Election latest: 'This is not a cartoon election' - Sir Liam Fox comes to Rishi Sunak's defence over D-Day mistake (2024)

Election news
  • Media 'haven't been allowed near Sunak' after D-Day blunder
  • Labour manifesto will contain no 'tax surprises', Starmer says
  • Conservatives promise to reform benefits system
  • Electoral Dysfunction:What could be in the party manifestos?
Expert analysis
  • Rob Powell: Sunak struggles to change the weather after unstable campaign start
  • Tamara Cohen:Labour can't believe their luck
Election essentials
  • Battle For No 10:PM and Starmer taking part in Sky News special
  • 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


Labour abandons pledge to bring back cap on tax-free pension savings

Labour has abandoned plans to bring back the pensions lifetime allowance (LTA), blaming the Tories "botched" handling of the policy.

The LTA put a cap of £1.07m on how much people could save, or benefit from investment growth, in their pensions before tax charges kicked in.

The limit was scrapped by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt last year - in a move branded a "tax cut for the rich" by Labour at the time.

Ms Reeves pledged to reinstate the cap, but has now U-turned on the £800m proposal, with allies telling the Financial Times it would add uncertainty for savers and be complex to reintroduce.

Insiders said the money it was due to raise was never allocated, so "there will be no black hole" as a result.

A Labour source confirmed to Sky News that the cap would not be reintroduced, blaming the Tories for their handling of the policy.

They said: “The Conservatives have botched their policy of abolishing the lifetime allowance, with thousands of people approaching retirement being left in limbo because of errors in legislation. "

The source claimed this had led to "the extraordinary situation where the current government advised some savers to delay retirement until after the election".

"Labour's priority is to bring stability and certainty back to the economy. That is why it will fall to a Labour government, if successful at the election, to sort out this mess and we are determined to do so.”


Starmer 'looking at fairer way' to charge students for University

Sir Keir Starmer said he wants to "change the whole approach" to how students are charged for university, amid speculation he is considering a graduate tax.

The Labour leader has come under pressure to make the system fairer after rowing back on his pledge to abolish tuition fees last year.

Asked about rumours of some sort of graduate tax, the Labour leader told The Guardian: “The way the system works at the moment doesn’t work for students. It doesn’t work for universities.

"I think we should change the whole approach, and obviously we’re working on what that would look like, and there is a range of options.

"We will be looking at a fairer way overall, for students and actually for universities.”

Tuition fees rose to over £9,000 per year under the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government.

Last year Sir Keir dropped his leadership pledge to abolish the fees, blaming the Tories' handling of the economy.

Labour said at the time it would set out another solution "in the near future", with shadow education secretary Bridget Philipson saying she would like to lower monthly loan repayments.

It is not clear if more detailed plans will be unveiled in the party's manifesto, expected to be launched next week.

Reports have previously suggested that members of Sir Keir's shadow cabinet are in favour of a graduate tax.

The general idea behind this is that graduates would pay for their tuition through a special tax on their income, rather than paying back the fees through a loan with high interest rates.


'Richard Holden is disgrace to Conservative Party', says Tory candidate

Reaction to Richard Holden's interview has already started trickling in.

One Tory candidate told our deputy political editor Sam Coates that the MP was a "disgrace to the Conservative Party".

"He's put himself over candidates. He's shown complete disdain for party members," they said.

They added that it's becoming a "running joke" among candidates that Basildon and Billericay - the constituency Mr Holden is standing in - will turn into a Labour seat.

"The only reason this fool won't be associated with this disastrous election is because nobody believes anyone thinks he is competent, capable or trusted enough to be involved in the day-to-day decision-making of this campaign," they said.

If you missed Mr Holden's interview, you can watch it below...


Farage owes Sunak an apology, says former defence sec

Back to the interview with former defence secretary Liam Fox now.

During the sit down with Ali Fortescue, he was asked about Nigel Farage's comments about Rishi Sunak.

The Reform UK leader said the prime minister didn't understand the UK's history and culture, and he has been accused of emphasising Mr Sunak's immigrant heritage.

Mr Fox told the Politics Hub that he was "disappointed" with Mr Farage's comments.

"It's disappointing and it's dangerous. It brings an element into our politics which we should not have in British politics," he said.

"I hope that Nigel Farage will reflect on it - because I think he's a decent person. And I think he owes the prime minister and the country an apology."


Shadow environment sec reiterates Labour's tax plan

Labour's shadow environment secretary Steve Reed is next to appear on the show.

He starts by reiterating that his party has no plan to increase personal taxes, including income tax, VAT and national insurance.

"People are currently paying the highest rates of personal taxation for 70 years since the end of the Second World War, and we have a cost of living crisis. People simply can't afford to pay anymore," he says.

"Labour's been crystal clear about all the way through this. We have proposals to inject funding into public services where that is required, and we have identified specific tax loopholes that we will close in order to bring that funding in."

He says this includes changes to the nom-dom tax status and the VAT break on private school fees.

"There will be no increase in the taxes that working people are paying," he adds.

He is pushed on whether tax thresholds will change.

"There is no plan and there's no need to change those because everything in our manifesto... is fully costed," he replies.


What's the situation in the European Parliament elections?

Now to the world's second-biggest election.

Millions of people have taken part in elections to the European Parliament and the votes are being counted.

Full results are expected later this evening, with seven major parties vying for seats.

Here's their current share in parliament:

  • The Europeans People’s Party currently holds almost 25%.
  • Followed by the Socialist and Democrats at just shy of 20%.
  • Renew Europe has 14%.
  • With 'The Conservative and Reformists' and The Greens taking up around 10% of seats each.
  • Identity and Democracy and The Left follow at nearly 7% and 5%.

Correspondent for Greece and Cyprus at the Financial Times, Eleni Varvitsioti, tells the Politics Hub that the balance of power is expected to shift on major issues like mass migration, and energy politics.

"We will see a shift to the right as I understand in the policies that will be taken in the next five years in the European Parliament," she adds.

She explains that the question is whether the right-leaning parties are going to be able to cooperate.


'This is not a cartoon election'

Next up in the studio is one of the original three Brexiteers - Sir Liam Fox.

The former defence secretary came to Rishi Sunak's defence as Ali asked him why the prime minister has decided not to talk to journalists this weekend.

He says Mr Sunak has been out campaigning and he will do more interviews as the election draws closer, adding that this is "not a cartoon election".

He also argues that people have moved on from the PM's D-Day mistake, but it's the media that is still talking about it.

"Out in the country, people are still talking about the issues that matter most to them," he says.

"The reason I wanted to come on here tonight was to say the real issue around defence is not around D-Day celebrations. It's around the fact that Vladimir Putin this week is threatening to give ballistic missiles to some of our country's enemies," he adds.

He says the election needs to focus on the "big issues", including the fact that "we are in a crisis".

"These are the serious issues. This is not a cartoon election, it is a real dangerous world we live in and the public want us to deal with the real issues," he adds.


MP challenged over 'anti-democratic' decision

Election veteran, our chief political correspondent Jon Craig, is first up on the Politics Hub.

He tells Ali that Rishi Sunak's recent gaffes are more than mistakes we have seen from politicians in the past, because they are the result of "bad planning and bad judgement".

"This is just terrible judgement by the prime minister," he says.

"I suppose there are questions about why David Cameron didn't say to Rishi, no don't go," he adds, referring to the PM's mistake in leaving D-Day commemorations early.

Earlier today, he also spoke to the Conservative Party Chair Richard Holden.

The MP has been confirmed as the party's candidate in Basildon and Billericay, in Essex, having represented North West Durham since 2019.

Local Conservatives raised the possibility of challenging his selection, after he was the only person shortlisted for the seat by the party.

Jon asked him about the decision, saying it was "anti- democratic" but he refused to give a straight answer about the situation.

"I've already answered these questions when I did a Channel 4 interview last week," Mr Holden said.


Benny Gantz resigns from Israel's government

The show begins with the breaking news that centrist minister Benny Gantz has resigned from the Israeli war cabinet.

Addressing the nation, he said the decision was "complex and painful".

He also called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to set an election date.

His decision means the only centrist power in the embattled leader's far-right coalition has been withdrawn.

It comes after Mr Gantz presented Mr Netanyahu with an 8 June deadline to come up with a clear post-war strategy for Gaza.

You can read all the latest updates in our dedicated Israel-Hamas blog below...


Politics Hub With Ali Fortescue is live

Our daily showPolitics Hub With Ali Fortescueis live now on Sky News.

The fast-paced programme dissects the inner workings of Westminster, with interviews, insights, and analysis - bringing you, the audience, into the corridors of power.

Watch in the stream at the top of this page, and follow live updates here in the Politics Hub.

WatchPolitics Hubfrom 7pmevery night during the election campaign on Sky channel 501, Virgin channel 602, Freeview channel 233, on theSky News websiteandappor onYouTube

Election latest: 'This is not a cartoon election' - Sir Liam Fox comes to Rishi Sunak's defence over D-Day mistake (2024)
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