Election latest: Tory minister admits Starmer could 'walk into Downing Street' - as SNP makes pitch to rejoin EU (2024)

Election news
  • SNP launches manifesto - see main policies
  • 'The plan is working': PM welcomes fall in inflation
  • Sunak 'sorry to hear' voter thinks he is 'pound shop Farage'
  • Minister admits Starmer could 'walk into Downing Street'
  • YouGov and Sky to reveal major poll at 5pm
  • Sky News Daily:'We need an adult conversation about migration'
  • Live reporting by Tim Baker
Expert analysis
  • Jon Craig:Poll and defection are double trouble for Tories
  • Tom Cheshire:The data behind the public's view of immigration
  • Darren McCaffrey:PM's trip to luxury village shows no seat is safe
Election essentials
  • Check parties' manifesto pledges:Conservatives|Greens|Labour|Lib Dems|Plaid Cymru|Reform
  • 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

12:01:59

Key policies from SNP manifesto launch

The SNP's manifesto has been launched by party leader John Swinney.

No costings were provided alongside the 32-page document titled "a future made in Scotland" - and it's important to note many of the main policies would rest with the Westminster government.

Here they are:

  • To deliver independence via a second referendum;
  • From there, rejoin the EU - delivering freedom of movement, access to workers from the bloc, and re-entry to Erasmus;
  • End 14 years of austerity and tackle the cost of living crisis by reversing the £1.3bn Westminster cut to Scotland's capital budget;
  • Protect the NHS from privatisation and boost funding by £10bn;
  • Demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza;
  • Scrap the two-child benefit cap;
  • Demand the devolution of employment rights, new borrowing and taxation powers, and the ability for Scotland to have its own migration system, including scrapping the Rwanda scheme;
  • Support the abolition of the House of Lords;
  • Give WASPI women full, fast and fair compensation;
  • Ban zero-hours contracts and fire and rehire;
  • Decriminalise drugs for personal use and introducing a framework to allow supervised drug consumption facilities;
  • Protect pensions by maintaining the triple lock and move to deliver a wellbeing pension;
  • Scrap the Trident nuclear deterrent;
  • Increase maternity pay and increase leave to a year;
  • Defend free university tuition in Scotland;
  • Replace first past the post with single transferrable vote, scrap voter ID, and reduce the voting age to 16;
  • Restore foreign aid budget to 0.7%;
  • Raise military recruitment age to 18.

13:04:15

PM welcomes falling inflation - and plays down highest day of Channel crossings this year

Rishi Sunak has welcomed inflation falling back to the 2% target - one of the goals he set himself in early 2023.

He said the fall in inflation was a "very positive step" that "shows the plan we put in place is working".

The prime minister added Labour would "whack taxes up for everyone", while he would cut them.

Responding to the fact 882 people crossed the Channel in small boats yesterday - the highest total since late 2022 - the PM saidthere would always be some days "worse than others".

Again, he said the election was a choice between him and Labour, advocating for the Rwanda plan first proposed in April 2022.

12:50:01

Starmer 'will walk into Downing Street' if polls are right, minister admits

Tory minister David TC Davies has been speaking to The Sun about his party's election chances.

The Wales secretary does not paint an optimistic picture.

"People are really quite concerned at the moment and not at all happy, there's no great optimism out there," he said.

"And I feel for everyone and I think we're going to get it in the neck, all of us, as a result of that."

He says he and the Tories "can't hide" from the opinion polls suggesting the party could be on course for a historic defeat.

While "they never get it 100% right", the minister does admit "they're clearly pointing at a large Labour majority".

"Keir Starmer will walk into Downing Street," he added.

"I'm sorry about that. We've got to do more to get our message across."

12:34:40

'Serious investors' getting behind Labour, Starmer says

While the SNP was launching its manifesto, we caught up with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

He reiterated his focus on "growing our economy" and bringing investment into the UK "to create wealth and the jobs of the future".

It comes after Labour won the backing of John Caudwell, a businessman who was one of the Tories' biggest donors in 2019.

"These are serious entrepreneurs and investors who know that the most important thing is how you invest and grow your economy," Sir Keir said about his party's growing list of business backers.

Lives won't 'suddenly get easier' after inflation news

He also said people were getting fed up with hearing that government saying "everything is fine" with the economy in the wake of this morning's inflation data release.

He told broadcasters in Wiltshire: "Inflation is now down to where it was three years ago. That doesn't mean that for many people life's suddenly got easier.

"So, yes, it's back where it was three years ago, but that doesn't mean that prices are coming down, it doesn't mean that mortgages are coming down."

'Shocking' number of people crossing Channel

Sir Keir also said the number of people crossing the Channel in small boats was "shocking" - on the day it was reported more than 12,000 people had made the journey so far this year.

"It's record numbers, and this was Rishi Sunak's pledge to the country 18 months ago, he would stop the boats," he said.

"The way to bring this down is what we would do, which is to set up a border security command to smash the gangs running this vile trade."

11:37:05

What's the point in voting SNP?

It's pointed out to Mr Swinney that the SNP has not delivered on its promises on independence, Brexit, climate change and other things.

He is asked what is the point in voting for them.

Mr Swinney turns the question to point at the Labour Party - who he is talking about as if they will win the general election.

He says they are no change from the Tories who have been in power for 14 years - and that the SNP represents the change that Scotland needs.

11:36:31

Why are pro-independence voters turning away from the SNP?

Our political correspondentTamara Cohen is next up to ask the SNP leader a question.

She asks why polls are showing that pro-independence voters are turning away from the SNP ahead of this election.

John Swinney says there are two reasons for this.

"One is that the SNP have had a tough time for the last wee while," he says, while the second is that people are desperate to get the Tories out of power.

"People are absolutely desperate to get rid of this awful, awful Conservative government and [because of that] they are considering voting Labour," he says.

He warns those voters: "Be careful what you wish for."

11:31:28

SNP won't rule out tax rises - but accuses Labour of planning spending cuts

A second question concerns whether the SNP will raise taxes.

"We've taken some hard decisions in the Scottish government - we've increased tax on higher earners so we could invest more in our public services," says Mr Swinney.

He doesn't address tax rises in a potential next SNP government directly.

He then attacks Labour.

"People need to be really aware of what are the consequences of voting Labour," he says.

"Voting Labour in Scotland will get you spending cuts and that will be a disastrous outcome from the election."

11:28:18

SNP leader vows to 'embark on negotiations' for another referendum

The BBC asks Mr Swinney whether the SNP winning a majority of Scottish seats could lead to independence.

In response, the SNP leader says the best way to secure independence is through a referendum.

He says the "obstacle" to this is the "intransigence" of the House of Commons.

Mr Swinney again points to the 2021 Holyrood parliamentary election as being the mandate for his party to negotiate independence - rather than the referendum held in 2014.

The SNP won 47.7% of the vote in 2021.

If the SNP gets a majority of Scottish seats, Mr Swinney says his party will "embark on negotiations" with the UK government to "turn the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland into a reality".

Asked how people can vote to say they want Scotland to stay in the UK, Mr Swinney says the 2021 Holyrood election should be respected instead.

He does not say how someone could democratically disagree with the SNP in a way that the party would recognise.

11:24:43

'We could be back in the EU': Swinney makes pitch for independence

John Swinney now makes his pitch for Scottish independence.

"In an independent Scotland we could be back in the EU - for the first time as an equal member in our own right," he says.

"We would be part of the huge single market, which by population is seven times the size of the UK.

"We would enjoy once again the benefits of European freedom of movement - vital for so many Scottish businesses."

He acknowledges that success in this respect is not guaranteed, but says there are grounds for optimism.

"With all our resources; all our talent, with everything we have to offer and all our ambition - why not Scotland?" he asks.

"Never let anyone tell you that independence is separate from people’s daily concerns - it is fundamental to those concerns," he continues.

Concluding his speech, he says: "It is about where decisions about Scotland are made. Decisions over our economy.

"Our health service, our living standards.

"So on 4 July I am asking you to vote SNP."

11:21:40

SNP leader outlines his 'ABCD' priorities

John Swinney says his party's philosophy is to "always put the interests of Scotland first".

He says that Scotland has been ignored by Westminster, and that "the UK is going in a different direction – the wrong direction".

Mr Swinney outlines his party's "ABC" of austerity, Brexit, and the cost of living crisis.

He adds a "D" of democracy - saying independence will give Scotland the governments it votes for.

On the subject of a referendum, Mr Swinney says the 2021 Scottish parliamentary election vote was a "clear majority" for independence and a referendum.

This election is an opportunity to "reinforce" the case for an independent Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon resigned as SNP leader after trying to call another independence referendum, as it was found that power only lay with the Westminster government.

Election latest: Tory minister admits Starmer could 'walk into Downing Street' - as SNP makes pitch to rejoin EU (2024)

FAQs

Is Keir Starmer a socialist? ›

“I would describe myself as a socialist. I describe myself as a progressive”. These were Labour leader Keir Starmer's words in May 2024 shortly after his first speech of the election campaign. Labour's constitution defines it as a democratic socialist party.

What religion is Sir Keir Starmer? ›

Personal Life. Starmer is an atheist, but has said that he "does believe in faith", and its power to bring people together. His wife, Victoria Alexander, is Jewish, and their two children are brought up in Jewish faith.

How did Keir Starmer make his money? ›

In 2021/2022, Sir Keir Starmer's salary for being a Labour MP was £76,961 and he received as extra £49,193 for being leader of the opposition. He was previously Director of Public Prosecutions and head of the Crown Prosecution Service from 2008 to 2013, a role which is known to command a hefty salary.

Is Keir Starmer's wife a lawyer? ›

From a career in law to the NHS

Like her husband, Lady Starmer trained as a solicitor and the couple met through work. She now works in occupational health for the NHS - a role she loves, Sir Keir said in an interview with the Sunday Mirror.

Why has Keir Starmer got a knighthood? ›

Sir Keir Starmer — a title he rarely uses himself — was awarded a knighthood in 2014 for his work as head of the CPS and director of Public Prosecutions; a tradition for those in this role. His services for “law and criminal justice” were cited as reasons for the honour.

Was Keir Hardie a socialist? ›

Scottish Labour Party

It was "through the single tax" on land monopoly that Hardie gradually became a Fabian socialist.

Is Sir Keir Starmer English? ›

Sir Keir Rodney Starmer KCB KC (/ˈkɪər/; born 2 September 1962) is a British politician and barrister who has served as Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party since 2020.

Is Starmer an English name? ›

English: habitational name from Starmore in Westrill (Leicestershire), from an Old English personal name Storm (genitive Stormes) + Old English worth 'enclosure'.

Is Keir Starmer's wife a lady? ›

What did Keir Starmer's father do for a living? ›

Instead, I'm talking about Keir Starmer and the number of people who know that his father, Rodney, was a toolmaker. If you watched the Sky News leaders' event (again, making you something of an outlier) you may recall that the Labour leader was laughed at when he mentioned his father's occupation.

Has Sir Keir Starmer been married before? ›

Who stood against Keir Starmer for Labour leader? ›

Results
CandidateParty membersAffiliated supporters
Votes%
Keir Starmer225,13553.1%
Rebecca Long-Bailey117,59822.3%
Lisa Nandy58,78824.6%

What is Keir Starmer's constituency? ›

The Rt Hon Keir Starmer is no longer a Member, but was most recently the Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras, and left the Commons on 30 May 2024. The dissolution of Parliament took place on 30th May 2024.

Where is Victoria Starmer from? ›

Described by The Times as a 'cool north London mum', Victoria Starmer is London born-and-bred. She grew up in Gospel Oak, North London, to a Polish-Jewish father. Her mother, who worked as a community doctor, also converted to the faith.

Where did Tony Blair go to university? ›

What does Keir Starmer support? ›

Starmer supports social ownership and investment in the UK's public services, including the National Health Service (NHS).

Is the Labour Party socialist? ›

The Labour Party is a political party in the United Kingdom that has been described as being an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists.

What type of leader is Keir Starmer? ›

Political positions. Starmer's politics have been described as unclear and "hard to define". When he was elected as Labour leader, Starmer was widely believed to belong to the soft left of the Labour Party. However, he has since moved to the political centre-ground.

Was George Orwell a socialist? ›

His work is characterised by lucid prose, social criticism, opposition to totalitarianism, and support of democratic socialism. Orwell produced literary criticism, poetry, fiction, and polemical journalism.

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