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General Election LIVE: Tories under scrutiny for Labour tax attack after warning from Treasury

5 June 2024, 07:17 | Updated: 5 June 2024, 14:34

Officials are looking into claims made by the Prime Minister about Labour's tax plans.
Officials are looking into claims made by the Prime Minister about Labour's tax plans. . Picture: Picture: Getty

The Treasury chief says ministers should not use civil service data in claims that Labour will increase taxes.

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The Treasury’s senior official has reminded ministers not to claim that civil servants were behind the Conservative allegation that Labour’s plans would cost more than £38 billion.

Jonathan Ashworth told LBC that the Tories 'have been caught red-handed lying to the British public' after the Treasury warning.

Campaigning takes a bit of a pause today as the focus shifts to D-day commemorations.

Rishi Sunak will attend an event in Portsmouth in his prime ministerial capacity.

Keir Starmer pledged to create an 'armed forces tsar' if Labour is elected and will also be attending commemoration events.

The Lib Dems are in Hampshire promoting their pledge to offer regular mental health 'MOT' check-ups at critical points in people's lives.

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

Follow the latest developments below

Today's Highlights 

The Tories and Labour to focus on housing policy ahead of tonight's leaders debate

  • Keir Starmer comes out on top after LBC phone-ins – as Rishi Sunak seen as ‘overwhelmingly negative’
  • Watch in full: LBC's exclusive phone-in interviews with Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak
  • Rishi Sunak set 'to become first PM to lose seat' in election wipeout with Conservatives down to just 53 MPs, poll finds
  • 'They can probably afford Labour's tax rises': Sunak brushes off billionaires abandoning Tories

The Tories have 'lost the plot' says Dragons' Dens Star and ex-Tory donor

Ex-Tory donor and Dragons' Den star Theo Paphitis has revealed why he has decided to switch support to Labour in the upcoming General Election.

Speaking to LBC's Tom Swarbrick, Mr Paphitis said the Tories "continue to tear themselves apart", saying key figures in the party had "done the damage and now they're running away".

Read more: 'They've lost the plot': Ex-Tory donor and Dragons' Den star Theo Paphitis reveals why he's switched support to Labour

Sunak close protection officer arrested over alleged election date bets

One of Rishi Suank's close protection officers has been arrested over alleged bets on the date of the election, police have confirmed.

The officer, part of the prime minister's security detail, was initially suspended before their arrest over alleged bets about the timing of the general election.

Read more: Sunak close protection officer arrested over alleged election date bets

Former spy boss criticises 'disreputable' Tory suggestion that Putin and Xi would welcome Starmer as Prime Minister

Sir David Ormand, who ran the signals intelligence service from 1996-97, told LBC's Andrew Marr that the Conservative attack "brings into discredit political discourse".

Read more: Former spy boss criticises 'disreputable' Tory suggestion that Putin and Xi would welcome Starmer as Prime Minister

Rishi Sunak set 'to become first PM to lose seat' in election wipeout

Rishi Sunak is on course to become the first sitting Prime Minister lose his seat at the General Election, a poll from Savanta and the Telegraph has found.

The same poll projects that the Conservatives will be down to just 53 seats, a collapse from the 365 MPs they won at the last election in 2019.

Read more: Rishi Sunak set 'to become first PM to lose seat' in election wipeout with Conservatives down to just 53 MPs, poll finds

What to expect today

Follow the leaders

York is the latest stop on the televised General Election debate tour for four of the party leaders.

The BBC Question Time special will run between 8pm and 10pm and see each leader appear one by one to face questions from the audience.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will appear for the Conservatives, Sir Keir Starmer for Labour, Scotland’s First Minister John Swinney for the SNP and Sir Ed Davey for the Liberal Democrats.

But there is no spot for Reform UK’s Nigel Farage, who previously demanded a place given his party’s strong showing in the opinion polls.

The BBC responded by insisting Mr Farage and Reform have received coverage across BBC outlets, adding: “The Ofcom guidance gives ‘greater weight on the actual performance of a political party in elections over opinion poll data’ taking into account the ‘greater uncertainty associated with support in opinion polls’.”

The BBC later confirmed an additional Question Time Leaders’ Special, featuring representatives from Reform UK and the Green Party, will be broadcast on June 28.

Mr Farage is expected to hit the campaign trail elsewhere on Thursday.

Home is where the heart is

Ahead of the BBC leaders’ special, housing policy is the focus of the day for the Conservatives and Labour.

Outgoing Communities Secretary Michael Gove, who is not standing for re-election, is leading the attack on Labour’s approach to the issue.

The Tories claim that Labour not matching their commitments will amount to a “first-time buyer tax” for those trying to get on the property ladder.

Labour countered by saying: “This reeks of desperation from the Tories.”

The party added that it intends to “get Britain building” and help working families onto the housing ladder.

Separately, Labour pledged that renters will be “better off” as they intend to ban so-called no-fault evictions, seek to end rental bidding wars and put in place other protections.

The Renters Reform Bill was making its way through Parliament but then someone – Mr Sunak – called a General Election and it failed to progress. The Tories want to revive the Bill if they continue in government.

It’s all gone to pot

Some might suggest elements of the Lib Dems’ campaigning efforts have been a little bit potty given the number of stunts undertaken by leader Sir Ed.

But the party switches its attention to the “pothole postcode lottery”, as they insist £300 million should be spent over the next parliament to fill 1.2 million potholes a year.

Will Sir Ed be seen wearing an astronaut outfit as he pretends a pothole is akin to a crater on the moon? It is not possible to rule anything out at this stage given wheelbarrow racing and rollercoasters are among the things to already feature on the campaign trail.

A green future?

The Scottish Greens will propose a “transformative vision” to deliver a green economy when they launch their 54-page manifesto in Edinburgh.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Conservatives will tell farmers that they will be “on their side”, as the party sets out its rural General Election manifesto at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh.

Good morning

Good morning, welcome to LBC's General Election live blog.

A new poll projects an even worse wipeout for the Tories than previously expected

Starmer has spoken to former England footballer Gary Neville for a pre-election broadcast - read the write-up below

Constable working in PM’s protection team arrested over alleged election bets

A police constable working as part of the Prime Minister’s protection team has been arrested over alleged bets made related to the timing of the General Election.

The Met Police said the officer was taken into custody on Monday on suspicion of misconduct in a public office and has since been bailed pending further inquiries.

Police said the matter was immediately referred to the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and the officer was also removed from operational duties.

Workers Party of Great Britain Manifesto in brief

Leader of the Workers Party of Great Britain, George Galloway has unveiled its 34-page manifesto to voters saying “Britain deserves better”.

Economy

  • Increase in personal tax allowance to £21,200 
  • 5% wealth tax on all estates worth £10m and above.
  • Reverse de-industrialisation and workers’ control of industry through trade unions.
  • Consider nationalising some public services including rail and water.

Environment

  • Share the costs and benefits of the green agenda.
  • Oppose ULEZ initiatives because of costs imposed on small businesses and workers and oppose “Green hysteria”.

NHS

  • Reduce administration and management in the NHS.

Free speech and ‘culture wars’

  • Support free speech and stop “stealth oppression" via the law, regulations, ‘lawfare’ and “cultural engineering”.
  • Overhaul arts funding to make space in working-class communities.

Immigration

  • Recognise the “anxiety” felt among working-class communities to mass migration but focus on the influx “caused by our own actions” through war, sanctions on developing countries and unfair trading practices.

The Constitution

  • Referendum on the continued existence of the monarchy and proportional representation for elections.

Foreign policy

  • Put an end to “imperialist wars”
  • Withdraw from NATO
  • Support for Palestine

Welfare

  • Review pensions policy with the “aim” of all workers having the option to retire at 60
  • Free school meals for all children without means testing
  • Free adult education - paid for by scrapping the UK nuclear deterrent.

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