Election latest: Audience shouts 'shame' as PM endures tough end to latest TV showdown (2024)

Election date betting scandal
  • PM 'incredibly angry' over election betting claims
  • Tory candidate facing probe 'considering legal action'
  • 'More names' to come out|Chart shows huge surge in bets
  • Catch-up:What we know so far about betting allegations
  • Live reporting by Samuel Osborne
Party leaders face voter questions
  • Sunak endures shouts of 'shame'
  • Starmer 'worried' about rise of far right in Europe
  • Lib Dem leader 'not proud' of everything coalition did
  • SNP's Swinney vows to keep on pursuing independence
Election essentials
  • Manifesto pledges:Alliance Party|Conservatives|Greens|Labour|Lib Dems|Plaid Cymru|Reform|SNP|Sinn Fein|Workers Party
  • 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|What counts as voter ID?|Check if your constituency is changing|Guide to election lingo|Sky's election night plans


It's been a busy evening in the Politics Hub.

We've had the prime minister enduring shouts of "shame" during a special edition of the BBC's Question Time, which also saw Sir Keir Starmer, John Swinney and Sir Ed Davey face audience questions.

Here are the main things you need to know this evening:

  • Rishi Sunakfaced shouts of "shame" when he attacked the European Convention on Human Rights as a "foreign court";
  • The prime minister said he was "incredibly angry" about allegations of betting on the date of the election;
  • Sir Keir Starmersaid he was "genuinely worried" about right-wing tendencies across Europe;
  • Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey confessed he was "not proud" of some of the things the party did during its time in coalition with the Conservatives;
  • And the SNP's John Swinney admitted he may have contributed to a politics of polarisation but said he will keep pursuing independence.
  • Before all of that, the Greens co-leader Adrian Ramsaytold Sophy Ridgehe rejected comparisons with Liz Truss for proposing to borrow COVID levels of money to fund his party's manifesto;
  • But back to the betting scandal engulfing the Conservative party...
  • Laura Saunders, the Tory candidatefacing a probe over allegedly betting on the timing of the election, has said she "will be cooperating with the Gambling Commission" investigation but is "considering legal action";
  • Ms Saunders is married toTony Lee- the Conservative director of campaigns - with reports that he as well faces a probe after going on leave from CCHQ;
  • The Gambling Commission has said it's considering launching an investigation into a "small number of people";
  • Sky News understands more names are set to emerge- this graph shows a huge surge in bets placed on the day before Mr Sunak made his announcement:
  • Elsewhere, Northern Ireland's Alliance Party has published its general election manifesto, featuring reform of Stormont's devolved structures as a key objective;
  • And the Scottish Greens have launched their manifesto too, outlining plans for a wealth tax on the richest people in the UK.


That's all for today

Thank you for following our political coverage throughout the day.

Please see our 10pm bulletin for the key points from an evening of tough questions for the leaders of the four major parties in the UK.

Join us again tomorrow from 7am for the latest updates.


Tory attack ad on Sadiq Khan removed after one day

By Megan Harwood-Baynes, digital investigations reporter

A Conservative attack ad featuring Sadiq Khan has been pulled from the party's platforms after just one day.

The advert, which ran across the Meta sites Facebook and Instagram, said: "Sadiq Khan wants to divide us", while warning voters "don't let Sadiq Khan win again".

It encouraged voters to vote for them and not Reform. It ran for one day on 19 June.

Mr Khan ran for mayor of London back in May, clinching a historic third term by a comfortable 276,000 votes over Tory rival Susan Hall. He is not running for election again on 4 July.

Sky News reached out to the Conservatives to ask why they were running an attack ad against Mr Khan - and why it had been taken down - they did not respond with a comment.

It comes as an exclusive poll for Sky News and YouGov shows the Conservative party is on track for a near wipeout, with Labour predicted to take 425 seats - including almost all in London. Reform are projected to return five MPs.

The online advert was viewed by up to 35,000 accounts, and cost the party up to £499 to run. The largest audience for it was over 45s.


Analysis: Shouts of 'shame' makes for a bad ending for Sunak

Rishi Sunak suddenly becomes animated when he's asked why he called the election for 4 July (see previous post).

He defends his campaign against Liz Truss and claims Labour's plans would be as damaging as hers.

We're getting some raw politics now from the PM with the inevitable tax attack on Labour. Apart from his tough words on Tory betting, it's the most punchy he's been in his half hour.

He's also punchy with a young questioner who says leaving the European Convention on Human Rights would be inhumane.

But he's unconvincing when Fiona Bruce asks why he calls the European court a "foreign court" when it was set up by countries including Britain and has a British judge.

And it gets worse. The audience shouts "shame!" when he attacks the "foreign court" again.

That sort of talk may play well with Tory activists and voters flirting with Reform UK, but it went down very badly here.

It was a bad ending for the PM at the end of his half-hour and the two-hour election programme.


Why did PM call the election early?

The prime minster says he called the election early because he felt he had delivered economic stability to the country.

Pressed on whether he is glad he called the election when he did, Mr Sunak says "it was the right moment" and he is glad.

In an attack on his predecessor, he claims what Sir Keir Starmer is promising "is the same fantasy that Liz Truss did".


Analysis: PM's strong betting response overshadows other answers

After his strong answer on the betting scandal, surprisingly Rishi Sunak struggles to answer Fiona Bruce's persistent questions on his national service proposals.

You'd think he'd have better prepared answers on a flagship election policy.

He’s also very dismissive of an audience member who says Brexit has been a disaster for young people.

Sounding irritated, he says those arguments were debated in 2016, and he's not going to over them again.

"I come from an NHS family," Mr Sunak then tells a questioner about NHS waiting lists.

Really? Never knew that. (At least we didn’t get "my father was a toolmaker" from Sir Keir this time.)

Like Sir Keir, Mr Sunak is facing detailed questions about issues like the NHS. More detail!

And surprisingly he hasn't attacked Labour on tax – yet!

He'll be pleased, though, that he was asked early on about the Tory betting scandal. He had a strong answer on that that will make headlines.

Not sure much else from Mr Sunak will, so far.


Sunak avoids engaging with criticism of national service policy

Mr Sunak has avoided engaging with criticism of the Tory's national service policy, suggesting it would be "politicising the armed forces during an election campaign".

Asked about comments from Lord West of Spithead, a former chief of the naval staff and Labour peer who reportedly called the policy "bonkers", the prime minister says: "Well it wouldn't be appropriate to start politicising the armed forces during an election campaign."

Mr Sunak insisted the military route was optional, despite the proposed national service scheme being compulsory.

But when asked what sanctions people could face for not taking part, Mr Sunak gave "access to finance" among other examples.

Asked if this meant taking away people's bank cards, he laughs and says: "There's lot of different models around Europe."


Sunak refuses to 'relitigate' Brexit debate

Mr Sunak is asked why Brexit has been mostly absent from the Conservatives' campaign so far.

"We had all these debates several years ago, I'm not going to relitigate them," the prime minister says.

"Our job now is to get on and make sure we realise all the benefits of that."

He gives the example of free ports as a benefit of Brexit and says it is how "we are attracting the investment and jobs".

He adds: "The choice of this election is about the future. We're not going to go back to Brexit. This is about the future…

"And actually, outside of the EU, we're able to do things that will drive more growth, create more jobs and allow me to cut more taxes."


Analysis: Tough talk from PM on betting scandal

The first two questions to Rishi Sunak are tough.

The first was about integrity in politics after the Tories' five prime ministers since 2010, the second about the betting scandal.

On betting, he says he's "incredibly angry" and if anyone has broken the law they should face the full force of the law.

And he adds: "I will ensure they will be booted out of the Conservative Party."

Tough talk. Let's see if it happens.


Sunak 'incredibly angry' over election betting allegations

Rishi Sunak is challenged on the fact two Conservative Party candidates and the Conservatives' director of campaigning are being investigated by the Gambling Commission over allegations of betting on the timing of the election.

An audience member asks if this is "the absolute epitome of the lack of ethics that we have had to tolerate from the Conservative party for years and years"?

The prime minister says: "I was incredibly angry to learn of these allegations. It is a really serious matter."

He continues: "I want to be crystal clear that if anyone has broken the rules, they should face the full force of the law."

Quizzed over why the candidates have not been suspended while the investigations take place, Mr Sunak says: "All I can say is, they are serious investigations. It's right they are done thoroughly, confidentially."

He says if anyone has broken the rules, he will "make sure they are booted out of the Conservative Party".

Election latest: Audience shouts 'shame' as PM endures tough end to latest TV showdown (2024)
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