Election latest: Rishi Sunak launching Tory manifesto - with further cut to national insurance at heart of offer to voters (2024)

Manifesto week
  • Tories launching manifesto - watch and follow live from 11.30am
  • Another national insurance cut expected - despite Hunt saying two weeks ago it is 'unlikely to change the calculus'
  • Starmer accuses Conservatives of 'Corbyn-style manifesto'
  • Electoral Dysfunction:How do you recover from a political car crash?
  • Battle For No 10:PM and Starmer taking part in Sky News special
  • Live reporting byTim Baker
Expert analysis
  • Gurpreet Narwan:Echoes of Truss in Reform's economic plans
  • Tamara Cohen:Labour takes on enormous childcare challenge
  • Politics At Jack And Sam's:The Day… Of the Tory manifesto launch
Election essentials
  • Manifesto checker:Lib Dems
  • Campaign Heritage:Memorable moments from elections gone by
  • Trackers:Who's leading polls?|Is PM keeping promises?
  • Follow Sky's politics podcasts:Electoral Dysfunction|Politics At Jack And Sam's
  • Read more:Who is standing down?|Key seats to watch|How to register to vote|What counts as voter ID?|Check if your constituency is changing|Your essential guide to election lingo|Sky's election night plans


Analysis: Sunak can make promises he may suspect he won't have to keep

Sky political editor Beth Rigby is at Silverstone for the Conservative manifesto launch.

She says today's event will be an "attempt to get this campaign back on track".

The Tory election effort has been plagued with troubling moments - including Mr Sunak getting caught in the rain, the fallout from him leaving D-Day early, and him giving a speech from the Titanic quarter and being asked if he is captaining a sinking ship.

Beth says it's fitting the event is at the racetrack as "some people would argue the wheels have come off this campaign".

She adds we are expecting the document to be about 76 pages - "a lot of policy".

And we will see the PM try to frame the vote as a "tax election" - where the Conservatives will promise to cut taxes and say Labour will raise them.

But this strategy has not worked so far, with Labour still around 20 points ahead in the polls.

Beth says: "The prime minister is in a predicament now, really, where he's so far behind in the polls it's difficult to see how he can turn it around.

"So he can make promises now that he might not be held accountable to, because he's probably taken the calculation it's going to be an Everest to climb, to claw this back and win this general election."


Expenses watchdog reviewing claims Scottish Tory leader claimed for travel to linesman job

In reports over the weekend, allegations were made that Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross may have used parliamentary expenses to travel to one of his other jobs - working as a football linesman.

Now, theIndependent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has told Sky News it is "reviewing" the claims.

Mr Ross refutes the allegations.

IPSA said it will work with him if it does discover the rules were broken.

Mr Ross announced yesterday he would be standing down as Tory leader in Scotland and as a member of Scottish parliament after the general election if he wins a seat at Westminster.

What is going on with Ross's expenses?

Reports in a Sunday newspaper raised concerns about 28 expense claims which appeared to be linked to his work as a sports official.

Under the current rules, Mr Ross was only able to claim for flights from his "home" airport - either Inverness or Aberdeen.

The Sunday Mail says questions were raised by his aides about a £58 parking fee at Inverness incurred when parliament was in recess.

It also stated £43 rail travel from Heathrow to central London was claimed the day after Mr Ross was a linesman in a match in Iceland.

Claims also include that he expensed a flight from London to Glasgow and £109 parking.

Mr Ross told the Sunday Mail it was "not possible" to go from London to a match as he would not have had his kit with him.

He told the paper: "I have only ever claimed expenses related to my role as a member of parliament and the costs of getting me to and from Westminster.

"These have all been agreed by IPSA, the independent body that oversees MPs' expenses, but I would have no issue with them being scrutinised again."


Starmer accuses Conservatives of 'Corbyn-style manifesto'

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has accused the Conservatives of acting like his former boss Jeremy Corbyn with their manifesto.

Speaking ahead of Rishi Sunak launching his party's policy platform, Sir Keir told broadcasters all his own plans are fully costed and funded - and there will be no rises in income tax, national insurance or VAT under Labour.

"None of our plans require tax rises," he says.

Responding to attacks from the Conservatives, Sir Keir said: "This is coming from a party that put tax at the highest level since, you know, for 70 years.

"And they're building this sort of Jeremy Corbyn-style manifesto where anything you want can go in it and none of it is costed.

"It's a recipe for more of the same, and that's why this choice of turning the page on this, to turn the page and rebuild with Labour is so important, with six first steps that are ready to go on July the 5th."

Sir Keir Starmer was shadow Brexit secretary in Jeremy Corbyn's front bench team.

As a member of the Labour top team, Sir Keir fully endorsed both the 2017 and 2019 manifestos put forward by Mr Corbyn's Labour.


Could we see a movie star at the Conservative Party launch?

The Tory manifesto is being announced at the Silverstone racetrack later this morning.

Our man on the ground there, political correspondent Darren McCaffrey, says he wanted to go down on to the track today - but he's not allowed.

"We're not allowed to be - because there is also a Hollywood film being filmed here.

"Probably with Brad Pitt.

"So we're stuck in this kind of press room at the moment."

However, Darren does not think Pitt is at the track today.


Conservative manifesto to be launched in under an hour

At 11.30am the Conservative Party will be launching its manifesto at the Silverstone race circuit in Northamptonshire.

A cut to national insurance is expected, among other policies.

These will likely include positions the Tories have already announced - including a form of national service, an increase in the personal allowance for pensioners and recruiting 8,000 more police officers.

Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty arrived at the venue a short while ago.

Be sure to join us - as we keep you updated with all the big announcements.


What is a hung parliament and how does it work?

In a UK election, there are 650 seats in the House of Commons up for grabs.

To win, a party needs at least 326 of them.

But what if no party manages to get there?

It's happened before and - despite the polls projecting a Labour win this time round - it's not impossible it happens again.

Our political correspondent Serena Barker-Singh explains...



Labour confirms plans to ban high-caffeine energy drinks for teens

The Labour Party has confirmed Sky News reporting from February this year that it will ban high-caffeine energy drinks for children aged under 16.

Beverages with more than 150mg of the stimulant per litre will be prohibited from sale to youngsters.

It will not impact drinks like Coca Cola or Lucozade, but would impact energy drinks.

Sky News understands it would not apply to tea or coffee.

It will be enforced in a similar way to alcohol and tobacco requirements.

Wes Streeting, Labour's shadow health secretary, has confirmed the ban will not be extended to adults.

He added: "It's time for change. Labour will end the sale of dangerously high caffeine energy drinks, provide 100,000 extra child dentistry appointments and mental health support in every school."

Read more on Sky's original report from political correspondent Tamara Cohen here:


Poll tracker: Tories hit lowest level since last election, new floor since Truss

Our live poll tracker collates the results of opinion surveys carried out by all the main polling organisations - and allows you to see how the political parties are performing in the run-up to the general election.

As our election guru Will Jennings has pointed out, the Conservatives have fallen to the lowest level of support since the 2019 election - dropping below levels of unpopularity seen during the Truss administration.

Read more about the tracker here.


Electoral Dysfunction: How do you recover from a political car crash?

Ex-Labour adviser Ayesha Hazarika joins Sky's Beth Rigby and former leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson to talk about the latest developments in the general election campaign.

On this episode, they discuss whether Rishi Sunak can recover from his D-Day blunder, the fallout from Douglas Ross's resignation as leader of the Scottish Conservatives, and how the parties are funding their manifestos as they are revealed this week.

Plus, Beth tells us how she is preparing to interview the prime minister and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer at the upcoming Sky leaders' event.

👉Click here to follow Electoral Dysfunction wherever you get your podcasts👈

Email Beth, Ruth, and Ayesha atelectoraldysfunction@sky.uk, post on X to @BethRigby, or send a WhatsApp voice note on 07934 200 444.

Election latest: Rishi Sunak launching Tory manifesto - with further cut to national insurance at heart of offer to voters (2024)
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