Keir Starmer to give speech as Labour rules out rises to income tax, national insurance and VAT – UK politics live

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Liberal Democrats have again criticised ITV’s decision to host a debate featuring just Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer and excluding themselves. The Liberal Democrats were the fourth largest party in the House of Commons after the 2019 election.

Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, PA Media reports education spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

Well obviously, I’d love it if Ed Davey and the Liberal Democrats did have a voice in the TV debates, and we are setting out our stall every single day – our fair deal for the British people, our focus on the NHS and care system, the cost-of-living crisis and sewage in our rivers and seas.

When it announced the debate – which will be at 9pm on Tuesday 4 June – ITV said in a statement “ITV plans to broadcast additional programming including an interview programme with other party leaders and a multiparty debate. Details on the further programmes will be announced in due course.”

There was also a tacit acceptance from Wilson that Ed Davey’s campaign tactics were very much based around his photographable stunt antics – he has already been photographed falling off a paddleboard and freewheeling down a hill on two wheels.

GMB presenter Richard Madeley asked her: “Are you happy with your leader’s channelling of his inner Boris Johnson?”, to which she replied “Well, it’s got you talking about sewage in our rivers and seas.”

told ITV that a vote for them is the only way to guarantee fair funding for Wales.

He said:

It is clear that people across Wales have called time on this disastrous and destructive Conservative government. Voting Plaid in constituencies like Ynys Môn is essential in keeping the Tories away from Westminster and out of Wales. At the same time, voting Plaid in Carmarthen and Bangor Aberconwy keeps Labour in check too. Plaid’s positive message of a fairer, more ambitious Wales, shows that we are the only party putting the interests of the nation ahead of party interests.

Labour of carrying out a “cull of leftwingers” after she and others were blocked or dissuaded from standing for the party.

The veteran Labour MP vowed on Wednesday to stay on for “as long as it is possible” after a deal for her to retire from parliament broke down.

The row, which has angered and frustrated some Labour MPs and staff, escalated on Thursday after two leftwing candidates were blocked from standing for the party in the general election.

Faiza Shaheen, who had been Labour’s candidate in Chingford and Woodford Green, told BBC Two’s Newsnight she received an email telling her she had been deselected after the decision was first made public in the Times.

Responding to the news on X, Abbott said: “Appalling. Whose clever idea has it been to have a cull of left wingers?”

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the MP for Brighton Kemptown, announced he had been suspended from the party on Wednesday afternoon and would not be allowed to stand for Labour at the election.

Read more here: Diane Abbott accuses Labour of ‘leftwing cull’ after two fellow MPs barred from standing

if Labour wins a 1945-style landslide, it will have no excuse for playing it safe:

Labour’s pitch to voters in 2024 is a lot different from the radical makeover it was offering in 1945. On the one hand, it says that the failures of the Tories in the past 14 years require a change of direction. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem able to sketch out much of a vision of what that change might be, beyond reform of the planning system, a focus on skills and the new deal for workers.

Unions already fear that the last in that list – a package of new employment rights – will be watered down as a result of lobbying by business. Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, says that what Britain needs more than anything now is stability, and in a speech earlier this week she went so far as to claim that – in somewhat Orwellian fashion – “stability is change”.

Stability would make a change, that’s for sure, and Reeves and Keir Starmer might be right in thinking that many voters are small-c conservative, don’t really favour radical policies, and just want to get on with their lives.

Liz Truss’s 49-day stint in Downing Street has made it even more difficult for Labour to deviate from the economic and financial orthodoxy in which an independent Bank of England sets interest rates and an independent Office for Budget Responsibility passes judgment on tax and spending decisions. Not, to be frank, that there was much evidence of the current Labour party wanting to rock the boat anyway.

Read more from Larry Elliott here: If Labour wins a 1945-style landslide, it will have no excuse for playing it safe

Thursday briefing – Diane Abbott, Faiza Shaheen, and how the Labour party is changing

dismissal of Kwasi Kwarteng after her disastrous mini-budget.

The chancellor also raised the prospect that a future Labour government would be forced, by contrast, to raise taxes furthers. He said:

In an election campaign, it is legitimate to be concerned about a Labour party that doesn’t seem to be able to make up its mind on these basic issues. Four times this week Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves had the chance to deny that they were going to increase VAT, and they chose not to until late last night. On national insurance cuts they said they were in favour of it, and now they say they are against further cuts to national insurance

When you have an economy that since 2010 has created more jobs, attracted more investment, and grown faster than nearly any other European economy it is a big risk to hand that to a party that can’t make up its mind on basic issues. Because when the Labour can’t make up their mind, taxes go up, as sure as night follows day.

Conservatives and Labour promising there will be no rises to income tax, national insurance or VAT. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has been in difficulty as people point out tax rises are baked in to the system from his previous decisions, while Labour are being pressured on where the extra spending they are promising might be funded. More on that in a moment. Here are your headlines …

Keir Starmer is campaigning in Wales, Sunak will be in the south east of England. Plaid Cymru and the Green party both have campaign launch events this morning.

It is Martin Belam here with you today. I do try to read all your comments, and dip into them if I think I can be helpful, but if you want to get my attention the best way is to email me – [email protected]. It is especially helpful if you have spotted a mistake.


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