LBC's Live Election Coverage

National Service 'rite of passage'

Rishi Sunak has told LBC he thinks national service will be a ‘rite of passage’ after he was accused of ‘giving up on the young vote’.

Mr Sunak said :”No, because national service is a policy for young people - I think it's gonna be transformational, not just for our country but for young people because it's gonna provide all young people regardless of where they grow up, what their background is, the opportunity to gain really valuable skills that will set them up for life and at the same time it will help foster a culture of service that will make our society more cohesive. 

"I believe service gives you purpose - beyond the skills young people will gain, I think there's an enormous amount of purpose you get from service so for all these reasons I think it's a really positive step and I think in time to come, people will look back on their time in national service with enormous fondness and pride, it will become a rite of passage, an important part of the culture of our country, and when I talk to people who've done this all around Europe, that's what they say."

Labour's election strategy

St George's Day Bank Holiday?

Rishi Sunak has been pushed to make St George's Day a bank holiday during a visit in Staffordshire. 

During a Q&A the Prime Minister was asked why it could not be a bank holiday in England. Responding, he said: "We all love to have days off, right. Let's be honest, I would definitely love a day off, I can tell you that. 

 "But there's lots of other things that come along with bank holidays and the impact they have which we need to take into account. 

 "But the thing that you touched on though, which is important, is that taking a moment to celebrate and be proud of who we are, and our country. And that is an incredible thing and whether we need bank holiday for that as a separate thing. 

 "But we should never be ashamed to be proud of our identity, of who we are as a country. And actually what we've seen over the last several months in particular, is sadly there are forces who are trying to divide us, who are trying to emphasise all the differences. And I think that's sad, and it's wrong."

Gove was set to stand

LBC Reporter Henry Riley has the scoop with leaked emails:

'The Election is over, Labour have won' Farage tells LBC

Speaking to Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Mr Farage has said the Tories 'will be in opposition, but won't be the Opposition.'

"The election's over, Labour have won, it's a foregone conclusion, that's done, it's over, the question is who is going to provide opposition? The Conservative party will be in opposition but won't be the opposition, they hate each other, they're split down the middle, and what we need is a voice in there of genuine opposition and alternative. If Rishi Sunak and others thought me not standing in a seat meant they'd get a free ride in the election, they're quite wrong".

Reform UK focus on immigration

Reform UK seem to be focusing the election on immigration and the small boats crisis.

Nigel Farage, who is campaigning for Reform UK but is not standing in the General Election,   spoke to Nick Ferrari at Breakfast earlier.

National service

Mel Stride tells LBC that parents 'won't face sanctions' if their teenagers fail to turn up for national service

'Triple Lock plus'

Rishi Sunak has promised a new tax break for pensioners - the 'triple lock plus' - if the Conservatives win the election.

It's designed to ensure the tax-free personal allowance rises in line with the state pension.

Work and pensions secretary Mel Stride tells LBC he’s "committed" to reducing the tax burden.

Former West Midlands Mayor Andy Street confirms he will not stand at General Election

Tory minster defends Sunak's 'brave' National Service plans despite last week criticising idea

Johnny Mercer has defended Rishi Sunak’s National Service plans as a 'great idea' despite last week dismissing the policy idea.

Talking to Iain Dale on LBC, the veterans' minister said his previous comments were regarding the form that National Service took during the “50s and 60s”, rather than Mr Sunak's new proposal.

The Prime Minister unveiled the plans on Sunday that would see 18-year-olds given the choice of a full-time military placement for 12 months or a scheme to volunteer for one weekend a month for a year.

Pressed on his initial scepticism of the policy last week, Mr Mercer told LBC Monday: “It’s so annoying, isn’t it? As you can see in the question, it's very clearly talking about National Service in the 50s and 60s, which is not what this is about.

He continued: "The vast majority of [the new proposal] is volunteering in fantastic organisations up and down the country. I personally think is an extremely good thing. I think it's a great plan, a great idea."

The UK Heads To The Polls

Labour will pledge a 100-day 'sprint review' of threats to Britain if the party wins the general election - as Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak make security a key part of their manifestos.

Labour pledges 100-day security review to tackle Putin, Iran and AI threats

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Reeves pledges no income tax or NI rises under a Labour government

James Cleverly has defended Rishi Sunak's new pledge to attract voters

James Cleverly says National Service is 'compulsory' but those who refuse will not receive 'criminal sanctions'

File photo dated 24/6/202 of Liberal Democrat Leader Sir Ed Davey who will visit 25 areas of the so-called Blue Wall, accusing the Conservatives of failing to tackle crime and no longer representing the voters who had traditionally backed them.

Lib Dems aim to bring down 90 Tory 'Blue Wall' seats as party takes aim at Sunak on NHS and sewage

Rishi Sunak will bring in mandatory National Service for 18-year-olds in a dramatic policy announcement.

Sunak vows to bring back National Service for every 18-year-old if Tories win the general election

Exclusive
Andy Street could run for a safe MP seat in Birmingham

Former West Midlands Mayor Andy Street could run for safe MP seat in Birmingham

78 Tory MPs will not stand at the next election

Now Gove and Leadsom quit: Tory exodus continues as number of MPs to stand down hits 78 piling pressure on Sunak

Michael Gove and Andrea Leadsom have announced they will step down

Michael Gove and Dame Andrea Leadsom to stand down at General Election as Tory exodus continues

The Tory exodus has broken the 1997 record after John Major was defeated by Tony Blair.

Tory exodus breaks 1997 record as number of MPs standing down hits 77 - including the 'bionic MP' Craig Mackinlay

The new plans for a National Service have taken centre stage today as the General Election campaign enters the first weekend

LIVE: Campaign continues as parties and leaders react to plans for National Service for 18-year-olds

Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay has said he will not be able to bear the 'rigours' of life as an MP

‘Bionic MP’ Craig Mackinlay shares emotional statement and says it will be ‘impossible’ for him to contest seat

Your morning briefing

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

The Conservatives will unveil a curb on green levies, while Starmer is expected to say Labour will “cut your bills for good” by increasing green energy sources.

Tories pledge to curb green levies while Starmer vows to 'bring down bills for good' ahead of new energy price cap

Sunak on the campaign trail today (left), with Huw Merriman (top) and Jo Churchill (bottom)

Second minister of day announces exit from Parliament adding to Tory headache to fill '150 empty candidate spots'

Keir Starmer served under Jeremy Corbyn in the Shadow Cabinet

Jeremy Corbyn 'set to run for election against Labour' as an independent in Islington North

Why are neither of the major parties talking about housing during this General Election? Writes Connor Hand for LBC Views

Why are neither of the major parties talking about housing during this General Election?