Keir will put migrants on our streets & hike taxes by £2k, blasts Rishi as he lands heavy blow in first TV debate

RISHI Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer clashed angrily over tax in the first TV showdown last night – with the PM repeatedly warning of a £2,000 hit to families under Labour.

In their first bruising head-to-head the PM said the man hoping to replace him is coming for “your work, your car, your pension – you name it, Labour will tax it. It’s in their DNA.”

Rishi Sunak during tonight's debate

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Rishi Sunak during tonight’s debateCredit: EPA
Sir Keir Starmer is currently on course to storm into Downing Street next month

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Sir Keir Starmer is currently on course to storm into Downing Street next monthCredit: EPA
Host Julie Etchingham had to step in multiple times to ease squabbles between the leaders

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Host Julie Etchingham had to step in multiple times to ease squabbles between the leadersCredit: PA
The leaders faced questions from the ITV studio audience

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The leaders faced questions from the ITV studio audienceCredit: PA

YouGov polling shows 51% of people thought Sunak performed best overall in tonight’s live debate, with 49% voting for Sir Keir.

The  Labour leader refused ten times to deny taxes would be hiked under Labour – as the pair clashed on the NHS, borders and their own trustworthiness.

Sir Keir slammed Tory “chaos” and said said they  had hiked taxes to the highest level in 70 years. He labelled  PM an “expert” in putting them up.

They also traded blows on immigration and the European Court of Human Rights. The PM said he would put Britain’s borders before a foreign court every time.

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Sir Keir, an ex-human rights lawyer, said he would never pull out of our international agreements.

On taxes – which dominated the debate – Mr Sunak claimed Labour would raise taxes and “raid” people’s pension pots, while Starmer branded “Britain’s experts in tax rises.”

A fired up Sunak blasted: “Beyond raising your taxes and raiding your pensions, no one knows what Labour would actually do.

“But you know what I would do? I’ll cut your taxes, protect your pension and reduce immigration”

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In their tense first battle, the pair also bloodied each other on the NHS and the ghost of Liz Truss haunting the Tories.

Early in the clash Sunak warned the public: “The choice for you at this election – stick to our plan and illegal migrants will be on those planes. “With Labour, they will be out on our streets.”

In the first of two TV battles, first blood went to the PM who left the Labour boss gawping when he put him on the spot over resolving the long-running junior doctors’ pay dispute.

I’ll put illegal migrants on planes… Keir will put them on our streets, blasts Rishi in fiery first TV debate

The audience sided with the Tory boss forcibly told the Labour leader he won’t meet their demands of 35 per cent as he doesn’t want to raise taxes to pay for it.

Both leaders confirmed they did not intend to raise income tax, national insurance or VAT.

But Rishi Sunak directly accused Sir Keir Starmer of planning a “retirement tax” because he was not matching the Tory “triple lock-plus” commitment to increase the personal allowance for pensioners.

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Our experts will break down Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer’s first debate on our brand new YouTube channel here.

Every weekday Sun Political Editor Harry Cole brings you the latest news and analysis from the election campaign trail.

“If Labour are elected, pensioners will pay tax,” the Prime Minister said. “I do not think that is right.”

He told Sir Keir: “You should explain to everyone why you think pensioners will be paying a retirement tax under your government.”

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Mr Sunak added: “Why do you want to put up their taxes?”

Sir Keir shot back by comparing Mr Sunak’s spending commitments to the unfunded tax cuts announced by his predecessor Liz Truss.

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