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

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

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.

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DAily Express: Up the workers! #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/bHcfx8DDBm

&mdash; George Mann (@sgfmann) June 10, 2024

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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.

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The Daily Telegraph: Sunak offers tax breaks to landlords #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/iGH4xyFqz4

&mdash; George Mann (@sgfmann) June 10, 2024

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The Times: Tories offer lower taxes and help for homebuyers #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/98to0YQhfS

&mdash; George Mann (@sgfmann) June 10, 2024

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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.

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The Guardian: Tory right plans to give Sunak set
of demands if manifesto falls flat #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/UMcEbJpEED

&mdash; George Mann (@sgfmann) June 10, 2024

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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.

Tory social media advertt
Tory social media advertt Photograph: FT
Tory social media advert
Tory social media advert Photograph: FT

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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Updated at 09.47 BST

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Simon Case, the cabinet secretary, has urged the Conservative party, and all political parties, to protect the impartiality of the civil service during the election campaign.

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He made the point in a letter to Richard Holden, the Conservative party chair, which could be read as an implied rebuke for the way the party has presented Treasury research into how much Labour policies might cost.

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In the ITV debate last week Rishi Sunak said “independent Treasury officials who have costed Labour’s policies and they amount to a £2,000 pound tax rise for every working family”. The following day Labour released a letter from the permament secretary at the Treasury, James Bowler, written before the debate took place, saying ministers should not present the total figure they were using as the cost of Labour’s plans as an official Treasury number because it included costings not made by officials.

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Labour said this provided Sunak was lying in the debate.

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In an attempt to defend the PM, Holden wrote to Case asking him to confirm that some of the costings were produced by Treasury officials and that the Bowler letter did not say Sunak lied.

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For reference, the letter I sent the Cabinet Secretary pic.twitter.com/c0YDq3114m

&mdash; Rt Hon Richard Holden (@RicHolden) June 11, 2024

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It would have been surprising if the letter had said Sunak lied in the debate, because it was written before the debate took place. Labour’s contention is that it showed that Sunak had lied.

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This morning Holden published the reply he received from Case.

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NEW: I have received a response from the Cabinet Secretary.

He has confirmed that 21 costings of Labour’s policies were produced by civil servants from HM Treasury and other relevant departments.

Contrary to Labour's claims he also confirmed that the letter from the Treasury… pic.twitter.com/qNnb5E9lPj

&mdash; Rt Hon Richard Holden (@RicHolden) June 11, 2024

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While Case is not directly critical in the letter, the tone implies some irritation at the fact he was being asked to confirm something obvious from a letter already in the public domain.

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He confirms the Bowler letter did not mention Sunak by name – but he does not contest the Labour claim that it shows what Sunak was saying in the debate was untrue.

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And Case suggests Holden and his colleagues could be doing more to uphold civil service impartiality. He says:

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\n

Upholding the impartiality of the civil service is a duty rightly shared by both the civil service itself and all political parties.

\n

I would therefore be grateful for your ongoing assistance, and that of your counterparts in other parties, in protecting our impartiality during the election period.

\n

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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.

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

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DAily Express: Up the workers! #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/bHcfx8DDBm

&mdash; George Mann (@sgfmann) June 10, 2024

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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.

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The Daily Telegraph: Sunak offers tax breaks to landlords #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/iGH4xyFqz4

&mdash; George Mann (@sgfmann) June 10, 2024

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The Times: Tories offer lower taxes and help for homebuyers #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/98to0YQhfS

&mdash; George Mann (@sgfmann) June 10, 2024

"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

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

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\n

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.

\n

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.

\n

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”.

\n

","elementId":"eb5ab730-79e0-419f-b2ae-84cd4062fa40"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

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.)

","elementId":"8c83a886-a74e-4405-947a-02c1b16cf153"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

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.

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The Guardian: Tory right plans to give Sunak set
of demands if manifesto falls flat #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/UMcEbJpEED

&mdash; George Mann (@sgfmann) June 10, 2024

"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

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.)

","elementId":"850751db-7639-4806-83a2-eb807fbbfa97"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement","html":"

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:

","elementId":"93d0e400-1a04-4eed-9906-17b6a7c9729b"},{"_type":"model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.BlockquoteBlockElement","html":"

\n

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.

\n

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”.

\n

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” …

\n 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.

\n

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.

\n

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

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Here is the agenda for the day.

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

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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.

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

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If you want to contact me, please post a message below the line (BTL) or message me on X (Twitter). I can’t read all the messages BTL, but if you put “Andrew” in a message aimed at me, I am more likely to see it because I search for posts containing that word. If you want to flag something up urgently, it is best to use X; I’ll see something addressed to @AndrewSparrow very quickly. I find it very helpful when readers point out mistakes, even minor typos (no error is too small to correct). And I find your questions very interesting too. I can’t promise to reply to them all, but I will try to reply to as many as I can, either BTL or sometimes in the blog.

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Key events

Cabinet secretary Simon Case hints Tories could be doing more to uphold civil service impartiality in election campaign

Simon Case, the cabinet secretary, has urged the Conservative party, and all political parties, to protect the impartiality of the civil service during the election campaign.

He made the point in a letter to Richard Holden, the Conservative party chair, which could be read as an implied rebuke for the way the party has presented Treasury research into how much Labour policies might cost.

In the ITV debate last week Rishi Sunak said “independent Treasury officials who have costed Labour’s policies and they amount to a £2,000 pound tax rise for every working family”. The following day Labour released a letter from the permament secretary at the Treasury, James Bowler, written before the debate took place, saying ministers should not present the total figure they were using as the cost of Labour’s plans as an official Treasury number because it included costings not made by officials.

Labour said this provided Sunak was lying in the debate.

In an attempt to defend the PM, Holden wrote to Case asking him to confirm that some of the costings were produced by Treasury officials and that the Bowler letter did not say Sunak lied.

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For reference, the letter I sent the Cabinet Secretary pic.twitter.com/c0YDq3114m

&mdash; Rt Hon Richard Holden (@RicHolden) June 11, 2024

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It would have been surprising if the letter had said Sunak lied in the debate, because it was written before the debate took place. Labour’s contention is that it showed that Sunak had lied.

This morning Holden published the reply he received from Case.

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NEW: I have received a response from the Cabinet Secretary.

He has confirmed that 21 costings of Labour’s policies were produced by civil servants from HM Treasury and other relevant departments.

Contrary to Labour's claims he also confirmed that the letter from the Treasury… pic.twitter.com/qNnb5E9lPj

&mdash; Rt Hon Richard Holden (@RicHolden) June 11, 2024

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NEW: I have received a response from the Cabinet Secretary.

He has confirmed that 21 costings of Labour’s policies were produced by civil servants from HM Treasury and other relevant departments.

Contrary to Labour’s claims he also confirmed that the letter from the Treasury… pic.twitter.com/qNnb5E9lPj

— Rt Hon Richard Holden (@RicHolden) June 11, 2024

While Case is not directly critical in the letter, the tone implies some irritation at the fact he was being asked to confirm something obvious from a letter already in the public domain.

He confirms the Bowler letter did not mention Sunak by name – but he does not contest the Labour claim that it shows what Sunak was saying in the debate was untrue.

And Case suggests Holden and his colleagues could be doing more to uphold civil service impartiality. He says:

Upholding the impartiality of the civil service is a duty rightly shared by both the civil service itself and all political parties.

I would therefore be grateful for your ongoing assistance, and that of your counterparts in other parties, in protecting our impartiality during the election period.

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Updated at 10.17 BST

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

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.

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DAily Express: Up the workers! #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/bHcfx8DDBm

&mdash; George Mann (@sgfmann) June 10, 2024

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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.

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The Daily Telegraph: Sunak offers tax breaks to landlords #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/iGH4xyFqz4

&mdash; George Mann (@sgfmann) June 10, 2024

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The Times: Tories offer lower taxes and help for homebuyers #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/98to0YQhfS

&mdash; George Mann (@sgfmann) June 10, 2024

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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.

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The Guardian: Tory right plans to give Sunak set
of demands if manifesto falls flat #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/UMcEbJpEED

&mdash; George Mann (@sgfmann) June 10, 2024

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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.

Tory social media advertt Photograph: FT
Tory social media advert Photograph: FT

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.

If you want to contact me, please post a message below the line (BTL) or message me on X (Twitter). I can’t read all the messages BTL, but if you put “Andrew” in a message aimed at me, I am more likely to see it because I search for posts containing that word. If you want to flag something up urgently, it is best to use X; I’ll see something addressed to @AndrewSparrow very quickly. I find it very helpful when readers point out mistakes, even minor typos (no error is too small to correct). And I find your questions very interesting too. I can’t promise to reply to them all, but I will try to reply to as many as I can, either BTL or sometimes in the blog.

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Updated at 09.47 BST

The Guardian

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