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General Election LIVE: Farage, Rayner and Mordaunt among leading figures in seven parties facing off in debate

7 June 2024, 07:19 | Updated: 7 June 2024, 21:13

Leading party figures clash in the debate
Leading party figures clash in the debate. Picture: BBC/Alamy

Leading figures from the Conservatives, Labour and Reform UK took part in a heated debate on Friday evening ahead of the General Election.

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Penny Mordaunt from the Conservatives, Angela Rayner from Labour, Daisy Cooper from the Liberal Democrats, Stephen Flynn from the Scottish National Party, Nigel Farage from Reform UK, Rhun ap Iorwerth from Plaid Cymru, and Carla Denyer from the Greens clashed in the debate.

It comes after a day of criticism of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for leaving D-Day anniversary commemorations early. He has since apologised.

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

Follow the latest developments below

Today's Highlights

Just Stop Oil need to 'feel the full force of the law' says Starmer

 Sir Keir Starmer has told LBC that Just Stop Oil are "pathetic" and that "they need to feel the full force of the law."

Read more here: Eco mob Just Stop Oil plots summer holiday chaos as group targets airports - labelling private jet stunt a 'prelude'

Holly Valance donates £50,000 to Reform UK

Holly Valance has donated £50,000 to Nigel Farage's party, Reform UK.

The former singer and actress, wife of British billionaire property tycoon Nick Candy, made the donation between June 6th and 12th according to newly released data.

According to the Electoral Commission's party donations data, the second week of the UK General Election campaign saw Ms Candy donate the five-figure sum to Farage's party.

Donated under her maiden name of Vukadinovic, the star was one of eight individuals to donate between June 6th and 12th.

The donation brings Reform UK's total for that week to £742,000.

Voter left 'on the fence' after Sunak's visit

The owner of a farm shop Rishi Sunak visited in north-east Wales has said she is "still on the fence" after his visit.

Gail Swan backed the Tories in 2019 because she felt Boris Johnson cared but said there is still a "long way to go" until polling day. She added she felt Mr Sunak also cared after they met.

'Don't let Labour waltz into office', Sunak tells voters

Rishi Sunak has urged voters not to let Labour "waltz into office", as he warned that Labour would "change the rules" to make it harder to vote them out.

The Prime Minister said that once in power, Labour would "change every rule to make sure that they keep it."

Read more: 'Don't let Labour waltz into office', Sunak tells voters, as he says Brits may not 'ever' be able to get them out of power

Starmer rejects chance of independence negotiations

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer has said he would not enter negotiations with the Scottish Government on an independence referendum if the SNP wins a majority of Scottish seats at the General Election.

First Minister John Swinney laid out his party’s manifesto this week, saying an SNP majority would increase pressure on the incoming government to give in to his demands for another vote.

When asked if he would accept such a situation, Sir Keir said: "no".

Parents ‘worried about taking children to beach’ because of pollution, says former Undertones singer

People are “utterly outraged” at river and sea pollution, with parents worried about taking their children to the beach this summer, environmental activist Feargal Sharkey has said.

The former Undertones singer, who is now president of Labour’s Environment Campaign, SERA has been touring the UK highlighting his campaign to clean up waterways, and to support Labour candidates in next month’s General Election.

Sharkey said: “Families are now worried about taking their children to the beach this summer.”

He has called for a public inquiry into what he says is a crisis, saying every river in England is polluted.

Scottish First Minister has 'got his priorities wrong' says Sir Keir Starmer

First Minister John Swinney has “got his priorities wrong”, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

He added: “The ambition between the SNP and Labour is stark.

“We say elect Labour MPs in Scotland so they can sit at the heart of an incoming Labour government, bringing about the change that I think so many people in Scotland want.

“What the SNP says is send an MP to send a message, to sit literally on the opposition benches and shout across the aisle.”

Keir Starmer has labelled actions by Just Stop Oil activists 'pathetic'

The Labour leader has condemned the actions of the protesters and called them "self-defeating".

Read more here: Starmer says eco mob 'needs to feel the full force of the law' as he slams 'pathetic' Just Stop Oil

Labour’s shadow paymaster general claims Rishi Sunak has failed to deny more Tories are being probed in betting scandal

"Come clean" and "take immediate action"

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s shadow paymaster general, has claimed Rishi Sunak has failed to deny more Tory candidates and ministers are being investigated in the betting scandal, urging him to “come clean”.

Mr Ashworth said: “Today Rishi Sunak has refused to rule out that further members of the Conservative Party, including Cabinet ministers, are involved in this betting scandal. He needs to come clean with the public.

“His weakness means he has overseen the same levels of sleaze and scandal that have come to epitomise the last 14 years of Tory government.

“Rishi Sunak needs to take immediate action against all implicated.”

"This is not a by-election.”

Rishi Sunak has sought to move on from the scandal, saying: “I warn you, don’t fall into Labour’s trap, don’t sleepwalk to July 4.”

The Prime Minister acknowledged voters’ “frustrations” at the launch of the Tories’ Welsh manifesto, but suggested the General Election was too important to be used to send the party a message.

“I know you want to send us a message, but this is not a by-election.”

But the questions he faced after his speech continued to focus on allegations that a string of people with links to the Conservative Party or Number 10 bet on the timing of the contest before he announced it.

Mr Sunak refused to be drawn on whether he was aware of other Conservative candidates or officials who had placed bets on the date of the General Election, saying there were “multiple investigations” under way that were “independent” and “confidential”.

Labour would keep block on Gender Reform Bill

A Labour government would not lift the block on the Scottish Government's controversial gender reforms, Sir Keir Starmer has said. 

Under the leadership of Nicola Sturgeon, the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill was passed in Holyrood, but a Section 35 order was later issued by Scottish Secretary Alister Jack to stop the legislation receiving royal assent.

Despite calls from the SNP and the Scottish Greens for a Starmer government to lift the block, the Labour leader has said “no, there would be no change of position on that”.

Corbyn or Johnson 'not a good choice' says Sir Keir Starmer

The choice between Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson at the 2019 General Election was “not a good choice”, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

Asked again if he thought Mr Corbyn would have been a better PM, Sir Keir said: “I have changed the Labour Party because after that election result, we needed to ensure we were a party which proudly said: ‘Country first, party second’, with a manifesto for change, and that’s what we have put before the electorate.

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