General Election 2024 – live: UK Reform two points behind Tories as Dorries says party will split in days

Reform UK is ramping up its general election campaign pulling to two points behind the Tories in a shocking YouGov poll.

The latest poll taken just before the ITV debate has Labor leading the race on 40%, the Tories on 19%, Reform UK on 17%, the Liberal Democrats on 10% and the Greens on 7% .

Nigel Farage could wrest as many as four seats from the Conservatives just days after making a shocking comeback as a candidate for Clacton.

Former cabinet minister Nadine Dorries is convinced that reform will go further and take the Tories out of the polls this weekend.

But the Tories are not so convinced. Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride has said the seats won by Reform “will not happen” and claimed a vote for Farage is a vote for Labour.

If Rishi Sunak was not enough of a nightmare, he is being investigated by the United Kingdom’s official statistics regulator for claiming that Labor will raise family taxes by £2,000. But it seems that the Conservatives are stubbornly clinging to the accusations of doubling down on the demands.

Main points

  • Sunak accepted a £5m donation from Frank Hester

  • Farage could win four seats, according to a YouGov poll

  • Labor challenges Tories ahead of TV debate to demand over £2,000

  • Seats with the smallest gap to be closed by Restoration

  • Tory minister ‘not worried’ about Reform UK threat

  • Tories say Reform has won no seats despite a two-point gap

Lib Dems sued by former ousted candidate ‘because he is a Christian’

09:05 , Salma Ouaguira

Lib Dems sued by former ousted candidate ‘because he is a Christian’

Breaking: Douglas Ross to stand as Tory candidate

09:03 , Salma Ouaguira

The Scottish Conservative leader is replacing former Scottish office minister David Duguid as candidate for North Aberdeenshire and East Moray.

According to the Scottish Conservatives Mr Duguid was deselected due to health reasons.

Mr Ross was set to stand down from Westminster to focus on the 2026 Holyrood election campaign.

    (PA Wire)    (PA Wire)

(PA Wire)

The Tories promise to reform the homicide laws

08:58 , Salma Ouaguira

The Conservatives will promise tougher sentences for murderers and domestic abusers under a proposed overhaul of homicide laws.

The minimum sentence for murders that occur in the home will be increased from 15 years to 25 years under the party’s proposals.

The move comes as Rishi Sunak tries to change the law on homicide after the horrific stabbing in Nottingham last June which killed Barnaby Webber, Grace O’Malley-Kumar and Ian Coates.

Valdo Calocane’s victims said the proposals would be a “seismic, important change” for homicide classes like the US.

The party’s proposals would result in a US serial system for first and second degree murder.

Elections are won from the middle of the country, suggests Jeremy Hunt

08:52 , Salma Ouaguira

Elections are won from the centre, Jeremy Hunt has said, amid Tory concerns that Reform UK will take voters from the right of the party.

Mr Hunt’s warning against a move to the right comes after Nigel Farage announced he would be standing as a Reform candidate in the General Election.

In an interview with the Guardian, the Chancellor admitted that it would be “very difficult” for the Conservatives to win on July 4.

He told the newspaper: “Britain’s evidence is that elections are always won from the center and I think it will always be a two-party system.”

He added that the Conservative Party will “always be a broad church” which is “a good thing”.

You can read The Independent’s full story here

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt warned against a shift to the right (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)Chancellor Jeremy Hunt warned against a shift to the right (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt warned against a shift to the right (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)

Labor drops lawsuit against five ex-staffers

08:34 , Salma Ouaguira

The party has dropped a lawsuit against five former employees accused of leaking a report about the handling of anti-Semitism complaints about Jeremy Corbyn.

They include the leader’s former communications director James Milne and former chief of staff Karie Murphy.

A statement from their lawyers Carter-Ruck said: “The party is withdrawing its legal claim against Karie Murphy, James Milne, Georgie Robertson, Harry Hayball and Laura Murray on a ‘no order as to costs’ basis.

“The five welcome the resolution of the claims.”

Abbott Sunak discusses accepting a £5m donation from Frank Hester

08:20 , Salma Ouaguira

The Tories have taken an extra £5m from Frank Hester, who was involved in a row over comments he allegedly made about Diane Abbott.

The businessman is said to have told staff in 2019 that Mr Abbott made him “want to hate all black women” and “should be shot”.

In March, Rishi Sunak admitted that Mr Hester’s claims were “wrong and racist” but expressed “remorse” and his apology should be accepted.

But Ms Abbott has now criticized the Prime Minister for accepting the huge sum labeling the move “an insult to me and all black women”.

Tories say Reform has won no seats

08:15 , Salma Ouaguira

Mel Stride has said that Reform UK winning no seats in the general election is “not going to happen”.

The Work and Pensions Secretary told Sky News: “A vote for Reform is a vote for the Labor Party. Any audience must know that Reform is not going to win seats in the electoral system for the first time.

“It won’t happen. This is, in my opinion, the eighth time for Nigel Farage for example to stand for parliament and each time he has failed.”

Tory minister ‘not worried’ about Reform UK threat

08:09 , Salma Ouaguira

Economic secretary to the Treasury Bim Afolami has said he is not worried about the electoral threat posed by Reform UK in a YouGov poll.

Despite being only two points ahead of Nigel Farage’s party, he says they “don’t have a policy” to convince voters.

He told Sky News: “Honestly? I’m not particularly worried about the Restoration. Should I tell you why? I’m not worried about the Reform because they don’t have a plan to reform anything.”

He added: “It’s easy to shout from the sidelines, if you’re Nigel Farage or anyone else, shout and say ‘all the parties, all the establishment parties, they’re rubbish’.

“It’s easy to do that. They haven’t laid out a plan for anything. In fact, at least in the Ukip era, they had a policy. These guys don’t even have a policy.”

    (Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)    (Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)

(Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire)

Mel Stride argues polls can change ‘very quickly’

08:02 , Salma Ouaguira

The Work and Pensions Secretary is convinced that poll numbers can still swing in the Tories’ favour.

A YouGov poll yesterday shockingly revealed that Reform UK would be two points behind the Conservatives.

But the Tory minister has said the race is not over yet and that polls can change “very quickly”.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: “We have four weeks until the general election and the general election is the only poll that matters.

“You would have laughed when Theresa May was way ahead in those polls at this stage of the election and it changed very quickly. The most important polling is what happens on election day.”

08:00 , Salma Ouaguira

Mel Stride: Labor embracing the Ming Vase strategy

07:35 , Salma Ouaguira

During this morning’s media briefing, Tory Minister Mel Stride accused Labor of adopting a “Ming Vase strategy” during the general election.

The Work and Pensions Secretary said the party is refusing to say anything to defend its poll results.

He told Times Radio: “There is a total black hole of £38.5 billion [in Labour’s plans]. They have ruled out tax increases on income tax, National Insurance, after pressure from our press department they have finally scrapped increases in VAT, which then begs the question where are they going to get that kind of money because that is a huge sum. , what taxes will they incur?

“I have my doubts about that but we will continue to ask those terrible questions that Labor has because they cannot continue through this election with this Ming Vase strategy without telling us what they stand for, without having a plan at them.

“The British people deserve better than that.”

    (PA Wire)    (PA Wire)

(PA Wire)

Week 2 General Election Campaign

07:21 , Salma Ouaguira

The election campaign trail has reached a climax. Reform UK changed the game for the Tories and pulled a shocking two points behind them in the latest poll.

We are expecting members of the Conservative Party to give us their views on the results.

But here are other events taking place today as well:

The times Farage tried and failed to become an MP

07:00 , Salma Ouaguira

It was a chaotic day for Nigel Farage at his campaign rally on Tuesday – as fans turned out to show their support for the new Reform Party leader before being enveloped in riot gear by protesters, Matt Mathers reports.

After repeatedly saying he would not run – and declaring that the US presidential contest was more important than the UK election – Mr Farage will try to win a seat in the House of Commons, this time in Clacton -on-Sea, Essex.

  • Eastleigh by-election (1994)

  • Bexhill and Battle general election (2001)

  • Thanet South general election (2005)

  • Bromley and Chislehurst by-election (2006)

  • Buckingham general election (2010)

  • Thanet South general election (2015)

    (Getty Images)    (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

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