General election 2024 live: Rishi Sunak launches Conservative manifesto at Silverstone

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NationalWorld’s reporters from across the UK will bring you the latest news from the general election 2024 campaign trail.

Follow our live blog below for all the updates and analysis ahead of polling day on 4 July.

LIVE: general election 2024

Farage BBC interview to air on Friday

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage will be interviewed by BBC journalist Nick Robinson on Friday evening, according to the veteran broadcaster.

Robinson tweeted: “@Nigel_Farage has now agreed to be interviewed by me this Friday at 7pm on @BBCPanorama on @BBCOne.”

This was initially supposed to happen last week, but was pulled at the last minute.

Starmer says he wants 'every child to have same opportunities' on private school VAT plan

Starmer was taken to task over Labour’s plans to remove a VAT tax break for private schools on the LBC call in.

Michelle Catterson, head of Moon Hall School in Reigate, which caters for dyslexic children, told the radio station she thinks the policy means Labour does not care about youngsters with special needs, after warning that many of her pupils without education, health and care plans would be forced into the state sector.

Starner replied: “Well, Michelle, we do care. I want every single child, whether they go to private or state school, to have the same opportunities. It really matters to me.”

He said Labour’s policy would provide an exemption for children who have a plan in place and cannot get the help they need in the state sector, and promised to respond to a letter the headteacher had sent him.

Starmer says 'we're not rejoining' EU

Keir Starmer has been on LBC this morning, answering questions from voters and Nick Ferrari. Responding to a question about Brexit, the Labour leader said: “As you know I voted Remain and campaigned to Remain, but we have left the EU and we’re not rejoining and that means we’re not going to rejoin the single market or customs union or reintroduce freedom of movement.”

On the current trading deal with the EU, Starmer said: “I think the deal we’ve got is a botched deal ... I was at Southampton Port, talk to anyone who works at the border - they will say they’ve now got all sort of checks and balances that aren’t necessary and can be improved.”

When asked what he would do, the Labour leader just said he “would seek a better deal”. Easier said than done ...

Need to know: Key policies from Reform's manifesto

Immigration

  • a “freeze” on non-essential immigration “to protect our culture and identity”
  • immigrants who commit crimes would have their UK citizenship withdrawn, with the exception of “some misdemeanour offences”.
  • ban international students from bringing dependents to the UK. 
  • National insurance would be raised to 20% for “foreign workers”

Police

  • launch zero-tolerance policing, with drug dealing and trafficking crimes receiving life imprisonment.
  • increase stop and searches “substantially” by recruiting 40,000 new police officers in the next five years
  • police community support officer roles (PCSO) will be phased out and instead PCSOs will become police officers.
  •  a change to the definition of a hate crime is also proposed

Economy

  • simplify” the UK’s tax system
  • introduce an “online delivery tax” at 4% for large companies
  • cut fuel duty by 20p per litre, scrap VAT on energy bills, and cut stamp duty to 0% on sales below £750,000.
  • inheritance tax to be scrapped for 98% of all estates

Education

  • ban on “transgender ideology”
  • launches a “patriotic curriculum”, which would include pairing the teaching of Britain’s history of slavery or European imperialism, with a non-European occurrence to “ensure balance”.
  • two-year university courses and mandatory permanent exclusions for violent children are also promised.

Health

  • all NHS and social care staff will pay zero basic rate tax for three years
  • a tax relief of 20% on all private healthcare and insurance
  • launches a public inquiry into vaccine harms

Defence

  • increase defence spending to 2.5% of GDP within three years
  • recruit 30,000 people to the army full time
  • bring forward Armed Forces Justice Bill to “protect” those in the armed forces from civil law and human rights lawyers.

Housing

  • abolish the Renters (Reform) Bill
  • review the planning system and introduce “loose fit planning policy” for residential developments

Transport

  • to scrap HS2 to save £25 billion
  • ban on Ulez and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs)

Culture

  • make St George’s Day and St David’s Day a public holiday
  • bring forward a Free Speech Bill to “stop left-wing bias and politically correct ideology”.
  • scrap TV licence

Peers

  • replace the “crony-filled House of Lords” with a “smaller, more democratic” second chamber and end political appointees.
  • replace civil service leaders with “successful professionals from the private sector” which are appointed by the government.

Need to know: Key policies from Labour's manifesto

NHS

  • Cut waiting times with 40,000 more appointments each week
  • Paid for by crack down on non-dom loophole and tax avoidance

Immigration

  • Launch of Border Security Command
  • Team will include specialist investigators and counter-terrorism powers to crack down on small boats

Energy

  • Launch of publicly-owned Great British Energy
  • Paid for by windfall tax on gas and oil companies

Education

  • Recruit 6,500 more teachers to state schools
  • Paid for by ending private school tax breaks

Voting age

  • Open voting up to 16-year-olds and 17-year-old

House of Lords

  • Remove hereditary peers from House of Lords
  • Introduce mandatory retirement age of 80

Jeremy Hunt responds to Labour's tax policies

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt said: “This is Labour’s Tax Trap Manifesto which contains only tax rises and no tax cuts. Under Labour’s published plans, taxes will rise to levels never before seen in this country.

 “But that’s only the tax rises they’re telling you about – it doesn’t include the £2,094 of tax rises they’ll need to fill their £38.5 billion unfunded spending commitments. 

 “So what’s most important is not what’s in Labour’s manifesto, but it’s what they have kept out of it. They are refusing to rule out taxing your job, your home, your pension, your car, your business and they think they can get away with it without anyone holding them to account. Be under no illusion, from cradle to grave you will pay more taxes under Labour.”

'No surprises' over tax stance, says Starmer

After being questioned over the tax policies in the Labour manifesto, Starmer said: “There are no tax rises that we haven’t already announced. Yes, we want to bear down properly on the non-dom tax status and make sure the super-rich pay their fair share in this country.

“Yes, we want the oil and gas companies to pay fair tax on the massive profits that they’re making. Yes, we want to make sure that private equity loopholes aren’t there … and yes we’ve taken the tough decision in relation to VAT.

“So we will take all of those measures but what you won’t see in this manifesto is any plan that requires tax rises over and above those that we have already set out because we’ve been very, very clear – particularly in relation to working people – no increase in income tax, no increase in national insurance and no increase in VAT.”

Labour's pledges six steps for investment and reform

1. Deliver economic stability with tough fiscal rules underpinned by the UK’s economic institutions. 

2. Cut NHS waiting times with a plan to deliver 40,000 NHS appointments a week, alongside reform to hold them at evenings and weekends. 

3. Launch a new Border Security Command and use the counter-terror powers to smash the criminal gangs. 

4. Create Great British Energy, a new publicly owned company working alongside the private investment to secure cleaner lower cost power.

5. Crack down on anti-social behaviour, investing in more police officers and reform youth services to prevent crime.

6. Recruit 6,500 more expert teachers and modernise the school curriculum.

Plans to abolish hereditary peers in House of Lords - Labour manifesto

Another pledge Labour has made is to abolish “indefensible” hereditary peers from the House of Lords.

The manifesto reads: “Too many peers do not play a proper role in our democracy. Hereditary peers remain indefensible.”

“The next Labour government will therefore bring about an immediate modernisation, by introducing legislation to remove the right of hereditary peers to sit and vote in the House of Lords.

“Labour will also introduce a mandatory retirement age. At the end of the parliament in which a member reaches 80 years of age, they will be required to retire from the House of Lords.”

Labour's manifesto sets out £7bn revenue from tax

Inside the manifesto, Labour have set out that £7bn will be raised in tax, after coming under fire from Rishi Sunak about the party’s tax plans.

While a row broke out over the legitimacy of figures used by Sunak and the Tory party to attack Labour’s tax plans, the manifest has stated that £5.2bn will be raised from closing the non-dom loophole and cracking down on tax avoidance.

A further £1.5bn would be raised from VAT and business rates on private schools.

The rest is expected to come from closing the carried interest tax loophole and increasing stamp duty purchases of residential property by non-UK residents by 1%.

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