Election latest: Green Party to unveil manifesto with 'dramatic' tax changes - as Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer prepare for Sky leaders' event (2024)

Manifesto week
  • Greens to demand 'super rich' pay more tax in manifesto
  • Economy flatlines in blow to Sunak
  • Labour mocks Tory claim economy has 'turned corner'
  • Compare the parties' pledges:Conservatives|Lib Dems
  • Live reporting by Ben Bloch
Battle for No 10 - Sky leaders' event
  • Sunak and Starmer prepare for grilling from Sky's Beth Rigby and Grimsby voters
  • Watch and follow live on Sky News from 7pm - with build-up all day
  • How will the event work?
  • How leaders prepare for debates – and the dos and don'ts
  • Politics at Jack and Sam's:The Day... Of the biggest clash yet
Election essentials
  • 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


How leaders prepare for debates – and the dos and don'ts for Sunak and Starmer tonight

By Lara Keay, news reporter

"It's a nightmare for everybody involved."

That's how former Labour adviser Ayesha Hazarika describes TV election debates.

"The amount of prep is phenomenal," she toldSky's Electoral Dysfunction podcast, adding that when she was working with former leader Ed Miliband on the 2015 campaign, preparation for the TV debates took "months and months".

Former Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson told the podcast she would get her team to "rip her to shreds" with the most "unfair" and "personal" questions imaginable to ready herself for the live broadcasts.

Tonight, theSky News Battle For Number 10 Leaders' Special Eventwill see Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer face questions from political editor Beth Rigby and members of our audience in Grimsby.

Here we look at how they might be preparing - and the main dos and don'ts.


Politics at Jack and Sam's: The Day... Of the biggest clash yet

Sky News' deputy political editor Sam Coates and Politico's Jack Blanchard are in your podcast feed now with their guide to the election day ahead.

This is day 21 of the campaign. Jack and Sam discuss the upcoming Sky News leaders' event involving Sunak and Starmer, what the latest polling shows, and the Green Party manifesto launch.

Email Jack and Sam: jackandsam@sky.uk

👉Tap here to follow Politics at Jack at Sam's wherever you get your podcasts👈


Man charged after objects thrown towards Nigel Farage

A man has been charged after objects were thrown at Nigel Farage as he went through Barnsley town centre on an open-top bus yesterday.

Josh Greally, 28, has been charged with using threatening, abusive, insulting words and behaviour with intent to cause fear or provoke unlawful violence, South Yorkshire Police has said.

He has been released on bail and will appear before Barnsley Magistrates' Court on 26 June.

The incident came after a womanthrew a milkshake over Mr Faragelast week in Clacton in Essex - the constituency he will contest inthe election.


Shapps reacts to poll showing Reform UK within 1pt of Tories

The latest Sky News / YouGov voting intention poll yesterday showed that Reform UK has closed to within just one point of the Tories.

Rishi Sunak's party is on 18%, while Nigel Farage's outfit is on 17% (more here).

Asked for his reaction, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said: "As far as I'm aware, not a single person has cast a vote in this country yet, so let's wait and see."

He went on to say that he is hearing on the doorsteps that the public wants "exciting" plans from the Tories, and in particular, their tax cuts.

And he repeated the Tory claim that a Labour government would see taxes rise by £2,000 per household - a figure that has been widely criticised as misleading.

But he did not attack Reform UK or Mr Farage as the insurgent right-wing outfit nips at their heels.


'The numbers were building up': Shapps defends Tory housebuilding pledge

Another element of the Conservative Party's manifesto is building 1.6m new houses - but Sky's Kay Burley asked the defence secretary whether they delivered their previous pledge to build 300,000 a year.

Grant Shapps dodged the question, and Kay Burley stated that the Tories never once met that pledge, even before the pandemic and the accompanying supply chain challenges.

He said they built around 1m new houses in total, and said Labour was "only building 100,000 homes a year" when the Tories took power in 2010.

Pushed on why the public should believe the promise to build more houses when they never met their target in recent years, Mr Shapps said: "Well, the numbers were building up."


Shapps defends Tory tax and spend plans after experts expressed 'scepticism'

The Conservative Party unveiled their manifesto yesterday, which includes plans to cut taxes by £17bn.

One of the main ways Rishi Sunak plans to fund the tax cuts is through cutting welfare by £12bn, alongside measures like cracking down on tax avoidance and evasion, and cutting the civil service.

Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, has said that while cutting taxes is possible, making up the money through cuts to welfare and the civil service is very uncertain.

Asked about Mr Johnson's "scepticism", Defence Secretary Grant Shapps insisted that welfare cuts will not be "particularly difficult", saying the budget "ballooned post-COVID", and so investments in getting people back to work will reduce the bill.

He also said the Tories have been able to crack down on tax dodgers to the tune of £6.4bn a year so far, and so raising the projected £6bn would be possible.

The senior cabinet minister also insisted that the Tories are "working to bring down people's taxes", saying that, by 2030, "we would see a reduction in the overall tax burden" under their plans.

This is despite Sky's economic and data editor Ed Conway'sassessment that the tax burden will continue to increase under the Tory plans.

Mr Shapps also defended his party's record on taxation, saying that increases to the personal tax allowance and reductions in national insurance over the last year mean "the average earner in this country is paying less tax".


'The economy has stalled': Labour hits out at Sunak after economy flatlined in April

We've just had a response from the Labour Party to the news that the economy flatlined in April (see previous post).

Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, said in a statement: "Rishi Sunak claims we have turned a corner, but the economy has stalled and there is no growth.

"These figures expose the damage done after 14 years of Conservative chaos."

Ms Reeves went on to say that Labour, by contrast, has "set out its plan to grow the economy by bringing back stability, unlocking private sector investment and reforming our planning system".

"All the Conservatives are offering is more of the same, with a desperate wish list of unfunded spending promises that will mean £4,800 more on people's mortgages," she added.

Meanwhile, the Lib Dem Treasury spokesperson, Sarah Olney, said the lack of growth shows the Tories had "utterly failed" to deliver on their promises.

"As Rishi Sunak's time as prime minister peters out, so does the UK's economic growth," she added.


UK economy flatlined in April, official figures show, in blow to Sunak

The UK economy flatlined in April, according to early official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there was zero growth in April compared to the 0.4% growth recorded during March.

A Reuters news agency poll of economists had predicted zero growth for April.

Experts blamed a negative impact from wet weather, knocking both retail sales and construction output.

Read more here:


Green Party demands 'super rich' pay more tax in manifesto to 'mend broken Britain'

By Alexandra Rogers, political reporter

The "super rich" will be asked to pay more tax in the Green Party's manifesto to "mend broken Britain".

The party, led by Carla Denyer and Adrian Ramsay, will tax "multimillionaires and billionaires" to fund improvements to health, housing, transport and the green economy.

Speaking before the official manifesto launch in Brighton - where the party hopes to elect a new Green MP following thedeparture of former leader Caroline Lucas- Mr Ramsay said he wanted to end the "conspiracy of silence" on taxes by creating a "fairer system" that would ask those "with the broadest shoulders to pay more".

The Green co-leader echoed the language used by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) which has accused the two main parties of not being upfront about the tough spending choices ahead.

He said Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak "would rather hide their plans for cuts to public services than confront the need for a fairer tax system that asks those with the broadest shoulders to pay more".

Read more below - and follow live coverage of the launch later this morning across Sky News.


Countdown almost over to Sky News leaders' special event

By Jon Craig, chief political correspondent

The countdown is almost over. In just a matter of hours, Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer will answer questions from Beth Rigby and audience members in the Sky News leaders' special event.

The Battle for No 10 will be broadcast live from Grimsby with each leader facing 20 minutes of questions from Sky's award-winning political editor and 25 minutes of questions from audience members.

In an FA Cup-style draw for which leader goes first, on the Politics Hub with Sophy Ridge, I pulled the red ball out of a bag first and the blue second, meaning Sir Keir goes first, followed by Mr Sunak.

Earlier this week, speaking to Sky News, the Labour leader said: "I'm really looking forward to it because I enjoy being able to talk directly to Sky viewers and to the audience there in Grimsby.

"I think having slightly more time will allow us to develop some of the answers that we need to give."

The Sky News programme, starting at 7pm, is the second live TV grilling of the two rivals for 10 Downing Street during this election campaign, following a one-hour debate on ITV.

Read Jon Craig's full preview of tonight's special event here:

Election latest: Green Party to unveil manifesto with 'dramatic' tax changes - as Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer prepare for Sky leaders' event (2024)


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