LIVE: Parties focus on energy as general election campaign enters second day

22 May 2024, 15:05 | Updated: 24 May 2024, 07:19

The campaign continues as Sunak and Starmer discuss energy policies
The campaign continues as Sunak and Starmer discuss energy policies. Picture: Alamy

Rishi Sunak has called a July 4 General Election after being urged to "get on with it" and take the nation to the polls.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Mr Sunak announced the summer vote after repeating his mantra that it will happen in the second half of the year.

In a statement outside Downing Street on Wednesday Mr Sunak called the election date for July 4.

Follow the latest developments below

Sunak to stay on if he wins election

Rishi Sunak has said he will stay on as Prime Minister if he wins the election and stay on as an MP if he loses. 

 He was asked by a reporter at the G7, "if you win the General Election, will you commit to serving a full five-year term as Prime Minister, and if you lose will you commit to a full five years as an MP?" 

 The Prime Minister replied: "Yes, and yes."

Politics 🤝 Football: Find out who the leaders of the four highest polling parties support

With England and Scotland starting their Euro 2024 journey, the UK’s party leaders are campaigning for a victory of their own ahead of the General Election. 

But who do they support? 

Rishi Sunak (Southampton)

Born in Southampton, the Prime Minister has made no secret of his support for the south coast side. He has been spotted watching the Saints in 2023 when they were relegated from the Premier League, and in 2024 when they secured their return to England’s top division.

Mr Sunak appears to be a genuine fan, engaging with a Match Of The Day discussion on X, and supporting the UK and Ireland’s successful Euro 2028 bid. But he has not been immune to the odd football gaffe like other politicians.

Sir Keir Starmer (Arsenal)

Born in South London, Labour’s leader is a season ticket holder and vocal fan of Arsenal. 

Sir Keir congratulates rival clubs when they achieve success, and even posted on Twitter - now X- in 2019 to praise Tottenham for reaching the Champions League final.

Would he do the same in a Labour loss on 4th July?

Sir Ed Davey (Notts County, Liverpool, AFC Wimbledon and Kingstonian)

Liberal Democrat leader, born in Nottingham, takes a different approach to football. In Parliament in 2010 Sir Ed declared himself a fan of no fewer than four teams: Kingstonian FC, AFC Wimbledon, Notts County and Liverpool.

The Lib Dems set out a new manifesto pledge in May for 10 Premier League games a season available to watch on free-to-air TV.

Nigel Farage (Crystal Palace)

South London educated Nigel Farage  said football is “not my number one sport” in an interview with former Southampton player Matt Le Tissier, but confirmed he follows Crystal Palace.

The Reform UK leader has interviewed former manager and pundit Ron Atkinson – who left ITV and the Guardian over a racist comment about a black Chelsea player. 

However he was described by Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker in a 2016 tweet as "a dick".

Lib Dem deputy leader: 'We don't take ourselves too seriously'

Daisy Cooper has defended the Lib Dems' action packed campaign, saying "we take our politics very seriously but we don't think politicians should take themselves too seriously".

She said party leader Ed Davey has "won a lot of people's hearts and minds with this strategy".

Election expert Professor John Curtice has said the Lib Dems have risen in the polls. "It is possible that the Liberal Democrats are finally reclaiming some of their lost votes to Labour."

Nigel Farage: 'Andrea didn't ask my permission'

Nigel Farage told LBC's Henry Riley Conservative candidate Dame Andrea Jenkyns did not ask to use a photo of him in her campaign leaflet.

But said "she did send me a very nice text saying what do you think, well it was a bit late by then”.

The Reform UK leader said "the fact that Andrea did that just shows you that depth of division" in the Tory party. 

Read more here: Fresh blow for Rishi Sunak as Reform UK overtake Conservative Party in shock new poll

Nigel Farage: 'I can take on Keir Starmer'

Nigel Farage has challenged Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to a head to head debate on immigration.

Speaking at an 'emergency' press conference, he said "I've taken on the EU, the big banks and now I can take on Sir Keir Starmer".

Nigel Farage says his 'presence' will help 'widen Tory splits'

The Reform UK leader tells LBC's Henry Riley the Tories are made up of "two completely different parties".

Nigel Farage says there are people in the Conservative Party he feels "politically aligned to".

Nigel Farage wants a spot on BBC's four-way leaders debate

The Reform UK leader wants to be included in BBC Question Time's four-way leaders debate, which currently includes the Tories, Labour, Lib Dems and SNP.

He says Reform UK now "have a right to demand to be included", after a YouGov poll showed they're more popular than the Conservatives.

This is the first General Election to be contested by five parties across the UK, with Reform, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens running national campaigns alongside the Conservatives and Labour.

'Urgent' Reform UK press conference gets going

LBC's Henry Riley is at Reform UK's press conference.

Wes Streeting: 'I don't believe opinion polls for a moment'

Wes Streeting has said "there are millions of undecided voters out there".

Speaking at Wakefield Trinity Rugby League club, the Shadow Health Secretary said a Labour government is not inevitable.

"We're not remotely complacent. We are fighting hard for every vote in every seat that we need to win in order to form the next government."

Shadow Secretary for Business denies that 2024 Labour Party looks like Cameron's Conservative Party

Shadow Secretary for Business Jonathan Reynolds has denied the Labour Party of 2024 looks like the Conservative Party under David Cameron’s leadership.

Asked whether the two parties are similar, Mr Reynolds said: “I really disagree on that".

“A Labour platform which is pro-business and pro-worker is about better living standards, better public services, it’s about breaking out of the stagnation of the last 14 years.”

“We do want working people to make sure they get the benefits of the kind of policies that we are putting forward. We want them to have higher living standards with the Labour Party."

“But we do know unless this country addresses its low investment, low productivity, anaemic growth, well, actually, the pressures on working people will only grow.”