Rishi Sunak to publish Tory manifesto as party ads warn of Labour getting ‘massive majority’ – UK politics live

Estimated read time 5 min read

Good morning. Rishi Sunak is publishing the Conservative party’s manifesto later, and there is some reasonably positive coverage in some of the right-leaning papers this morning.

The Express is splashing on Sunak’s plan for a further 2p cut in national insurance.

And the Daily Telegraph and the Times are splashing on stories that say tax cuts will be combined with measures to help people buy homes.

In their Times story, Steven Swinford and Oliver Wright say:

Sunak will also unveil a new package of support to help people get onto the housing ladder after admitting that it has become harder to buy a home under the Tories.

A £1 billion scheme would help first-time buyers with government-backed mortgages to allow them to buy a home with just a 5 per cent deposit. The plan, modelled on the Help to Buy scheme that closed last year, could be used for all home purchases of less than £400,000. The previous scheme had a threshold of £250,000 outside London and £450,000 in the capital.

Sunak will also announce that the Tories will permanently abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers purchasing a property for up to £425,000. He will say that it is part of the Conservatives’ plans to build an “ownership society, where more and more people have the security and pride of home ownership”.

And, in his Telegraph story, Ben Riley-Smith says Sunak will “promise to scrap capital gains tax for landlords who sell their property to tenants. The scheme would last two years.”. (The paper describes that as a tax break for landlords, but it sounds more like a tax break intended to stop people being landlords, and to ultimately benefit people wanting to buy.)

At the Guardian, we are splashing on a story reporting that all these promises are too tame for Tory rightwingers, who want something much stronger on immigration and the European convention on human rights.

The publication of the manifesto is being seen as the one of the three last scheduled events with the potential to change the course of the election. The others would be the publication of the Labour manifesto on Thursday, and the BBC Sunak/Starmer debate on Wednesday 26 June. (This view is driven more by Tory wishful thinking, and the media’s desire to pretend the outcome of the election is still uncertain, than a realistic assessment. In reality, these set-piece events normally don’t make that much difference. In 2017 Theresa May did blow up her own campaign when she published her manifesto, but that was an exception, and a tribute to her extraordinary hopelessness as a campaigner.)

In truth, though, as a story in the Financial Times reveals, the Conservative party has started to admit in its online social media advertising that Labour is on course for a landslide. In their story George Parker and Lucy Fisher report:

The Conservatives have begun warning voters online that Labour could win with a landslide in the July 4 UK general election, sparking accusations that the ruling party is in effect conceding defeat.

Tory social media advertisements published since Friday have been urging people against voting for the Liberal Democrats and Reform UK, warning that backing those smaller parties could give Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer a “massive majority”.

Another Tory ad said voting Lib Dem or Reform would “hand Keir Starmer a blank cheque” and leave “nobody holding [sic] to account on your behalf” …

The Conservatives have launched about 40 new Facebook and Instagram ads focusing on a Labour landslide since last Friday, when Sunak issued an apology for leaving D-Day commemorations in France, a move that sparked a furious backlash from Tory candidates.

These contrast with previous Tory ads that issued warnings such as “vote Reform, get Keir Starmer” but did not imply that a vote for Nigel Farage’s party would boost an assumed Labour majority.

Here is two examples of adverts warning of a “massive” Labour majority that the FT highlights in its report.

Here is the agenda for the day.

11.30am: Rishi Sunak launches the Conservative party’s manifesto at Silverstone racetrack.

1pm: Nigel Farage, the Reform UK leader, is campaigning in Ashfield with Lee Anderson, the former Tory MP who is the party’s candidate in the constituency.

And Ed Davey, the Lib Dem leader, is campaigning in the south west of England.

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Source: theguardian.com

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