Election latest: Deputy PM dismisses election threat from Reform; Farage says he 'doesn't want to know' racists (2024)

Key points
  • Deputy PM dismisses election threat from Reform
  • Has Labour chosen wealthy pensioners over children in poverty?
  • Sunak warns Starmer will cause 'irreversible damage' in 100 days
  • Farage says he 'doesn't want to know' racists
  • Reform drops three candidates over racism row
  • Rob Powell:With more coverage comes more scrutiny
  • Politics at Jack and Sam's:The last weekend
  • Live reporting by Faith Ridlerand Niamh Lynch
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Was PM wrong to say he had respect for Farage?

Rishi Sunak was asked if it was a mistake for him to say at the start of the campaign that he has respect for Nigel Farage.

It comes in the wake of controversy over racist comments about Mr Sunak made by a man alleging to be a Reform UK canvasser.

Mr Farage, the leader of Reform UK, claims he is an actor.

Asked about his respect for the politician, Mr Sunak says there are views of his "that he's been right to highlight".

"Where I agree with someone's policies, I'll happily say that."

However, Mr Sunak says again that the racist remarks made about him were "wrong".

"I was keen to call it out."

The prime minister is also asked: "When was the last time you were wrong?"

He jokes: "If you talk to my wife and daughters they would say on a regular basis."


PM insists UK is better place to live now compared with 2010

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has today insisted that the UK is now a better place to live in than it was when the Conservatives took office in 2010.

He told the BBC: "It's a better place to live than it was in 2010.

"Of course I understand that the last few years have been difficult for everyone."

He cited the pandemic and the war in Ukraine driving up energy bills, insisting "we are now on the right track".

It was put to him that the country has become poorer by many measures since 2010, and public services are worse.

"I just don't accept that," Mr Sunak replied, citing education and saying "our schoolchildren are now the best readers in the Western world".


'Proportional representation will be on next week's agenda', Campbell says

Former spokesperson for Tony Blair, Alistair Campbell, has speculated that "next week PR [proportional representation] will be on the agenda".

"Because if you have Labour getting a massive majority with fewer votes than [Jeremy] Corbyn, Lib Dems doing really well with fewer votes and Charles Kennedy, Nick Clegg, and Reform getting millions of votes but a few seats, people are going to go, 'oh, hold on a minute'," he says.

The UK has a first-past-the-post system, where the candidate who gets the most votes in a constituency wins - no matter the size of their vote percentage.

Proportional representation is a type of system in which the number of seats a party wins more closely corresponds with the percentage of the vote it won.

Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips has finished now, but we'll be continuing with our live politics coverage here.


SNP would pursue second independence referendum if faced with electoral losses, Swinney says

John Swinney also indicated his party would continue to press for a second referendum on Scottish independence even if they faced significant electoral losses.

"The issues that people are concerned about in Scotland today - the cost of living crisis, the cuts in public services and our public spending, the implications of Brexit - these are all decisions that were arrived at [in] Westminster," he said.

"If Scotland was an independent country, we could take a different course."

Mr Swinney also said that the economic consequences of Brexit amounted to "a very significant change in circ*mstances that I believe alone merits the right of the people of Scotland to decide their own future".

The SNP leader also acknowledged the party has had a "tough time" in recent months.

He said he "became first minister to essentially strengthen the party and to build a relationship with the electorate".

"We are building that trust as a unified and cohesive political party and it's unified and cohesive political parties that win elections."


Swinney: Scots have been 'disenfranchised' by timing of election

Next up with Trevor Phillips is John Swinney, the leader of the SNP.

Trevor begins by asking about the issue of postal ballots having not arrived before people in Scotland head off on their summer breaks.

School holidays have already started in large parts of Scotland.

Mr Swinney says this is a "serious issue".

"We've had significant reports of people who were planning to vote by post, who had applied properly for a postal vote before the deadline 19 June and those postal votes have not arrived with people.

"Some of them have now left the country, and they have been disenfranchised by the timing of the election, which is something I deeply regret."

The Scottish first minister says the situation is "illustrative" that there was "no thought" given to the fact the election would take place during Scottish school holidays.


Nigel Farage labels questions of sympathies to Putin as 'Russia hoax'

When asked about his alleged sympathies to Vladimir Putin by Trevor, Nigel Farage labels it as the "Russia hoax".

Instead he points to his previous predictions about the war in Ukraine.

"I understand why the Labour [and] Conservative Parties are worried. I was opposed to the Iraq War. I thought it was absolutely crazy to go into Libya. Ten years ago, I stood up in the European Parliament and I said, you are giving a dangerous man an excuse to give his people to go to war. I said there will be a war in Ukraine," he says, pointing his fingers.

"Can I be clear that Putin is a very, very dangerous and dangerously clever man. I abhor what he's done in Ukraine, totally and utterly. But I was far-sighted. I saw this coming," he says.

But Trevor accuses Mr Farage of answering his own questions rather than tackling what he's been asked.

He then asks whether there were Russian bots influencing the general election - something that Mr Farage emphatically dismisses.

"Did you ask him how many millions of pounds his party have taken from Russian sources over the course of the last few days?" Mr Farage asked instead.


Farage says he 'doesn't want to know' racists

Next up with Trevor Phillips is Reform UK leader Nigel Farage.

First, he is asked about racist comments made by Reform UK canvasser Andrew Parker, which Mr Farage claims was a set up.

But does the Reform UK leader have any proof?

Mr Farage claims that Mr Parker is an "actor" with an "alter-ego".

"I didn't know this was an act - it was an act from the start to the end," he claims. "He spent time with the two Channel 4 undercover reporters in the office... he then took canvassers out with Channel 4 in the car with him.

"He tried to get our canvassers to say nasty, racist things - which of course they did not. It was a deliberate attempt to derail our campaign."

Earlier this week, Channel 4 news aired 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.

Mr Farage claims this man was a "walking Alf Garnett, a character in the British sitcom Till Death Us Do Part".

Trevor then asks why people with extreme views appear to be attracted to Reform UK, and Mr Farage denies this is the case.

He says: "Anybody who has a racist point of view, I don't want to know."


Has Labour chosen wealthy pensioners over children in poverty?

The conversation with Pat McFadden now turns to child poverty, after former prime minister Gordon Brown yesterday called for action from Labour.

Trevor Phillips asks whether the party has already "made a choice" not to attack child poverty - and instead to satisfy older, wealthier pensioners.

Mr McFadden says: "I don't think the only way to tackle child poverty is through that single change.

"But there's a really important point in what you've raised. I could give you lots of challenges for the country. Child poverty is one.

"There are many others, and local authorities have very little money."

The Labour frontbencher goes on to "acknowledge the challenges facing us".

"The point is to begin. The point is to make a start," he says.


Would Labour owe an election win to Reform UK?

Now joining Trevor Phillips on Sky News is Pat McFadden, Labour's national campaign co-ordinator.

Trevor begins by suggesting that Labour would owe something to Nigel Farage and Reform UK if the party is to win a significant majority at Thursday's general election.

The Conservatives - who are 20 points behind Labour in the polls, with Reform UK closely behind - have lost a significant number of voters to Mr Farage's party.

But Mr McFadden insists the result is only in the hands of the voters.

"The power is in their hands," he says.

"There's a real chance for change. And I hope that people will show up. I hope they ignore these polls, to be honest."

Trevor presses on the matter, asking if there could be an issue with the legitimacy of a Labour government.

He asks: "Isn't there the potentially a problem that you become a government with essentially a poor mandate?"

Mr McFadden dismisses this idea. He says: "I think all this stuff about slicing and dicing the vote underestimates the credit due to Keir Starmer for changing the Labour Party and putting us in a position where this is even a possibility.

"Four or five years ago, a lot of people didn't think it was."


'It's very volatile' on the doorstep, Alistair Campbell says

This morning's panel are now discussing Oliver Dowden's interview and the wider campaign.

Former Number 10 communications directors Alistair Campbell and Sir Craig Oliver, as well as former Liberal Democrat adviser Daisy McAndrew, have shared their thoughts on data showing that the joint vote share of Labour and the Tories has sharply declined in recent years, after decades of it hovering above 75%.

Ms McAndrew says the figure is "manna from heaven" for the smaller parties.

She also said the figures are due to the public being "much more promiscuous with their vote".

"They're not sticking faithfully to how their father or mother voted," she says.

"It's also indicative of the chaos that there has been and people just saying, 'I don't want anything to do with those two."

Meanwhile, Alistair Campbell said that on the doorstep, "it's still very volatile out there".

"I knocked on hundreds of doors yesterday and I would say [they are voting] definitely more Labour than anything else without a doubt.

"[There were] lots of Lib Dems who were onto the fact that this is going to be a wasted vote. But then lots of people say 'I'm really confused. I really can't work it out'," he says.

Mr Campbell says the solution is to make the campaigns "about hope, optimism".

"You [have] got to give people a tune to whistle to as they walk to the polling station with real delight in saying, 'yes, I'm going to get rid of this terrible government, but I also want this government to come in'."

Election latest: Deputy PM dismisses election threat from Reform; Farage says he 'doesn't want to know' racists (2024)


Who funds the Reform Party? ›

Funding and structure

Since 2021, the party has options to become a member, rather than a supporter. Farage has said the party would largely be funded by small donations and that they raised "£750,000 in donations online, all in small sums of less than £500" in their first ten days.

Who is the leader of the Reform Party? ›

LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) - Nigel Farage, leader of Britain's right-wing Reform UK party, said his party was doing better than expected after a "tough" few days, as he addressed supporters at a rally with days to go before the country votes on July 4.

What does Reform UK want to do? ›

Restore law and order. Repair our broken public services. Cut taxes to make work pay. End government waste.

What party is Rishi Sunak? ›

Rishi Sunak (born 12 May 1980) is a British politician who has served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party since 2022. The first British Asian prime minister, he previously held two cabinet positions under Boris Johnson, latterly as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2020 to 2022.

What type of political party is the Reform Party? ›

The Reform Party of the United States of America (RPUSA), generally known as the Reform Party USA or the Reform Party, is a centrist political party in the United States, founded in 1995 by Ross Perot.

Who funds the Reform Think Tank? ›

The trust is funded by large donations from businesses and smaller donations from individuals. The Reform Research Trust publishes reports on a variety of issues, adopting what it considers to be an evidence-based approach to public policy.

Who made up majority of the reform movement? ›

Methodists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists and Baptists were among the most prominent in the reform movements. Often advocates called for conventions to draft resolutions to present to government officials and followed up with letter writing campaigns.

Who are democratic reformers? ›

Reform Democrats are generally associated with the good government traditions that arose out of the progressive movement of the early 20th century, and are usually, but not always, on the left wing of the Democratic Party.

Who started the reform movement? ›

The Reformation generally is recognized to have begun in 1517, when Martin Luther (1483–1546), a German monk and university professor, posted his ninety-five theses on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg. Luther argued that the church had to be reformed.

What does right wing mean in politics? ›

Generally, the left wing is characterized by an emphasis on "ideas such as freedom, equality, fraternity, rights, progress, reform and internationalism" while the right wing is characterized by an emphasis on "notions such as authority, hierarchy, order, duty, tradition, reaction and nationalism".

What does the reform group stand for? ›

The Tory Reform Group (TRG) is a pressure group associated with the British Conservative Party that works to promote "modern, progressive Conservatism... economic efficiency and social justice" and "a Conservatism that supports equality, diversity and civil liberties", values sometimes associated with Harold Macmillan' ...

Who led the reform movement in England? ›

Lord Grey. When the Tory government was ousted later in 1830, Earl Grey, a Whig, became Prime Minister and pledged to carry out parliamentary reform. The Whig Party was pro-reform and though two reform bills failed to be carried in Parliament, the third was successful and received Royal Assent in 1832.

What do conservatives stand for? ›

In most democracies, political conservatism seeks to uphold traditional family structures and social values. Religious conservatives typically oppose abortion, LGBT behaviour (or, in certain cases, identity), drug use, and sexual activity outside of marriage.

What are the beliefs of the Conservative Party? ›

Conservatism in the United States is based on a belief in individualism, traditionalism, republicanism, and limited federal governmental power in relation to U.S. states. It is one of two major political ideologies of the United States.

Is conservative left or right in the UK? ›

It is the current governing party, having won the 2019 general election, and has been the primary governing party in the United Kingdom since 2010. The party sits on the right-wing to centre-right of the political spectrum.

How did Richard Tice make his money? ›

A multi-millionaire, Tice was CEO of the real estate group CLS Holdings from 2010 to 2014, after which he became CEO of the property asset management group Quidnet Capital LLP.

When did the Reform Party merge? ›

The change of identity to "Canadian Alliance", and its eventual merger in 2003 with the Progressive Conservative Party to form the new Conservative Party of Canada, alienated some of the old Reform populists, who saw the merger as the final demise of the former Reform Party and the return of Tory indifference to ...

When was the Republican Party funded? ›

In 1854, the Republican Party was founded in the Northern United States by forces opposed to the expansion of slavery, ex-Whigs, and ex-Free Soilers. The Republican Party quickly became the principal opposition to the dominant Democratic Party and the briefly popular Know Nothing Party.

What party is Nigel Farage a member of? ›

In the past, Farage's various right-wing political vehicles — first the UK Independence Party (UKIP), then the Brexit Party and now Reform UK — have succeeded in pulling the Tories into uncomfortable positions.


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