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General Election LIVE: Further Tory defections and 'bullying' claims after excrement posted through candidate's letterbox

31 May 2024, 08:04

LBC's Live Election Coverage
LBC's Live Election Coverage. Picture: LBC

The Tories have been dealt another blow after former former Conservative MP Mark Logan announced he was defecting to Labour.

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It comes amid "bullying" claims, after "excrement" was posted through Tory parliamentary candidate Katherine Fletcher's letterbox.

The excrement was said to have been posted through letterbox of her constituency office, ahead of the Conservative's bid for re-election in South Ribble constituency.

She labelled the stunt an “attempt to bully me”, posting to X on Thursday, Ms Fletcher said: “Today the police are at my office because somebody has put excrement through the letterbox.

It follows the dissolution of Parliament on Thursday, meaning every seat in the House of Commons has become vacant.

Those who were once MPs now become 'candidates', if they are running again, and the campaign trail move towards the end of the week.

Labour is pledging to put 13,000 police and community support officers in neighbourhood roles and "take back our town centres".

The Conservatives dismissed the plan. Policing minister Chris Philp said only 3,000 of the proposed new officers would be full time with the power of arrest, and 3,000 were officers the current Government has already recruited.

Voters across the country will go to the polls on July 4.

Follow the latest developments below

Key Highlights

  • Labour wins General Election in a landslide as Conservatives see worst defeat in history.
  • Rishi Sunak conceded the election around 4:40am as cabinet casualties built up through the night.
  • Sir Keir formally appointed Prime Minister at Buckingham Palace before making his first speech at Downing Street. 
  • Labour leader pledges to put 'country first, party second'. 
  • Outgoing Prime Minister apologises to nation in final speech outside Downing Street. 
  • Former Prime Minister Liz Truss loses to Labour in Norfolk South West.
  • Eleven Conservative ministers lost their seats including Penny Mordaunt, Alex Chalk, Grant Shapps, and Gillian Keegan.
  • Gains for Reform as Nigel Farage wins in Clacton and Reform UK's Richard Tice, Lee Anderson, and Rupert Lowe also pick up seats.
  • Sir Keir announces his new cabinet, with Angela Rayner, Rachel Reeves and David Lammy among those appointed to the PM's top team. 

Starmer speaks to President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen

The Prime Minister wished Ms Von der Leyen well in her upcoming parliamentary election and she congratulated him on his election victory, a Downing Street spokeswoman said. 

 "The leaders discussed areas of close co-operation between the UK and the EU, including support for Ukraine, climate change and regional security.

"The Prime Minister and president emphasised the importance of the unique relationship between the UK and EU in addressing these challenges. 

 "They agreed to stay in close contact and looked forward to meeting in person soon."

Starmer and Irish premier Simon Harris commit to reset and strengthen relations "with urgency and ambition"

The Taoiseach "warmly congratulated" Sir Keir on his appointment and said he looked forward to having a "close and constructive" working relationship. 

Mr Harris also accepted an invite to visit Sir Keir at Downing Street on July 17. 

 "The Taoiseach and the Prime Minister spoke of their shared determination to reset and strengthen the bilateral relationship between Ireland and the United Kingdom and to set about that task with urgency and ambition. 

 "They discussed Northern Ireland, welcoming the restoration of the Institutions, including the full operation of North South and East West Good Friday Agreement institutions, as well as legacy issues."

Education Sec Bridget Phillipson vows to break down barriers to give children better opportunities

Ms Phillipson said: "Opportunity should be for all - not just a lucky few. That's why education is at the heart of the change this new government will make and will be at the forefront of national life. 

 "Education is key to improving children's life chances. Lives are shaped by opportunity but too many people of all ages, in too many parts of this great country, simply don't have the opportunities to succeed - this Government will make sure they do. 

 "We'll break down those barriers to opportunity through supporting children to get the best start in life, high and rising school standards for all and skills training to support growth, so that everyone can achieve and thrive. 

 "Government can't do this alone. From day one we will reset the relationship between government, families and our education workforce; our dedicated teachers and school staff, early years staff, university and college professionals and social workers. 

"Education will be at the heart of our national story, and it's our workforces who are at the heart of education."

Starmer speaks to first ministers of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Starmer reaffirms 'unwavering support for Ukraine' in call with Zelenskyy

The Ukrainian president tweeted: "I was pleased to speak with Keir Starmer on the day of his appointment as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. 

"I congratulated Sir Keir Starmer on his election victory and wished him success in fulfilling the British people's expectations of the new government. 

"I am grateful to Prime Minister Starmer for reaffirming the UK's principled and unwavering support for Ukraine. 

"We coordinated positions ahead of the NATO Summit in Washington and other international events, as well as discussed ways to strengthen our partnership, including the preparation of an unprecedented 100-year partnership agreement between Ukraine and the UK."

James Timpson appointed Prisons Minister

James Timpson OBE of Timpson shoe repairs will also be made a peer as well as Minister of State for Prisons, Parole and Probation in the Ministry of Justice. 

 He has advocated for employing former prisoners.

Sir Patrick Vallance appointed Science Minister

Sir Patrick Vallance, who was chief scientific adviser to the government during the Covid-19 pandemic, has been appointed a Minister of State for science in the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. He will also be made a peer. 

 Sir Patrick has backed Labour's flagship manifesto pledge to set up a publicly owned energy firm. 

More Cabinet appointments

Sir Keir Starmer has appointed Sir Alan Campbell as chief whip and Darren Jones as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. 

Barrister Richard Hermer KC will become Attorney General rather than Emily Thornberry, who was shadow attorney general when Labour was in opposition. 

 They will all attend Cabinet and Mr Hermer will become a lifetime peer, Downing Street said.

President Biden congratulates Keir Starmer

US President Joe Biden has congratulated Sir Keir Starmer on his appointment to PM.

He tweeted: "Congratulations to Prime Minister Keir Starmer on becoming Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. 

"I look forward to our shared work in support of freedom and democracy around the world, and to further strengthening the special relationship between our two countries."

Baroness Smith appointed Lord Privy Seal and Leader of House of Lords

Baroness Smith of Basildon has been appointed Lord Privy Seal, and Leader of the House of Lords.

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