Rishi Sunak rejects claim he plans to move to California if he loses election – as it happened

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Rishi Sunak event in Amersham this afternoon.

Look who has just turned up at a rugby club in Amersham, the Home Counties seats nicked by the Lib Dems to begin the blue wall era. This is, frankly, the sort of seat that in most elections the Conservatives should win without breaking a sweat, let alone a PM visit.

Gareth Williams, the local Tory candidate, gave a flavour of the area with his own stump speech by naming as the first problematic Labour policy the imposition of VAT on private school fees.

Sunak mentions national service in his stump speech – but not first. Has a long go at Labour too. Says Labour is taking the electorate for granted.

We are promised some off-camera media questions after the speech. Let’s see if this largesse extends to the Guardian.

Questions from the PM were granted to Telegraph, Express, Mail, i, BBC, Politico, but *not* the Guardian.

Keir Starmer of not offering a “single new idea” in his speech this morning.

In a speech in Buckinghamshire, Sunak described his announcement of a new form of national service as a “bold decision”. As PA Media reports, he went on:

In contrast, Keir Starmer has made yet another half hour speech today, but was there one single new idea in that speech?

“No,” Tory members replied.

Sunak added:

They have had 14 years to think about what they want to do and they have got nothing to say about the future of our country and that is what we are going to show. We are going to show that we have got a plan for the future.

Conservative MPs Gagan Mohindra (South West Hertfordshire) and Rob Butler (Aylesbury) could be seen in the audience.


Liz Truss, another former PM who recently published a book accusing the civil service, and other establishment forces, of obstructing radical things she wanted to achieve as a minister.

May also said that she hoped, if it had been raining when she called an election outside No 10 in 2017, that those around her “might have provided [her] with an umbrella”.

4.40pm.) Although MPs won’t return to parliament before the election, she will remain an MP until Thursday, when parliament is dissolved.

New: Tory MP Lucy Allan has been suspended from the party with immediate effect. It follows her endorsement of a Reform candidate to succeed her in Telford.

Tory spox: “A vote for Reform is a vote for Keir Starmer.”

Confirmation that Allan has lost the whip as well as having her Tory membership suspended.

Think that’s the first time a Tory MP has lost the whip after an election was called since Charles Wardle in 2001.

George Gardiner lost the whip for backing the Referendum party in 1997 – but that was nine days before the election had actually been declared

10.36am), and whether he found them annoying, Starmer told ITV’s Anushka Asthana

I couldn’t care less. I think they’re rummaging around in the toy box of ideas because they haven’t got a clue, they haven’t got any strategy.

Rishi Sunak and his faltering campaign.

The MP for Telford, who announced last year that she was standing down, said that she would support her local Reform candidate in the coming contest.

Richard Tice, the Reform leader, said he welcomed Allan’s support, as the Conservative MP tweeted a link to the party’s local candidate, Alan Adams, to allow people to help up and donate to his campaign.

The Conservatives have been approached for comment but MPs who support another party normally have the whip or their membership suspended.

Liberal Democrats. He is particularly concerned about the national service policy, although in an open letter posted on X he cites other factors. Tory MPs should have made Penny Mordaunt leader, he suggests.


Source: theguardian.com

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