General election latest: Starmer takes pop at Johnson hiding in fridge as he refuses to comment on Abbott row (2024)

Election news
  • Starmer launches 'battle bus' - and makes Johnson fridge gag
  • Sunak pledges £20m to 30 towns across UK
  • New poll suggests Tories will lose all but 66 seats
  • Watch: Teen asks Sunak 'why do you hate young people?'
  • Be in the audience for our election leaders event
  • Live reporting by Faith Ridler
Expert analysis
  • Beth Rigby:Starmer made an unforced error
  • Paul Kelso:How do Labour and Tory energy pledges measure up?
Election essentials
  • Trackers:Who's leading polls?|Is PM keeping promises?
  • Campaign Heritage:Memorable moments from elections gone by
  • 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


Politics at Jack and Sam's: The Day... Trump altered British politics

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

This is day nine of the campaign. Jack and Sam discuss Donald Trump's show-stealing convictions in the US, continued accusations of a purge of Labour's left, and how the parties will be preparing for next week's first TV debate.

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

Email Jack and Sam:


Catch up on the latest news from the campaign trail

It's 1pm - here's what you need to know this lunchtime.

Both Labour and the Conservatives have been out on the campaign trail, launching their "battle buses" for the rest of this six-week race.

Let us get you up to speed on everything you may have missed today…

  • Labour is in Uxbridge, west London, kicking off a 5,000-mile trip around the UK on their "battle bus", fronted by deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner;
  • Launching the bus, Sir Keir Starmer made a few digs at the Conservatives - and former prime minister Boris Johnson, who was an MP in Uxbridge - saying of the bus: "This one I'm reliably told has got a fridge at the back of it, so check that Boris Johnson isn't in there - he used to be around these parts";
  • The joke is in reference to the former prime minister hiding in a fridge as he tried to avoid a TV interview with Good Morning Britain;
  • Later, Sir Keir refused to comment on the row with Diane Abbott, avoiding even saying her name when asked about the situation around her candidacy.
  • Rishi Sunak is in the North East of England, where he too launched a campaign bus baring the slogan: "clear plan, bold action, secure future";
  • Ahead of his arrival, a soundtrack of indie and pop from the 2000s and 2010s played, includingMr Brightside by the Killers, and Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People, two US bands;
  • The Conservatives have also pledged to give £20m to 30 towns across the country - a move the Labour Party has branded a "reckless, unfunded commitment";
  • Science minister Andrew Griffith clarified today that this is a pledge of £600m - with £20m earmarked for each of the 30 towns identified by the party.
  • And Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey is taking a break from the campaign trail today to "be a dad", and look after his son John - who has special needs;
  • Despite this, the Lib Dem campaign continues, with Treasury spokeswoman Sarah Olney on a visit in Eastbourne;
  • Reform UK leader Richard Tice is in Skegness with honorary president Nigel Farage, and the pair have been spotted stopping for an ice-cream and chatting with locals.

Here are a couple of other stories that may interest you:

Our essential political podcast,Politics At Jack And Sam's, is going out every week day through the election campaign to bring a short burst of everything you need to know about the day ahead as this election unfolds.

Tap here to follow Politics At Jack At Sam's wherever you get your podcasts.

Stick with us for all the latest throughout the evening.


What is the pre-election period known as purdah?

Parliament was officially dissolved at midnight, which means we are now in a pre-election period known as purdah.

The term "purdah", which derives from Urdu and Persian and means "curtain", describes the period between the time an election is announced and the date the election is held.

It is a period of heightened sensitivity, when certain restrictions are in place on government activity.

Sky News and other broadcasters also have to ensure their coverage gives due weight to parties and candidates during the campaign period.

You can read more from Sky News below:


'There's only one poll that matters'

Next, Rishi Sunak is asked about a new poll which suggests Labour could have a 303-seat majority after the July general election.

He says the only poll that matters is "the one on 4 July - the general election".

"We're just over a week into this and what is clear is that we're the only ones that have a plan that is working when it comes to the economy," Mr Sunak adds.

"We're the only ones who are putting ideas on the table."

The prime minister reiterates that the Conservatives can deliver a better future - in "direct contrast" with the Labour Party.


PM urges Hamas to accept ceasefire deal

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has urged Hamas to accept a ceasefire proposal put forward by US President Joe Biden.

He said: "It's very welcome news and I hope Hamas take this opportunity to take this deal that is on the table, that would ensure hostages can be released and be back with their families.

"That we can flood Gaza with far more aid than has been getting in.

"And then use that pause in the fighting to build a sustainable and lasting peace."

You can read more about the situation in the Middle East in our blog here:


Reform UK may be winning the first TikTok election

If this is the first TikTok election, you might be surprised at who's winning.

On the youngest, buzziest social media platform, Reform UK - whose vote tends somewhat towards the elderly - has the most followers, 125,500, just ahead of Labour on 108,500.

But others are catching up fast - and how they're using it reveals a lot about a key digital battleground in this election, one of the few arenas where money doesn't buy you influence.

Because this is new territory. "It's worth noting that the three major parties are really new to the game," says Kate Dommett, professor of digital politics at the University of Sheffield.

No major party had much of a TikTok presence before the election was called. Now they're racing to build them on the fly.

Read more from our online campaign correspondent Tom Cheshire:


PM unveils 'battle bus' in north east

Rishi Sunak is in the North East of England, where he is launching the Conservative Party campaign bus - just hours after the Labour Party did the same.

He says it is "only the Conservatives" that deliver "economic stability", pointing to lower inflation and a bounce back from COVID.

"The choice is who do you trust to turn that foundation into a secure future," Mr Sunak says, adding the "only certainly" with Labour is they will "run out of money".

He says this is as clear as "night follows day".

The prime minister says the Tories are the party taking "bold action" on the likes of immigration, with the Rwanda plan.

"In every way Labour would make our country less safe, and less secure," he says.

Continuing his attacks on Labour, he says it is "clear" Angela Rayner is the true leader of the party.

He then turns back to what his party offers, saying that "uncertain times call for bold action".

Mr Sunak says he wants to build "a Britain where your hard work, everyone's hard work is rewarded, where the opportunities that were there for the previous generation are there for the next".


Former Tory MP to stand as independent and calls Sunak 'disastrous campaigner'

Former Tory MP Julian Knight has announced he will stand as an independent in the general election.

The MP for Solihull was suspended from the Conservative parliamentary party in December 2022 after it emerged he was being investigated by police over a claim of serious sexual assault.

Mr Knight has always maintained his innocence and on 2 April 2023, the Metropolitan Police dropped the investigation without questioning him.

But he remained suspended from the Tory parliamentary party as the chief whip, who organises the MPs, said "further complaints" had been made against him - allegations he rejects.

You can read more from Sky News below:


Be in the audience for our general election leaders event

On 12 June, Sky News will host an election leaders' event in Grimsby - a key marginal seat and one of our Target Towns this election year.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and the Conservative leader Rishi Sunak have been invited to attend, and we are looking for a live audience to join us on the night.

If you would like to be part of this studio audience, and be given the opportunity to ask a question to one of the party leaders, please complete the short questionnaire in this link.


Davey spending the weekend 'being a dad'

You may have been wondering where the Liberal Democrat leader is today, as the Conservatives and Labour launch their "battle buses" in quick succession.

He's just confirmed exactly what he's up to: "Being a dad."

General election latest: Starmer takes pop at Johnson hiding in fridge as he refuses to comment on Abbott row (2024)
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