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Hunt attacks Starmer for ‘fake news’ as Chancellor hints another National Insurance tax cut – UK politics live

The Chancellor has released a 19-page report accusing the Labour party of digging a £38 billion black hole with Starmer’s campaign pledges

Salma Ouaguira
Friday 17 May 2024 21:00 BST
Hunt attacks Labour and says he refutes 'myths' the economy is worse under Tories

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveiled new tax cuts if the Conservatives win the general election as he accuses Labour of “playground politics” following Sir Keir Starmer’s speech on Thursday.

Speaking from London, he hinted at further National Insurance cuts before the general election kicks off after Summer.

He claimed Labour’s electoral pledges would cost tax payers £59 billion over the next four years and accused Labour of “lying” and labelled “fake news” their economic plans.

He has also pledged “taxes will go down under a Conservative government” and accused Sir Keir Starmer of planning to hikes as “sure as night follows day”.

Meanwhile, David Lammy has launched Labour’s foreign policy campaign pledge as he vowed voters to reinstall trust between the UK and the EU amid security threats.

He added the country is currently facing key challenges around war and security, over-dependency with unfriendly states, and low growth around West.


Sadiq Khan urges Labour to call out Donald Trump on sexism and racism

Labour’s David Lammy says ‘profoundly serious’ moment in history means the ‘special relationship’ is core to world security, writes Andy Gregory.

Sadiq Khan urges Labour to call out Donald Trump on sexism and racism

Labour’s David Lammy says ‘profoundly serious’ moment in history means the ‘special relationship’ is core to world security

Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 21:00

MPs back law to help terminally ill Brits with pension payments

The House of Commons has cleared a proposal to ensure terminally ill people have access to payments for longer.

The Bill’s sponsor Conservative MP Laurence Robertson earlier said: “It will provide financial assurance to those who have received the devastating diagnosis of a terminal illness and have also seen the sponsors of their pension scheme become insolvent.”

The Bill covers two schemes, the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) and the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS), which provide funding to pensioners whose defined benefit schemes have become insolvent.

Work and pensions minister Mims Davies added: “The changes this Bill makes will mean that members are able to rightly claim their compensation on the grounds of terminal illness if a medical professional confirms that they have less than 12 months to live, rather than the current six months.”

Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 20:30

‘A very messy divorce,’ Shadow Foreign Secretary says

David Lammy is taking questions from the media after finishing his speech outlining Labour’s foreign policy pledges.

Speaking about Brexit and future security pacts with the EU, he says: “The UK had a very messy divorce.”

Referring to Northern Ireland’s Brexit deal, he says: “It was only with the Windsor framework that we got custody of the children.

“A Labour government can build trust back between the UK and European Union over security pacts.”

He adds the country is facing key challenges around war and security, and over-dependency with unfriendly states, and low growth around West.

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 20:00

Shadow minister 'misspoke’- to the tune of £70bn - over Labour’s plans for GB energy

Months after Labour faced criticism for scaling back plans to spend £28bn a year on environmental investments, shadow environment secretary Steve Reed appeared to suggest that figure had increased again.

But he later said he “clearly misspoke” and insisted the cost of GB Energy was much lower.

Labour’s pledge to create a state-owned clean energy firm is a key plank of its plans for government.

The party believes it can create jobs, cut energy bills and help meet its 2030 clean power target. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused energy bills to skyrocket, Labour also argues it will help to make the UK less reliant on others.

But asked about analysis that the new company would need between £61bn and £82 bn of “public capital investment” in its first decade, Mr Reed replied: “It may well be.”

Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 19:30

In full: Jeremy Hunt launches Tory fightback over Labour’s ‘disgraceful, fake news, lie’

Jeremy Hunt accused Labour of telling “a lie” about Tory tax plans as he launched his party’s fightback in a week where the starting gun on the election campaign was fired.

In an unusually fiery speech by the chancellor, he claimed Labour’s attempts to scare voters about the future of the state pension was “disgraceful”.

He also alleged that “the most conservative estimate” of Keir Starmer’s spending plans would cost £38.5billion and means “Labour will have no choice but to put up taxes further” to fill a £10billion black hole in government finances by 2028/29.

Mr Hunt acknowledged that “difficult decisions” needed because of the global financial shocks of the covid pandemic and war in Ukraine had meant he had been forced to increase taxes.

However, he insisted that the election “will be framed about what the parties want to do about the tax burden.”

Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 19:00

What are Labour’s campaign pledges?

Sir Keir Starmer has set out his top priorities if he gets the keys of Downing Street.

He has vowed to deliver the following:

  1. Economic Stability
  2. Launch a new Border Security Command
  3. Set up Great British Energy
  4. Crack down on antisocial behaviour
  5. Recruit 6,500 new teachers 
  6. Cut NHS waiting time
'Country first, Party second': Starmer claims Labour has changed in pitch to voters
Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 18:30

MPs support proposals to extend pubs’ opening hours

The policy would make it easier for boozers and other hospitality venues to extend their opening hours during national and local events.

The proposal is now a step closer into to becoming law thanks to support from MPs.

Labour’s Emma Lewell-Buck, who was the first to draft the Licensing Hours Extensions Bill, says it aims to simplify the “costly, overly bureaucratic, time consuming and restrictive” parliamentary process and make it possible for an order to be approved when Parliament is in recess.

The South Shields MP said there was a “missed opportunity” when England reached the final of the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia last year, due to Parliament’s licensing rules.

Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 18:00

Watch: Fiona Bruce's warning to Stephen Flynn leaves Question Time audience laughing

Fiona Bruce's warning to Stephen Flynn leaves Question Time audience laughing
Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 17:30

Watch: Suella Braverman met with silence while questioning pro-Palestine protesters

Suella Braverman was met with silence when she approached pro-Palestine protesters who had set up an encampment at Cambridge University.

Suella Braverman ignored by pro-Palestine protesters

The former home secretary attempted to engage with people wearing masks, asking them what their “message” would be to Israel and Hamas and if they thought hostages should be released.

Each time she tried to talk to protesters, they did not respond to her.

Tents were set up outside the university‘s Senate House ahead of graduation ceremonies due to take place there.

The events were instead held at Downing College due to the protest.

Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 17:00

Tory peer resigns whip after being banned for drunken outburst

Lord Kulveer Ranger, Boris Johnson’s former adviser, has resigned the government whip after accusations emerged he bullied and harassed two people.

Following a conduct investigation, he faces being barred from the House of Lords.

A statement from the whip’s office said: “Lord Ranger has resigned the government whip and apologised for his actions, which were an unacceptable breach of the standards of the House, and of parliament.

“The committee has recommended a sanction, which should be respected.”

Lord Kulveer Ranger apologised after a drunken outburst in one of Parliament’s bars
Lord Kulveer Ranger apologised after a drunken outburst in one of Parliament’s bars (PA Archive)
Salma Ouaguira17 May 2024 16:58

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