Your morning news briefing, Friday May 24, 2024: Energy cap falls, Starmer to do debates, and Corbyn to stand

24 May 2024, 09:02

Your morning briefing
Your morning briefing. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Here's all the UK and world news you're waking up to today on Friday, May 24, 2024.

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Hello, Kit here, and we've reached a sunny Friday morning. Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer continue to travel around the country on the second day of the General Election campaign, meeting voters, presenting their ideas, and criticising their opponent.

Energy is the issue of the day so far, with Sir Keir in Scotland launching GB Energy, a new public company that Labour would launch if it gained power, while Mr Sunak will visit Northern Ireland and Staffordshire.

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer. Picture: Alamy

Energy price cap falls

Early this morning, regulator Ofgem announced on Friday morning that the energy price cap would fall by 7% from £1,690 to £1,568 from July 1, a drop of £122 for the average household.

This is around £500 less than the cap in July last year, when it was £2,074.

But prices are expected to rise again in October, before Ofgem drops it again in January 2025.

Energy prices have become an important political issue, after they soared following the start of the war in Ukraine over two years ago.

Both parties say they have plans to keep bills down.

Watch again: Nick Ferrari is joined by Keir Starmer | 24/05/24

Labour launch GB Energy

Sir Keir launched GB Energy on Friday - a "publicly owned energy company that will invest in clean British power", based in Scotland."

Speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, the Labour leader called the company "an enterprise that will be owned by the taxpayer, making money for the taxpayer".

GB Energy will be set up with £8.3 billion of public investment, alongside roughly three times the amount in private funding.

"The long term advantage... is that it will bring our energy bills down not just for a while, but for good," Sir Keir claimed.

But, also speaking on Nick's show, the Conservative Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho said the company was a "con".

And the Conservatives have their own plans to keep energy bills low.

Energy Security Minister Claire Coutinho is unable to provide with the exact figure of green levies

Green levies to be curbed

Today, the Conservatives are expected to pledge to keep green levies on energy below their current level for the next five years.

Green levies pay for social and environmental policies. They represent around 9-12% of energy bills.

But speaking to Nick, Ms Coutinho was unable to say how much curbing green levies would save households.

Ms Coutinho is also set to promise to keep he energy price cap in place for at least the next parliament.

Watch again: Nick Ferrari is joined by Keir Starmer | 24/05/24

Starmer will do debates

Back to Sir Keir - he told Nick that he was not "dodging" the issue of debates with Rishi Sunak.

The Prime Minister had said that the Labour leader had lacked the courage to debate with him.

"TV debates are a big part of election campaigns and there will be debates in these elections," he added.

But he said he was more interested in debating with LBC listeners on his regular 'Call Keir' segment.

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: Alamy

Corbyn to stand against Labour

Jeremy Corbyn has announced he is standing as an independent candidate in the General Election.

The former Labour leader said he will stand in his constituency of Islington North, vowing to be "an independent voice for equality, democracy and peace".

Mr Corbyn has been suspended by Labour since 2020 after he refused to fully accept the Equality and Human Rights Commission's findings that the party broke equality law when he was in charge and said antisemitism had been "dramatically overstated for political reasons".

Sir Keir told Nick that a decision on restoring the Labour whip to Corbyn ally would be made by around June 4.

A building has collapsed on a beach in Majorca.
A building has collapsed on a beach in Majorca. Picture: Getty

Majorca beach bar collapse

Elsewhere, on Thursday night a bar in Majorca collapsed, leaving four dead and 16 injured.

Most of the victims at the Playa de Palma on the Spanish island are foreign tourists.

A terrace of the two-storey bar is believed to have collapsed through to the basement, leaving only the facade standing.It emerged today that venue had unveiled a new rooftop bar just a day earlier.

The beach club posted on Instagram with the caption: “Totally different. New rooftop."

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