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General Election LIVE: Reaction after Starmer and Sunak go head to head in leaders' debate

4 June 2024, 07:21 | Updated: 4 June 2024, 23:15

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer are going head-to-head in the first leaders' debate
Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer are going head-to-head in the first leaders' debate. Picture: ITV

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer have gone head-to-head in the first televised debate of the General Election debate.

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The Labour and Conservative leaders faced off for around an hour and debated the key issues in the campaign: the economy, the NHS, national security and more.

Earlier in the day, Nigel Farage's visit to the seaside town of Clacton-on-Sea - the constituency in which he hopes run as a candidate - that grabbed headlines after he was pelted with a McDonald's milkshake.

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

Follow the latest developments below

Today's Highlights 

Final day to register to vote

Today is the final day to register to vote in the General Election with the deadline closing at 11.59 pm tonight. 

Those who have not registered to vote can apply online at gov.uk

Voters intending to cast a ballot in the General Election on July 4 will not only need to be registered but also show a form of photo identification at the polling station.  Application for photo ID to vote (aka a 'Voter Authority Certificate') will close at 5pm on 26 June. 

More than 2.1 million applications to vote have been submitted since the election was called by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on May 22. This includes over 330,000 submissions on June 13 - the highest for a single day so far this year. 

Labour backs beer duty freeze

Sir Keir Starmer has said that frozen beer duty is important for pubs, signalling his support for the tax measure. 

Sir Keir was reacting to comments made by his shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves yesterday, where she hinted that a beer duty freeze could continue under Labour. Reeves told the Sun newspaper that it had been "right" to campaign for alcohol duties to remain frozen. 

Sir Keir said he thinks, "it is important that we support hospitality and the beer duty is part of the package there." 

The Labour leader’s remarks came after his party set out to promote plans aimed at bringing “new life back into Britain’s high streets”.

Tomorrow: Rishi Sunak takes your calls

Rishi Sunak answers your questions on Wednesday, 19th June.

Britain’s Next PM, hosted by Nick Ferrari, gives LBC’s audiences unique and unfiltered access to the two main contenders for Prime Minister. 

You can ask your question here

LBC's Aggie Chambre is on the campaign trail with Rishi Sunak in Devon

Shadow Sport Secretary wrong to highlight 10% Premier League transfer levy - Starmer

Sir Keir Starmer has said his shadow culture and sport secretary Thangam Debbonaire did not mean to highlight the 10% Premier League transfer levy as being an option for Labour's football governance bill. 

Sir Keir ruled out a transfer levy today after Ms Debbonnaire sparked reports Labour could introduce one when saying she would "look at everything" proposed in the recent fan-led review. 

Asked why his minister did not kill the idea yesterday, the Labour leader said: “What was put to her yesterday was whether we’d look again at the Tracey Crouch report and the recommendations in it. And she said, yes, as a general proposition. Now within that you had this specific issue. So she wasn’t really meaning to highlight that particular one.”

Starmer echoes Blair: A woman has a vagina and a man has a penis.

Sir Keir Starmer said he agreed with Sir Tony Blair’s recent comments on transgender people after the former prime minister said that a woman has a vagina and a man has a penis.

“Yes, Tony is right about that, he put it very well. I saw it reported, I’m not quite sure when he said it, but I agree with him on that,” Sir Keir told reporters.

Sir Tony Blair said: “I don’t know how politics got itself into this muddle.

“What is a woman? Well, it’s not a very hard thing for me to answer really.

“I’m definitely of the school that says, biologically, a woman is with a vagina and a man is with a penis. I think we can say that quite clearly.”

Sunak: 'Labour will do cosy deal with the EU'

Rishi Sunak has responded to Keir Starmer's appearance on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast while lobster potting in the "true blue area" of North Devon.

He said "Labour will do a cosy deal with the EU" which would the European fleet "more access" to our waters.

LBC's Aggie Chambre has joined the Tories on their campaign trail and told LBC's Shelagh Fogarty Mr Sunak "welcomes" Boris Johnson's endorsement of Tory candidates, which was coordinated by the party's General Election campaign.

The former PM is reported to have put his name to hundreds of thousands of letters that will be sent to voters.

The letters will reportedly tell them not to support Reform UK and warn voters Labour could end up in power for a generation.

Starmer says he would take 'full part' in resolving Israel Gaza conflict

Sir Keir Starmer said he would play "a full part" in resolving the conflict between Israel and Palestine as Prime Minister, saying that he would recognise Palestine as part of a two-state solution.

He refused to provide specifics on a deal, saying he would not make decisions about land on the radio.

He also refused to say if Israel's actions in Palestine could be considered "genocide" saying "I'm not going to sit in an LBC studio and pronounce that something is genocide or not."

Read more here: Starmer says he would take 'full part' in resolving Israel Gaza conflict, pledging to recognise Palestine as part of two-state solution

Boris Johnson 'will make a difference' in the General Election says Sunak

Rishi Sunak has said Boris Johnson's support for the Conservatives "will make a difference" in the outcome of the General Election. 

Mr Sunak has said he is glad that Johnson, "is making the case in his column and making sure that everyone understands what the Labour government would do to this country and why it’s important that everyone votes Conservative."

The Prime Minister added that Mr Johnson's interventions have been "co-ordinated by the campaign", saying the backing of his former boss is "great". 

Sunak urges voter registration

Rishi Sunak has said it is important to register to vote because, "the future of our country is at stake".

Today marks the final day to register to vote in the General Election with the deadline closing at 11.59 pm tonight. 

Asked why it was important to register, Sunak said, "we are living in uncertain times, people need to decide who's got the clearest plan and the boldest ideas to deliver a more secure future". 

He added the choice was "crystal clear" with the Conservatives offering "tax cuts at every stage of your life". 

Those who have not registered to vote can apply online at gov.uk

Children crossing the Channel is 'desperately sad' - Sunak

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said it is "desperately sad" that young children are crossing the Channel. 

Mr Sunak has claimed the situation demonstrates the need for the Rwanda policy to be implemented. 

The Prime Minister has promised that if re-elected, “the flights will go to Rwanda, we will build that deterrent, removing the incentive for people to come here in the first place.

“That’s the only way to solve this problem and in contrast Keir Starmer would release everyone that we have detained, illegal migrants would be on our streets, they wouldn’t be on the planes, which would be cancelled. There would be no deterrent.”

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