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

21 June 2024, 14:27 | Updated: 21 June 2024, 14:55

Rishi Sunak has urged voters not to let Labour 'waltz into office'
Rishi Sunak has urged voters not to let Labour 'waltz into office'. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

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.

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

Mr Sunak's Conservatives are well behind Labour in the polls ahead of the General Election on July 4. Some polls have forecast fewer than 100 seats, giving Sir Keir Starmer's party a majority of over 200.

Ministers have warned of Labour getting a 'supermajority' that they claim would essentially hand Sir Keir's party unchecked power.

Speaking at the launch of the Welsh Conservatives' manifesto, Mr Sunak told voters on Friday: I warn you, don't fall into Labour's trap, don't sleepwalk to July 4."

Read more: Rishi Sunak 'incredibly angry' over election betting allegations as he vows to 'boot out' anyone guilty of wrongdoing

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Picture: Alamy

He acknowledged that many voters might "want to send us a message", but warned that "this is not a by-election".

The Prime Minister said that this election "will determine who governs our country for the next five years and potentially much longer.

"For if Labour get in they will change the rules so it's much harder to ever get them out. They want to give 16-year-olds a vote not because on principle they think that they are adults, but because they think they'll vote for them.

"Once they have got power they will change every rule to make sure that they keep it. We can't let that happen, friends, and it's only we Conservatives who can stop it."

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hands out Bara Brith cake to the media during a visit to a farm shop in Mold, Wales
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hands out Bara Brith cake to the media during a visit to a farm shop in Mold, Wales. Picture: Alamy

He admitted that voters had "frustrations" with the government, but added: "I have heard you, but once you have handed Keir Starmer and Labour a blank cheque, you cannot get it back."

Mr Sunak laid into Sir Keir in a personal attack during the manifesto launch, branding him "cynical".

"This is a man who tried to overturn the result of the Brexit referendum, who twice urged everyone to make Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister and who ran on a series of pledges to be Labour leader that he cynically then abandoned," the PM said.

“My friends, because he has such a past he doesn’t deserve to decide your future."

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer talks with employees on a visit to the Window Supply Company on June 21, 2024 in Bathgate, Scotland
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer talks with employees on a visit to the Window Supply Company on June 21, 2024 in Bathgate, Scotland. Picture: Getty

Sir Keir has previously said he backed Mr Corbyn, in whose Shadow Cabinet he served, because he did not believe he would become Prime Minister.

He has since kicked his predecessor out of Labour entirely, and said he has changed the party under his tenure.

But he maintained that Mr Corbyn would have been a better leader for the country than Boris Johnson, who beat him in the 2019 election in a landslide.

Mr Sunak himself has been forced to distance himself from members of his own party in recent days, over allegations that Conservative insiders had bet on the election date.

LBC's exclusive phone-in with Rishi Sunak

He refused to say on Friday's manifesto launch if he was aware of any other candidates or Tory staffers who could be caught up in the scandal.

Mr Sunak told LBC: "The first thing to say is I was incredibly angry, incredibly angry when I learned about these allegations, the same anger that many of you will feel and everyone watching.

"It's right they're investigated thoroughly, these are serious allegations, right that they're properly and thoroughly investigated as they are being independently including a criminal investigation - as you'll be aware - by the police.

"What I would say is if anyone is found to have broken the rules, they should face the full consequences of the law."

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour's Shadow Paymaster General, said in response: "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.

"He promised integrity, professionalism and accountability instead 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. It's time to turn a page on this chaos and deliver the change this country needs. It's time for a Labour government."

Exclusive poll reveals Keir Starmer came out on top after LBC phone-ins

Speaking on Friday, Mr Sunak also continued Conservative attacks on Labour's plans for the public finances, claiming that Sir Keir would "whack up taxes" if he became Prime Minister.

He said he was "proud of what we've achieved, crucially turning around the economy, getting inflation back to normal and starting to cut everyone's taxes, and that's the clear choice at his election: continue on the plan we're on, continue to cut taxes for people at every stage of their life, or the Labour Party, who just want to hike up everyone's taxes."

Mr Sunak said Labour was saying "not right now" when challenged on possible tax rises, adding: "But it is coming, mark my words - a future Labour government is going to whack up everyone's taxes.

"I don't want that to happen, we've made great progress, I want to continue cutting taxes for everyone."

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