Election latest: Tom Tugendhat says Nigel Farage sounds like 'Putin's poodle' on Ukraine - but Reform leader doubles down in war row (2024)

Key points
  • Farage under fire for 'disgraceful' comments on Ukraine war
  • Minister calls Farage 'Putin's poodle'|PM says Farage 'wrong'
  • Ali Fortescue:Farage is doubling down but will be cautious about scaring voters
  • Jon Craig:Has the Reform UK leader made his first campaign mistake?
  • Reform UK's tax plans disproportionately benefit high earners, analysis shows
  • Labour unveil 'Tory s***show' attack ad
Election essentials
  • Manifesto pledges:Alliance Party|Conservatives|Greens|Labour|Lib Dems|Plaid Cymru|Reform|SNP|Sinn Fein|Workers Party
  • Trackers:Who's leading polls?|Is PM keeping promises?
  • Campaign Heritage:Memorable moments from elections gone by
  • Follow Sky's politics podcasts:Electoral Dysfunction|Politics At Jack And Sam's
  • Read more:Who is standing down?|Key seats to watch|What counts as voter ID?|Check if your constituency is changing|Guide to election lingo|Sky's election night plans


Election not a done deal and voters can't be complacent, Labour warn

Labour are warning voters against complacency at the polls on 4 July as the party says "change will only happen if you vote for it".

In an article for The Observer, Labour campaign coordinator Pat McFadden said the election debate was "in danger" of being "consumed by polls" and the idea that the outcome is "somehow pre-determined".

"No way is this election a done deal. The headlines about the clutch of MRP polls disguise a huge level of uncertainty," he said.

The public need to think about whether they want five more years of Conservative rule or "the chance to rebuild with Labour," said Mr McFadden.

He branded Tory warnings against a Labour "supermajority" a "cynical voter suppression strategy".

"The reason the Tories are talking down their prospects is to try to persuade swing voters that they either don't need to vote or, because of their argument the result is decided, to persuade voters they can afford to vote for one of the minor parties where the seat is a Labour/Tory battle," he said.


Sunak: Labour win would put Brexit in peril

A Labour win would "put Brexit in peril" and see Sir Keir Starmer try to overturn the vote that changed the country eight years ago, Rishi Sunak has said.

The Conservative campaign suggested Labour have pledged to negotiate a new deal "without telling the public what they would accept in return".

It cited experts as warning that Sir Keir's party would have to make "considerable concessions" to meet its manifesto pledge to deepen ties with the UK's European neighbours.

In a statement on the anniversary of the Brexit vote, Mr Sunak said Sir Keir "has never believed we can succeed as a sovereign country and has tried to overturn the result time and time again".

He said the Labour leader has committed to "years more wrangling the EU" and abandoning the country's "hard-won freedoms".

"Keir Starmer would recommit us to free movement of EU citizens, taking thousands more illegal migrants and binding our businesses again in Brussels red tape," he said.

"It would be a betrayal pure and simple of the public's wishes by a party with no faith in Britain and no plan for our future as an independent nation."

Meanwhile, business secretary Kemi Badenoch accused Labour of rubbishing facts and promoting "dodgy forecasts" about UK growth.

Sir Keir earlier denied that Labour has plans to rejoin the EU, after Ms Badenoch told The Telegraph that he would put Brexit at risk if he became prime minister.

"We are not re-joining the EU, we are not re-joining the single market or the customs union," the Labour leader said.


Tory official alleged to have placed bets on election date - reports

A top Conservative official has reportedly taken a leave of absence amid allegations that they placed bets on the timing of the general election on 4 July.

The allegations were published in The Sunday Times, which reported that the official is being investigated over claims they placed "dozens of bets".

A Conservative spokesman said: "As instructed by the Gambling Commission, we are not permitted to discuss any matters related to any investigation with the subject or any other persons."


Coming up on Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips

Our flagship Sunday morning show, hosted byTrevor Phillips, will be live on Sky News tomorrow from 8.30am, and we have a packed line-up for you after another eventful week of the campaign.

Trevor will be chatting to:

  • James Cleverly, home secretary;
  • Bridget Phillipson, shadow education secretary;
  • Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary;
  • Robert Jenrick, former immigration minister.

On Trevor's expert panel will be:

  • Lionel Barber, former editor of the Financial Times
  • Sonia Sodha, former Labour adviser;
  • Guto Harri, former Number 10 communications director.

Watch live on Sky News and in the stream at the top of this page - and follow updates here in the Politics Hub.

WatchSunday Morning with Trevor Phillipsfrom 8.30am every Sunday on Sky channel 501, Virgin channel 602, Freeview channel 233, on theSky News websiteandappor onYouTube.


Attacks by veterans' minister on Labour rival are 'sad and desperate', Starmer says

Sir Keir Starmer has branded attacks by the veterans minister on his Labour electoral opponent "sad and desperate".

Mr Mercer, the Tory candidate for Plymouth Moor View, accused his political rival Fred Thomas of lying about his military record after a hustings event earlier this week.

In a series of posts to the X, the minister questioned whether Mr Thomas had served in combat missions while serving as a Royal Marine.

He suggested the Labour candidate had misrepresented his service "for political gain".

Asked about Mr Mercer's comments, Sir Keir said it was "sad desperation" from the veterans' minister. "It's desperate."

The Labour leader said his remarks underlined that the Conservative Party is "party first through and through".

Labour said Mr Thomas was a "decorated ex-Royal Marine" who was unable to discuss his military service due to its "highly sensitive" nature.

Mr Thomas said he was "proud of having served my country for seven years, including overseas on operations".

Here are all the candidates for the Plymouth Moor View constituency:

  • Shaun Hooper- Reform UK
  • Sarah Martin- Liberal Democrats
  • Johnny Mercer - Conservatives
  • Georgia Nelson- Green Party
  • Fred Thomas - Labour


Union boss says Labour should 'give Britain a break' and borrow more to help 'hurting' workers

Union boss Sharon Graham has said she does not agree with Labour's fiscal rules and the party should borrow more to invest.

Speaking to Sky News'Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillipsin an interview that will be broadcast in full tomorrow, the Unite general secretary said other countries with growing economies have a larger debt-to-GDP ratio than the UK, "so there is wiggle room".

Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, has promised to retain the Tories' commitment that debt as a proportion of GDP must be on track to fall in five years if Labour win the election on 4 July.

She has ruled out borrowing to fund day-to-day spending, saying her focus will be on reforms to grow the economy.

But Ms Graham said: "I don't agree with Rachel Reeves in terms of what has been said about the plans on growth.

"If you look at other countries - in France, their debt to GDP is 112%. In America, where the economy's growing, it's 130% debt to GDP. Ours is around about 99%. We have wiggle room. Give Britain a break."

The union leader said that workers "are literally hurting beyond anything that you could comprehend" due to the cost of living crisis.

She added: "We need the straitjacket off a little bit, get some wiggle room there.

"Borrowing to invest is not the same as other borrowing. It's borrowing to invest."

You can watch the full interview with Sharon Graham on Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips from 8.30am tomorrow morning on Sky News.


Starmer reveals how he 'set trap' for Johnson over Partygate

Sir Keir Starmer said he always suspected Boris Johnson's relationship with the truth "would bring him down"- as he revealed how he "set a trap" for the ex-prime minister over the partygate scandal.

In an interview with The Guardian, the Labour leader said he "couldn't care less" about the insults Mr Johnson hurled at him over the despatch box, including when the then PM called him a "pointless human bollard".

"I'm not saying I have great insight, but I felt his character would bring him down," he told the newspaper.

"I thought, there's a guy who is detached from the truth. Whether he's lying or not, it doesn't matter to him."

Sir Keir then laid out the specific way he "set a trap" for Mr Johnson to catch him out over the Downing Street parties scandal, according to The Guardian.

Read the full story here:


D-Day and betting scandal have cut through to voters, says pollster

Scarlett Maguire, a pollster with JL Partners, says focus groups run by the firm in Rishi Sunak's constituency show that the D-Day blunder and the recent betting scandal in the Tory party have cut through to voters.

Both issues have been "incredibly damaging" for the prime minister, she says.

Ms Maguiresaid one voter told researchers that the betting scandal "showed a complete disregard for voters".

"They were saying the impression was that it was just like Partygate. It was indicative of a political class and this particular political party that takes voters a bit for a ride and takes their votes for granted," she says.

"That sense was something that came through very strongly."

Ms Maguire said these issues mean voters could perceive Mr Sunak as being "out of control".

However she pointed out that the public also "do not like the sound of a Labour majority", and there's an "appetite" to prevent this.

"It about whether that works and about whether people actually think 'you know what? I am really cross with the main parties... I'm going to do more of a protest vote'."


Pollster reveals scepticism that Reform will beat Tories' vote share

Next up on the show is pollsterScarlett Maguire, director at JL Partners.

She's asked first about the big polling story of the campaign, which has been the rise of Reform UK support in the UK.

Asked if the Conservatives should be worried about this, Ms Maguire says she is "sceptical" that Reform could end up with a greater share of the vote than the Tories - in part because they are not standing in every seat.

However she notes the rise of Reform has been "the defining feature of this campaign - or at least the only real action we've seen in the polls".

Ms Maguire says Rishi Sunak's decision to call the election while 20 points down in the polls was unprecedented.

"He desperately needed a campaign where he could win back those voters that started voting Reform and also win back those Conservatives that were now telling pollsters they don't know. So far, he's not done either," she says.


Panel discussion: How worried will Labour be by JK Rowling comments?

Next up is a discussion with the Politics Hub panel on JK Rowling's accusation in The Times newspaper that the Labour party is "abandoning women".

In a 2,000-word essay, the author said she will "struggle to support" Labour if Sir Keir Starmer keeps his current stance on gender recognition.

Sir Keir has defended Labour's record on gender equality in response, saying he was "proud" of his party's history on the subject.

Charlie Rowley, former special adviser to Michael Gove, says the issue is a "sticky wicket" for Labour, but he adds that there are "so many other issues in society" that require focus.

"Party leaders shouldn't be getting caught up in the minutiae of this kind of conversation," he says.

Meanwhile, AvaSantina Evans, political correspondent at PoliticsJOE, says Labour advisers are worried the issue will "ramp up just before polling day".

She adds it's unfair to trans people in the UK "to experience this sort of rhetoric before the election".

"This election really is a lot to do with the politicisation of people's bodies," she says.

Election latest: Tom Tugendhat says Nigel Farage sounds like 'Putin's poodle' on Ukraine - but Reform leader doubles down in war row (2024)


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