Labour would cause ‘irreversible damage within first 100 days’ in power, Sunak claims


Leaders and politicians of all parties are coming out swinging today as the general election campaign enters the final days.

Rishi Sunak is today saying that Labour would cause “irreversible damage within just 100 days of coming to power”, while his top lieutenants warn of the “danger” of a government led by Sir Keir Starmer.

With polls throughout the campaign showing the Conservative Party failing to make a dent in Labour’s 21-point lead, according to the Sky News Poll Tracker, the prime minister only has days to change minds across the country in his bid to retain power.

Meanwhile, the Labour leader is arguing that if the Conservatives are re-elected, “they will feel entitled to continue serving themselves, rather than putting the needs of our country first”.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey is continuing to promote his party’s proposals for the NHS, while SNP leader John Swinney is arguing that the Scottish public should “vote SNP to put Scotland’s interests first”.

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Sunak says Labour ‘cannot be trusted’

The Conservative Party is continuing its warning that a Labour government would see taxes rise, and the prime minister is arguing electing Sir Keir would do “irreversible damage within just 100 days of coming to power”.

Mr Sunak said that Labour’s plans to impose VAT on private school fees would risk “throwing thousands of families’ plans for the autumn term into chaos, with children wondering if they will have a desk at school to go back to”.

And he also claimed that Labour would make Britain the “soft touch migrant capital of the world” with “open borders” and an “illegal migrant amnesty”.

The prime minister added: “They cannot be trusted. We must not surrender our taxes, our borders and our security to them. Only the Conservatives will deliver tax cuts, a growing economy and a brighter, more secure future for everyone.”

Rishi Sunak at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in North West London. Pic: PA
Rishi Sunak speaking at a Hindu temple in northwest London on Saturday. Pic: PA

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron went further in an interview with The Sunday Times, suggesting that a Labour government would be a threat to national security.

He told the newspaper that Sir Keir “is in danger of weakening Britain’s position and weakening Britain’s defences, all in a way that’s completely unnecessary”.

The ex-prime minister described Labour as “hopelessly naive about the dangerous world in which we’re living”, adding: “The last thing we need in Britain now is another liberal leftie lawyer running the country.”

But Sir Keir hit back, noting that the government has already given him “high level sensitive briefings, so much do they trust us on national security”.

“To now turn around and make this ridiculous claim just shows how desperate they have become going into this election,” he added.

Starmer appeals for ‘clear mandate’ to govern

The Labour leader and the potential next chancellor, Rachel Reeves, also spoke to The Sunday Times, and they talked about their goal of getting housebuilding ramping up “on day one” if they win the election.

Keir Starmer, with his wife Victoria and Angela Rayner, at the Royal Horticultural Halls in central London. Pic: PA
Keir Starmer with wife Victoria (right) and deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner at the Royal Horticultural Halls in central London on Saturday. Pic: PA

The newspaper reports that at least three housing announcements are expected to be made within the first fortnight of a Labour government, saying that opportunities for young people from working-class backgrounds to own their own home “don’t exist”.

And in an article for The Observer, Sir Keir wrote that if voters elect Labour on Thursday, “the work of change begins” and they will “get to work on repairing our public services with an immediate cash injection, alongside urgent reforms”.

He also attacked the Tories’ record in power, saying if they are re-elected, “Britain will remain stuck in their low-growth, high-tax, declining public services doom-loop”.

“The unfunded splurge contained in their manifesto will unleash chaos into our economy once again. And they will feel entitled to continue serving themselves, rather than putting the needs of our country first,” he added.

“Frankly, should they win another five years after everything they’ve put us through in this parliament, they would surely think they could get away with anything.”

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What do voters think of manifestos?

He appealed for a “clear mandate” to implement his plans, pointing to “chaos” under Mr Sunak and Liz Truss before him as examples of what happens when prime ministers seek to “govern without that mandate”.

Read more:
What the polls tell us about what will happen on 4 July
What are in the party manifestos?

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SNP ‘offers hope of better future’

Meanwhile in Scotland, the leader of the SNP is appealing to Scots to back his party as polls show that Labour could become the largest Scottish parliamentary contingent in over a decade.

John Swinney argued that while “the result in England is now inevitable”, in “most seats in Scotland it’s too close to call between the SNP and Labour”.

John Swinney joins SNP candidate Tommy Sheppard and serves pizza at Portobello Beach and Promenade. Pic: PA
John Swinney and SNP candidate Tommy Sheppard serve pizza at Portobello Beach and Promenade, Edinburgh. Pic: PA

He hit out at the Labour Party, saying a Starmer government “plans to impose £18bn of cuts to public spending – after years of austerity, Brexit and the ongoing cost of living crisis”.

To avoid that, he said, and to “ensure that decisions about Scotland are made in Scotland, then you’ve got to vote SNP”.

“The SNP offers Scotland the hope of a better future – but you have to vote for it. This Thursday, vote SNP to put Scotland’s interests first,” he added.

Tories have ‘failed’ to support families in grief

The Liberal Democrats are continuing to unveil policies, focused on the NHS and reversing “heartless Tory cuts” to bereavement payments.

On the latter as it stands, a bereaved family where a spouse or partner has died receives a lump sum of up to £3,500, followed by a monthly payment of up to £350 for 18 months.

Sir Ed Davey tries his hand at archery in Little Paxton, Cambridgeshire. Pic: PA
Sir Ed Davey tries his hand at archery in Little Paxton, Cambridgeshire. Pic: PA

The party is calling for this period to be extended, and is pledging to inject an additional £440m a year into the system by 2028-29 to fund it.

Sir Ed Davey said in a statement: “Rishi Sunak’s government has failed to ensure families are not left struggling to pay the bills at such a difficult period of time.

“The Liberal Democrats would treat families and children who lose a loved one with dignity and provide the support they deserve.”

He also reiterated his party’s pledge to give people a legal right to see a GP within a week and start cancer treatment within two months, with Sir Ed saying that his party has “put health and care at the heart of our fair deal for the country”.

Farage goes on the attack

Meanwhile, Reform UK is on the offensive after facing a slew of racism allegations over recent days.

Nigel Farage during a BBC Question Time Leaders' Special at the Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham. Pic: PA
Nigel Farage during a BBC Question Time Leaders’ Special at the Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham. Pic: PA

The party yesterday withdrew support for three candidates, and it came on the heels of Channel 4 news airing footage filmed undercover that showed Andrew Parker, an activist canvassing for Mr Farage, using the racial slur “P***” to describe the prime minister, describing Islam as a “disgusting cult”, and saying the army should “just shoot” migrants crossing the Channel.

Nigel Farage has gone on the attack, with the party saying it has reported Channel 4 to the elections watchdog for alleged “scandalous… interference” over what the party claims was a fake rant planted by the broadcaster.

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The key election words you need to know

Mr Farage also hit out at the BBC, saying he would refuse to appear on their flagship Sunday morning show until they apologise for their “dishonest” audience during a BBC Question Time special on Friday, accusing the broadcaster of having “behaved like a political actor throughout this election”.

He will hold a vast rally in Birmingham later today, after speaking to Sky News from Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips at 8.30am.

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage will be joining Sky News’ Trevor Philips from 8.30am this morning on his last programme before the election – along with Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden, Labour’s national campaign coordinator Pat McFadden, and SNP leader and Scottish First Minister John Swinney.

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