negotiate returns agreements with Iran and Afghanistan.

"Do you know where they come from? Iran, Syria, Afghanistan. So when Keir Starmer says he's going to return people, are you going to sit down with the Iranian Ayatollas? Are you going to do a deal with the Taliban? It's completely nonsensical what you are saying!

"You are taking people for fools!"

Sunak asks whether Starmer will negotiate with the Taliban

Christian Calgie

Rishi Sunak: 'What would you do!' about illegal migrants

Rishi Sunak has stolen a lead on immigration, demanding Keir Starmer tells voters what he will do about illegal migrants.

He said: "I can tell everyone what I will do about illegal migrants who come to our country - they will be on planes and be sent away because they shouldn't be here".

"What will you do with the illegal migrants who arrive to the UK? What will you do with them? You've had three weeks to think of an answer, what is it!?"

Christian Calgie

Rishi Sunak says Keir Starmer can't commit to tax cuts for this one simple reason

Rishi Sunak has blasted Keir Starmer for failing to back his welfare reforms.

He informed the audience: "When I made that speech they opposed every single measure. Just two weeks ago they were asked about it, they said 'we oppose all those measures'".

"So it's one thing to stand here and say all these things - you should at least be up front with people: You don't think my approach is the right one, you're going to have higher welfare under you and that's why you can't deliver tax cuts like I can."

He added: "People should not surrender to this!"

Audience applaud anti-Sunak put-down by Keir Starmer

After Keir Starmer claimed he agreed that welfare should be reformed, Rishi Sunak pointed out he "literally opposed" recent changes brought in by the Government.

A tetchy Keir Starmer hit back: "If you listened to people in the audience and across the country more often you might not be so out of touch".

Christian Calgie

Mishel Hussain explains protest is causing distracting background noise during debate

Debate host Mishel Hussain has explained to viewers that the hugely distracting background noise is being caused by a protest taking place outside.

She argued it's an important part of British democracy, but swathes of debate viewers are complaining about the distracting noise on social media.

Journalist James O'Malley tweeted: "Maybe I’m just easily distracted but this is impossible to follow".

Commentator Chris Rose quipped: "I’ll vote for whoever shuts up the hecklers up in the background".

Money saving expert Martin Lewis added: "Clearly something going on in the background of #bbcleadersdebate - sounds like a protest, but you can't hear what, quite off putting - they should address it as we can hear it rather than ignore. Hope protestors stop disrupting the democratic debate".

Christian Calgie

Rishi Sunak hammers Keir Starmer over Darren Jones' eco spending confession

Rishi Sunak has hammered Keir Starmer over the revelation earlier this evening that Darren Jones was recorded confessing that Labour's environmental plans will cost 'hundreds of billions of pounds' - much more than Labour's manifesto pledges to spend.

Sir Keir argues that is referring to private investment.

Christian Calgie

Sunak tears into Starmer over tax truths

Rishi Sunak blasts Sir Keir Starmer: "He's changed his mind on every position he's ever taken and that isn't going to do anything to restore trust in British politics".

"Keir Starmer is not being straight with you about his plans to increase taxes."

Christian Calgie

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer asked about integrity in politics

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer have both been asked about integrity in politics.

Mr Sunak has defended his actions over the Tory betting scandal, having suspended two candidates albeit a week after the row broke.

Sir Keir says he will return politics to being about 'public service', and also attacks Rishi Sunak for being fined during Partygate and the Covid contracts.

Rishi Sunak hits back that Keir Starmer is eroding trust in politics by not telling the truth about his tax plans.

Christian Calgie

The debate begins...

The pair are in position for tonight's debate.

BBC's Mishal Husain sparks laughter with Keir Starmer put-down over Corbyn (2)

Debate kicks off (Image: BBC)

Christian Calgie

Tory MP Philip Davies accused of placing £8,000 bet on election

The Sun has claimed that a top Tory MP placed a huge bet on the election, in the latest twist to the ongoing gambling row.

Asked whether he placed an £8000 bet on the outcome of the election, Philip Davies did not deny it.

Sir Philip Davies is said to have wagered he will not hold his Shipley constituency, where he is defending a 6,242 majority.

He argues it is "nobody’s business” whether he's placed any bets.

Christian Calgie

Tory HQ rebrands Twitter account as 'Tax Checker'

Conservative central office has rebranded its Twitter account as 'Tax Check UK', replicating a controversial move by the then-Boris Johnson team in 2019.

Mr Johnson's Tory HQ rebranded as a 'fact checking' account for a debate between him and Jeremy Corbyn, sparking outrage and claims of fake news among opponents.

Tory HQ has posted the following video.

Labour's \u00a32,094 tax bombshell explained #TaxCheckUK pic.twitter.com/XanYfQSMwx

\u2014 Tax Check UK (@CCHQPress) June 26, 2024

Christian Calgie

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer arrive at debate

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer have been photographed greeting BBC chief Tim Davie in Nottingham.

BBC's Mishal Husain sparks laughter with Keir Starmer put-down over Corbyn (3)

Keir Starmer greets Tim Davie (Image: Getty)

BBC's Mishal Husain sparks laughter with Keir Starmer put-down over Corbyn (4)

Rishi Sunak greets Tim Davie (Image: Getty)

Christian Calgie

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer to debate for final time this election

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer will be facing off against each other in 15 minutes in the final election debate of this general election.

The pair will begin battle at 20:15 on BBC One and BBC News for an hour, in a final opportunity to turn their fortunes around, or shore up their lead.

We'll be live blogging the whole thing, as well as breaking news lines and clips, and will have the best analysis of the final showdown available after it wraps up.

Stay tuned...

BBC's Mishal Husain sparks laughter with Keir Starmer put-down over Corbyn (5)

Presenter Mishal Husain will host tonight’s BBC debate (Image: BBC/PA)

Christian Calgie

Man admits throwing objects at Nigel Farage

A 28-year-old man has admitted throwing a coffee cup and another item at Reform UK leader Nigel Farage as he campaigned on his battle bus.

Josh Greally was arrested in the town centre in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, on Tuesday June 11 after he threw what looked like a paper cup containing a liquid, and another object, at Mr Farage.

Neither of the objects hit the politician, who was on the top deck of the bus.

Judge Tim Spruce said it appeared that the first item thrown was a coffee cup but it was not clear what the second item was, and could have been another cup or some paper.

Greally will be sentenced on August 28 at the same court.

Judge Spuce told the defendant: “All sentencing options are open.”

Michael Knowles

Criticism of the Tories' environmental record 'not fair'

Farming minister Sir Mark Spencer denied Greenpeace activists' claims that the Tories scored worst of all parties on the environment.

Asked about the protester climbing the Conservative battle bus, he told the PA news agency it was ironic that "I'm here in my electric rechargeable vehicle and they turned up in their diesel van to protest about the environment.

"I think they made their point. I mean, I'm sympathetic to some of the points they made. You know, I think in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs we're doing a lot to lower our carbon footprint and improve the environment."

He said the criticism of the Tories' record on the environment was not "fair at all".

"We've made huge strides in making sure that we are both energy secure but lowering our carbon footprint as as a nation."

Greenpeace defends its Tory election battlebus stunt

A Greenpeace spokesman said it was "legitimate and important" to stage a protest by climbing on the Tory battle bus.

Speaking to broadcasters after the demonstrator climbed off the coach's roof, Paul Morozzo said: "We're just making the point that if you want to vote with the climate in mind, if you want to vote for all the benefits the climate brings in terms of the economy and public services, then you vote for different parties."

Asked whether sending a young woman onto the roof of the campaign bus was the right way to make the point, he said: "I think it's an important way to make our point. We've only been there for a few minutes. We've come down, we don't want to mess with the companies who organised the event. We're very respectful of that.

"But in an election where the debate is so sort of poor and weak, and there's so many lies and untruths about both the economy and climate, we think it's legitimate and important to make our point, and in whatever way we can."

Michael Knowles

Greenpeace protester named

The protester who climbed onto the roof of the Conservative bus has been named as Amy Rugg-Easey.

She descended from the top of the Tory branded coach using a ladder which Greenpeace UK had brought with them.

Christian Calgie

Tory battlebus delayed by protesters

The Conservative Party battle bus has been mounted by an eco protester.

A photo shared by a journalist showed the disrupter holding a sign reading "green power not paddy power", in a dig at the recent Tory betting row.

Going well ... https://t.co/2epvG6XeTf pic.twitter.com/zodtmowi2z

\u2014 Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) June 26, 2024

Katie Harris

'Labour Party member' arrested in Westminster honeytrap plot

A man understood to be a member of the Labour Party has been arrested as part of a police probe into a sexting scam that targeted political figures.

The suspect, aged in his mid-twenties, was held in Islington, north London, on Wednesday on suspicion of harassment and offences under the Online Safety Act.

A police investigation began in April after it was suggested that at least 12 men with links to Westminster had received unsolicited messages in a honeytrap plot.

An unknown scammer is said to have used the aliases "Charlie" and "Abi" while sending flirtatious messages to attempt to coax MPs and other figures in political circles into sending explicit pictures.

Then-senior Conservative MP William Wragg resigned the party whip after he admitted giving politicians' phone numbers to a suspected scammer.

Katie Harris

Police probe criminal damages at DUP candidate's office

Police are investigating damage caused to the offices of DUP parliamentary candidate Sammy Wilson.

Windows and doors of the property were damaged in the overnight incident in the Lancasterian Street area of Carrickfergus, Co Antrim.

Mr Wilson is standing in the East Antrim constituency in the General Election.

PSNI district commander, Superintendent Ian McCormick said: "Police received a report shortly after 9.30am today, Wednesday June 26, that damage had been caused to the windows and doors of the premises at some time overnight.

"Officers remain at the scene as part of our investigation to establish the circ*mstances around this incident."

Katie Harris

PopCon to hold rally days after election

Liz Truss's Popular Conservatism movement is set to hold a rally in Westminster on July 9.

The event five days after the General Election will "consider what happened, why and what we need to do next".

The line-up is not yet confirmed and depends on which Tory candidates are returned to Parliament.

Katie Harris

Salmond unveils Alba manifesto

Scotland is at a "pivotal moment in its history", former first minister Alex Salmond has said as he launched the Alba Party manifesto.

The party - which boasted two MPs in the last Parliament as a result of defections from the SNP - has said every national election should be treated as a test of the desire for independence, with a majority resulting in negotiations for the country to separate from the rest of the UK.

The UK Government, Mr Salmond said, has vetoed the "democratic wishes of Scots" since the 2014 referendum.

He said: "On July 4 Scotland goes to the polls in a UK General Election - the Alba Party believe that every single national election should be used to seek a mandate to begin negotiations for Independence.

"That means the election itself should provide the popular mandate for Independence.

"Scotland stands at a pivotal moment in its history.

"For too long Westminster governments have been allowed to veto the expressed democratic wishes of Scots.

Katie Harris

Starmer insists Labour candidate bet is 'materially different' to Tories

Sir Keir Starmer said Labour candidate Kevin Craig betting against himself was "materially different" to the Tory candidates investigated for placing bets on the election date but that his decision to suspend him was still appropriate.

"It's materially different to the Tory being investigated - it's one thing to use insider information about the date of the election," Sir Keir told reporters at a visit to a GP clinic.

"It's different to bet against yourself but you know, my decision was based on the fact that the Gambling Commission are investigating. That's what I said I would do, and that's what I did."

Asked for his reaction when he found out Mr Craig had bet against himself winning his seat, Sir Keir said: "I wasn't very happy, but I knew what was going to happen because I was clear in my own mind what the appropriate action would be."

Asked if he had been reassured no members of his shadow cabinet had placed such bets, he said: "They know the standards that I expect of them and all candidates."

Katie Harris

Starmer and Streeting visit GP surgery

Sir Keir Starmer and Wes Streeting have visited a GP surgery in the East Midlands to promote pledges on access to doctors.

The Labour leader and the shadow health secretary met three patients at Long Lane Surgery GP practice in Coalville.

"Ooh, this is a surprise," one exclaimed as the pair walked over to sit with them in the surgery's sunny courtyard.

"You look younger in person," one patient said to Sir Keir. "You do," another agreed.

"That's the right way round," Sir Keir said. Mr Streeting asked: "How much have you paid these people?"

BBC's Mishal Husain sparks laughter with Keir Starmer put-down over Corbyn (6)

Sir Keir Starmer and Wes Streeting (Image: PA)

Katie Harris

Starmer says he has never placed political bet

Sir Keir Starmer said he only gambled on horse racing but suggested he did not think the rules on political betting needed to change.

The Labour leader said: "I've never placed a political bet, I only bet on the horses. So that's where I stand on this.

"And I don't think that we should be lured into thinking this is a problem with the rules, it's a problem with politicians.

"You can see from the reaction of the public that they know straight away that what's been going on in the Tory party, this sort of insider dealing, is wrong."

Katie Harris

Starmer appears to slap down David Tennant

Sir Keir Starmer said he "wouldn't have engaged in the way" David Tennant did when he said Kemi Badenoch should "shut up".

The Labour leader said: "I think in politics, as in life, it's really important that we are able to robustly disagree with others.

"Obviously, that happens a lot in the General Election campaign, but we should do it with respect for everybody involved in that robust discussion.

"I wouldn't have engaged in the way that he did. I think it's right that we have these robust discussions, but we must do it respectfully."

Katie Harris

Tories claim Labour plotting ‘pensions tax raid’

The Conservatives claimed Labour was planning a “pensions tax raid” after shadow work and pensions secretary Liz Kendall refused to rule out scrapping the 25% tax-free allowance during an interview on this morning's broadcast round.

Laura Trott, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “Labour are already planning a retirement tax by taxing the state pension for the first time ever.

“Now their shadow pensions secretary cannot rule out a further pensions tax raid – just one of the 17 tax rises Labour are planning, tax rises they do not intend to tell voters about before the election on 4 July.

Keir Starmer should have the courage and conviction to be honest with the British people about the tax rises Labour are already planning, on top of the £2,094 in higher council tax and other taxes they will have to levy on working families to fill their spending black hole.”

Katie Harris

Davey performs CPR to 'Stayin' Alive' song

Sir Ed Davey performed CPR on a dummy while the Bee Gees' track "Stayin' Alive" played as he hit the campaign trail this morning.

The Lib Dem leader has made headlines for his stunt-filled election campaign.

BBC's Mishal Husain sparks laughter with Keir Starmer put-down over Corbyn (7)

Sir Ed Davey has a go at CPR on a dummy (Image: GETTY)

Katie Harris

Migrants crossings since Sunak became PM hit 50,000

More than 50,000 migrants have arrived in the UK after crossing the Channel since Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, including over 13,000 so far this year.

Home Office figures show 144 people made the journey in three boats on Tuesday, taking the provisional total for 2024 to date to 13,045.

This is already a record for the first six months of a calendar year.

The latest arrivals mean the tally of crossings since Mr Sunak became Prime Minister on October 25 2022 now stands at 50,108.

Katie Harris

Four men arrested at PM's home released on bail

Four men who were arrested at the Prime Minister's constituency home have been released on bail, police have said.

The group were detained at Rishi Sunak's house in the village of Kirby Sigston, near Northallerton, North Yorkshire, at around 12.40pm on Tuesday before being escorted off the property and arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass.

North Yorkshire Police said the men are a 52-year-old from London, a 43-year-old from Bolton, a 21-year-old from Manchester, and a 20-year-old from Chichester.

A video has been released by protest group Youth Demand showing a young man entering the Prime Minister's property and appearing to defecate in a lake.

The group said the action was a "parting gift" for the Prime Minister and the Conservative Government.

Katie Harris

Sunak hits out at Tennant over Badenoch row

Rishi Sunak has intervened in the row between Kemi Badenoch and actor David Tennant.

Tennant suggested at the British LGBT Awards last week that he wanted a world where the equalities minister "doesn't exist any more" and that she should "shut up".

The Prime Minister said: "Freedom of speech is the most powerful feature of our democracy.

"If you're calling for women to shut up and wishing they didn't exist, you are the problem."

Freedom of speech is the most powerful feature of our democracy.

If you\u2019re calling for women to shut up and wishing they didn\u2019t exist, you are the problem.

Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) June 26, 2024

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Ciaran McGrath

Starmer’s 'secret pact' revealed as leaders accused of cooking up deal to hammer Tories

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Lib Dem opposite number Sir Ed Davey have been accused of being in cahoots after data suggested the two parties are steering clear of one another’s target seats.

Sir Keir has visited just two of the 100 constituencies with the smallest swing required for a Lib Dem victory, according to a Daily Telegraph analysis.

Similarly, Sir Ed has been to just one of 100 seats required the smallest swing for a Labour win, with the Tories hailing it as evidence of a “pact” between the parties.

Andrew Lewer, the Tory candidate for Northampton South, said: “If Starmer and Davey are teaming up and believe that a vote for one is as good as a vote for the other, then they should come right out and say so.”

Ciaran McGrath

Blur drummer's cocaine-fuelled binge in a 'murderous rage' before running to be Labour MP

Dave Rowntree, Sir Keir Starmer’s would-be MP for Mid-Sussex, admitted to taking cocaine despite Labour wanting to crack down on middle-class drug taking with stricter new laws.

In 2003, Dave Rowntree was caught on camera appearing to bully, harass, intimidate and assault Canadian journalist and musician, Nardwuar the Human Serviette, in an incident he later apologised for.

In his apology, he said that “the day after a cocaine binge, I’d fly into a murderous rage, and this was the case on that day”.

A Labour source pointed out that this relates to events over 20 years ago at the height of his Britpop days.

Katie Harris

Stride says he does not know how many Tories embroiled in election betting scandal

Cabinet minister Mel Stride said he did not know how many Tories would end up being dragged into the Gambling Commission investigation into the possible misuse of inside information on the election date.

The BBC reported that 15 Conservative candidates or officials were being looked at by the watchdog.

Mr Stride told LBC Radio: "I don't know what the number is, what the number may or may not end up as, or indeed which parties may be involved, because we have obviously just heard that a Labour candidate has apparently betted against himself in the constituency in which he is standing and has been suspended as a consequence.

"So I don't know where all of this will lead, it could be that there will be others across different political parties going forward.

"But what I do know is that in the case of those Conservative candidates, who are being investigated by the Gambling Commission, they have been suspended. They are not supported as Conservative candidates in this election.

"Indeed, the Prime Minister has been very clear that in the event that they are found to have broken the rules by the Gambling Commission, they will be expelled from the Conservative Party."

Katie Harris

Tory minister warns Labour heading towards 'massive majority'

Labour appears to be heading to a "massive majority", Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said.

The senior Tory, a close ally of Rishi Sunak, told Sky News: "I'm extremely worried for the future if we have a Labour government, particularly if we have one that is totally unrestrained because it has a massive majority, which is what we appear to be heading towards, with very little opposition in Parliament.

"I would just say to people on that score that I think it's really important that we think very carefully about holding Labour to account, if they are to win this coming General Election, and that people do vote Conservative so that we have a decent opposition at least to an overweening Labour Party."

Katie Harris

Election betting scandal 'deeply disappointing', says Stride

Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride said the election betting scandal was "deeply disappointing".

He told Times Radio: "It's deeply unsatisfactory, that anybody should - if it is proven to be the case - use inside information in this way.

"Obviously the Gambling Commission is continuing its inquiries, we need to await the outcome of that to establish those as facts or otherwise.

"So I would describe it as deeply, deeply disappointing if that is happening.

"And I am as angry as the Prime Minister is about it. And that's why after internal inquiries, he took that decision - I think it was right to do so - to suspend some of those candidates that are standing in the election, so I think the right steps have been taken."

Katie Harris

What is happening on the campaign trail on Wednesday?

Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer will make their closing arguments to the nation as they go head-to-head in their final TV debate before polling day next week.

Home Secretary James Cleverly, shadow health secretary Wes Streeting and Sir Keir Starmer will all be out campaigning in the East Midlands during the day.

Labour will talk up its pledge to end the 8am scramble for GP appointments by training more doctors and updating the NHS app so slots are easy to book and rearrange.

Reform UK chairman Richard Tice will be in Scotland giving a speech on net zero and "saving the oil and gas industry".

Katie Harris

Good morning

Welcome to our live blog coverage as the General Election campaign continues. Follow this page for the latest updates.

BBC's Mishal Husain sparks laughter with Keir Starmer put-down over Corbyn (2024)
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