Conservative manifesto latest: Sunak to abolish national insurance for self-employed

Rishi Sunak has vowed to cut national insurance by 2p and abolish stamp duty for some first-time buyers

Rishi Sunak has endured a torrid few days in the election campaign. (PA)
Rishi Sunak has endured a torrid few days in the election campaign. (PA)

Rishi Sunak has sought to bolster his election campaign by revealing his party's manifesto, with another 2p cut to National Insurance and a plan to abolish it for the self-employed.

The Conservative Party manifesto pledges Sunak would cut tax for workers by taking another 2p off employee National Insurance, adding he wants to abolish it "when financial conditions allow.” By 2027, the party says it will have halved National Insurance to 6%. It adds they want to cut taxes to support the self-employed by “abolishing the main rate of self-employed national insurance entirely” by the end of the next Parliament.

Other highlights include “cutting the cost of net zero"; signing more post-Brexit trade deals; funding 100,000 apprenticeships; bringing in mandatory national service; and banning students from using phones at school.

The manifesto has been met with a mixed reception, while many will welcome tax cuts Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said he had a “degree of scepticism” about the manifesto’s costings.

He said it contained: "Definite giveaways paid for by uncertain, unspecific and apparently victimless savings."

Yahoo News has ended its live coverage for the day, read below for a summary of all the news from the Conservative manifesto launch:

  • What you need to know about the Tory election manifesto

    Rishi Sunak pledged to halve immigration and unveiled a £17bn package of tax cuts as he fought to keep his place in Downing Street.

    With Labour’s poll lead remaining around 20 points, the Tory leader sought to get the party’s campaign back on track with the launch of his general election manifesto at the Silverstone motor racing circuit.

    He acknowledged people were “frustrated” with him and admitted the Tories “have not got everything right”.

    Read the full story from Yahoo News.

  • What you need to know about the Tory manifesto: Rwanda

    What they say: “The Conservatives are the only party with a plan to stop the boats and reduce the strain that illegal migration places on our communities and public services.”

    What it means: The manifesto promises, starting in July, a “regular rhythm” of deportation flights every month to Rwanda. This was a policy that was first announced by the Tories in April 2022 but has yet to come into effect.

    The manifesto also pledges to clear the asylum backlog, with all claims processed in six months and the use of hotels ended.

  • Reeves says Tory plans will lead to 'second mortgage bombshell'

    Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. 4th June 2024. Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar take part in a Q&A session discussing Labour’s economic plans with financial staff at RBS headquarters in Edinburgh.   Iain Masterton/Alamy Live News
    Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said Tory plans would leads to a second mortgage bombshell. (Alamy Live News)

    The Conservatives’ plans will lead to “a second Tory mortgage bombshell”, Rachel Reeves has said.

    Speaking at a central London press conference responding to the Tory manifesto, the shadow chancellor said: “The analysis that we have conducted since publication has identified £71 billion of unfunded commitments over the course of the next parliament.

    “The consequence of an increase in day-to-day borrowing to fund the commitments made in this manifesto would amount to a second Tory mortgage bombshell, because higher borrowing at this scale would force the Bank of England to increase interest rates.

    “The result would be an increase in the average mortgage totalling £4,800 over the course of the parliament.”

  • What you need to know about the Tory manifesto: Legal cap on migration

    What they say: “Immigration is too high [net migration was estimated to be at 672,000 in the year to June 2023, compared to 219,000 at the last general election]. We want to attract the brightest and best skilled migrants to the UK to contribute to our businesses and public services. We must bring migration numbers down to sustainable levels to reduce the impacts on public services and housing and to restore public confidence in the system.”

    What it means: The manifesto pledges a binding cap on legal migration based on work and family visas. It says this would fall every year over the course of the next Parliament and “cannot be breached”. There would also be an annual parliamentary vote on the level of the cap.

  • Labour responds to Sunak manifesto launch

  • What you need to know about the Tory manifesto: Child benefit

    What they say: “In April, we raised the threshold at which individuals begin to lose child benefit from £50,000 to £60,000 and halved the rate at which it is withdrawn. This is the right thing for families and the right thing for the economy. But it still isn’t fair that single earner households can start losing their child benefit when a household with two working parents and a much higher total income can keep it in full. We will end this unfairness by moving to a household rather than individual basis for child benefit.

    What it means: High earners would be able to keep more of their child benefit, with the high income child benefit tax charge threshold raised to £120,000 and charged to households rather than individuals. The Tories say this would benefit 700,000 families.

  • Tory manifesto 'fails to take bull by horns' says trade association

    Britain's Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader, Rishi Sunak, delivers a speech to launch the Conservatives' general election manifesto in Silverstone, England, on Tuesday June 11, 2024, in the build-up to the UK general election on July 4. (Benjamin Cremel, Pool Photo via AP)
    Conservative Party leader, Rishi Sunak, announced his manifesto today. (AP)

    A trade association which represents shopkeepers has said the Conservative Party manifesto “fails to take the bull by the horns”.

    Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium chief executive, said: “The Conservative manifesto highlights the need for a tax system that incentivises business to invest, yet does little to bring this about for the retail industry. With business rates now at a record high of 54.6p in the pound, the Conservative promise to ‘continue to ease the burden of business rates’ for businesses on the high street will ring hollow to many retailers.

    “Despite previous promises to reform the broken business rates system, we continue to see empty shops around the country that have fallen prey to sky high rates.

    “And while the full details of the proposals to offset high street business rates by raising rates for warehousing would need to be seen, it is hard to see it as a viable solution given the wide range of retailers that sell goods online as well as from stores.”

    On crime, Dickinson said: “The Conservatives have listened to the concerns of the retail industry, and we support the calls for new measures against those who assault retail workers. We hope this will take the form of the standalone offence that was part of the Criminal Justice Bill that unfortunately fell when the election was announced.”

    On apprenticeships, Dickinson said the Conservative Party’s ambition is “welcome” but called for a “wider skills levy that allows retailers to invest in vital training including pre-employment courses, short courses encompassing functional and digital skills, and other advanced courses that will meet the needs of a modern workforce”.

  • What you need to know about the Tory manifesto: Mandatory national service

    What they say: “We will reinvent national service for this century to give young people valuable life skills and build a stronger national culture.”

    What it means: National service would be compulsory for every 18-year-old. People would have two choices...

    Civic service: volunteering in the community for 25 days a year alongside work or study. The manifesto says roles could include special constable, NHS responder or RNLI volunteer.

    Military service: a year-long paid full-time placement in the armed forces or cyber defence.

  • What you need to know about the Tory manifesto: triple-lock plus

    What they say: "We will continue to do everything we can to provide pensioners with dignity in retirement and ensure the new state pension is not dragged into income tax for the first time in history."

    What it means: The Tories have pledged a policy, billed as the “triple lock plus”, which would see the threshold at which pensioners have to pay income tax rise - so that even if the state pension increases, it will never rise above the income tax threshold.

  • What you need to know about the Tory manifesto: house building

    What they say: "We will deliver a secure future for communities by giving more people a better chance of living where they would like – near their family, friends and job."

    What it means: The manifesto pledges 1.6 million homes will be built in England over the next five years.

    The Tories say a Sunak administration will achieve this with measures such as fast-tracking building on brownfield land in urban areas and abolishing "legacy EU nutrient neutrality rules".

    Meanwhile, the manifesto promises a new Help to Buy scheme which would provide first-time buyers with an equity loan of up to 20% towards the cost of a new build home.

  • What you need to know about the Tory manifesto: stamp duty

    What they say: "We will also take immediate steps to support more people onto the housing ladder. We will ensure the majority of first-time buyers pay no stamp duty at all, lowering the upfront costs of buying a first home.”

    What it means: In an offer to first-time buyers, the Conservatives have said they will abolish stamp duty up to the value of £425,000.

  • Sunak follows up manifesto launch with college visit

    The PM has met students at Silverstone University Technical College following his manifesto speech.

    He told one Year 12 student that the Conservatives were planning to create more apprenticeships, to which the student replied: “Good idea, Rishi.”

  • Labour compares Sunak to Truss over 'unfunded' pledges

    Pat McFadden, Labour’s national campaign co-ordinator, has compared Sunak to his predecessor Liz Truss - joint-architect of the disastrous 2022 mini budget - following the manifesto launch.

    “After 14 years in power, the prime minister’s desperate manifesto published today is stuffed full of unfunded spending commitments. The prime minister that was brought in to be the antidote to the chaos of Liz Truss has instead become the next instalment of the same thing."

    Meanwhile, Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said he had a “degree of scepticism” about the manifesto’s costings. The leading think tank boss said: “The Conservatives have promised some £17bn per year of tax cuts and a big hike in defence spending.

    “That is supposedly funded by reducing the projected welfare bill by £12bn; cracking down on tax avoidance and evasion; and saving billions from cutting civil service numbers, reducing spending on management consultants and ‘quango efficiencies’.

    “Those are definite giveaways paid for by uncertain, unspecific and apparently victimless savings. Forgive a degree of scepticism.”

  • Levelling up secretary Michael Gove taking in the manifesto earlier

  • What you need to know about the Tory manifesto: tax

    What they say: “A future where hard work and doing the right thing is always rewarded, not punished with higher taxes.”

    What it means: Sunak is promising a further 2p cut to national insurance.

    It builds on successive 2p cuts at the autumn statement and spring budget. That means a 6% cut to national insurance by April 2027 under a Sunak administration. It’s a key aspect of the Tories’ “long-term ambition" to eventually scrap national insurance.

    For the self-employed, meanwhile, the main rate of national insurance would be abolished by the end of the next Parliament, according to the manifesto.

    The document also promises no increases to income tax or VAT.

  • Sunak claims manifesto is 'bold action'

    Asked if the manifesto was bold enough, Rishi Sunak referred to the Conservative national service plan, saying “no-one can deny that it’s not bold action”.

    He said: “Either Keir Starmer or I are going to be prime minister on July 5. If I am prime minister, you will have this bold action, all you’ve got from the Labour Party is a blank sheet of paper.

    “Not a single big idea has been put on the table in this election campaign so far. The first announcement we made, a new form of national service … has completely energised conversations everywhere across the country.

    “Yes, not everyone will necessarily agree with it, but no-one can deny that it’s not bold action that can transform our country, and I think transform our country for the better. Nothing comparable to that from the Labour Party.

    “So, as people think about the choice, yes, of course, there are challenges we face as a country, but they should ask themselves, who has the solutions to those? Who is going to do things that are going to actually deliver the change that you want to see?

    “The only thing that is certain about Keir Starmer and the Labour Party is they’re going to put up everyone’s taxes, and they’re going to put them up by £2,000, and I’m going to fight very hard until the very last day of this election campaign so that that doesn’t happen.”

  • Sunak refuses to give number on Rwanda flights

    Taking a question about a “regular rhythm” of Rwanda scheme flights every month, promised in the Conservative Party manifesto, the prime minister declined to put a number on how many flights would take off.

    Sunak said: “We’ve deliberately not (put a number on departing flights) because we don’t want to compromise operational security, but I’ve been very clear that it’s not just about one flight. You do need a regular rhythm of flights because you need to build that deterrent.

    “What I can tell you is that the airfield is on stand-by, illegal migrants have already been detained, escorts have been trained, the flights have been booked, the caseworkers are already working through it, so all the plans are in place, so that if I’m re-elected as prime minister, if we are in government, those flights will go to Rwanda and we can build that deterrent.”

    Sunak added: “Just saying ‘smash the gangs’, ‘smash the gangs’ is not a plan – a slogan is not a plan. You need to have something to do with illegal migrants. We’ve got a plan, he (Keir Starmer) doesn’t and that means the situation will just get worse.”

  • PM says Labour will 'change the rules' if they win - despite the Tories changing several voting rules

  • Sunak says public sector efficiency will prevent cuts to public services

    Rishi Sunak has said recovering efficiency in the public sector will save enough to prevent billions of pounds of cuts to public services.

    He said: “Under our plans, investment in day-to-day public services will continue to rise in a new parliament, it will continue to rise ahead of inflation, but I also think it is reasonable to look for efficiencies in the public sector, and what we’ve seen is that public sector productivity since the pandemic has declined, has declined quite significantly.

    “Now as the chancellor set out a little while ago, if we just recover those levels of efficiency that we had a few years ago, so nothing heroic, nothing we haven’t done before, that would free up £20 billion. £20 billion that can be reinvested in public services on everyone’s behalf without raising a penny of their taxes.

    “So, I think that’s the right priority, recover where we used to be before the pandemic, focus on efficiency and productivity, and you can see that in the NHS productivity plan that we’ve fully funded.

    “If we do that, that unlocks billions of pounds that we can reinvest back into the front line, to deliver better high-quality services to people, because of course I want to see high-quality services, but as a Conservative, I also don’t want people’s taxes to have to go up when we can get efficiencies to fund them.”

  • Lib Dems dismiss Tory manifesto pledges

    London, UK. 07 Jun 2024. Daisy Cooper - Deputy Leader of Liberal Democrats and Health and Social Care Secretary arrives at BBC Broadcasting House for the first election debate. Credit: Justin Ng/Alamy Live News
    Daisy Cooper said the Tory manifesto wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. (Alamy)

    The Tory manifesto “isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on,” the Liberal Democrats have said.

    Deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: “Rishi Sunak got one thing right in this speech: people are frustrated with him and the Conservative Party. This manifesto isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. No one will believe anything they’re promising today.

    “From his D-Day disservice to a Formula One flop, Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives have packed their campaign with desperation and lies.

    “After years of taking people for granted, the Conservatives have overseen crumbling hospitals, sewage scandals and a cost-of-living crisis like no other. It’s time for a change.

    “Frankly, it’s astonishing that they managed to sit politely in a room and agree with each other for long enough to publish something.”

  • Sunak asked about levelling up

    A journalist asked Rishi Sunak whether, as someone who represents a northern seat (Richmond in Yorkshire), he felt he had let down the areas the 2019 administration promised to “level up”... and if there was a reckoning coming?

    Sunak mocked the question, commenting “I don’t know if you were here before…”, pointing to the warm-up speech given by Tory Tees Valley mayor Lord (Ben) Houchen.

    “Teesside was an area Labour neglected, for decades. Took it completely for granted," he said. “If you go round Teesside now, every high street is getting investment from our various levelling up funds.”

    He says the Tories have given people in Teesside “optimism and confidence” about their futures.

  • Tories say there has been 'unsustainable rise' in benefit claims

    The Conservative Party manifesto said it wants to “address the unsustainable rise” in benefit claims for people of working age with a disability or health condition.

    This includes changes to personal independence payment (PIP) assessments to “provide a more objective consideration of people’s needs and stop the number of claims from rising unsustainably”.

    Their plans also aim to “tighten up how the benefits system assesses capability for work” and “overhaul the fit note process so that people are not being signed off sick as a default”.

    Other proposals include: “Introduce tougher sanctions rules so people who refuse to take up suitable jobs after 12 months on benefits can have their cases closed and their benefits removed entirely.”

    In the section “leadership in the world”, the manifesto states: “Our highest priority remains protecting the British homeland, Crown dependencies and overseas territories from risks and threats.

    “As part of that, we continue to ensure the democratic rights of people in Gibraltar, the Falklands and all our overseas territories are protected.”

  • Sunak admits 'people are frustrated with me'

    Rishi Sunak said he is not “blind to the fact that people are frustrated with our party and frustrated with me” and “we have not got everything right” as he launched the Tory manifesto, but insisted his is the only party “with the big ideas to make our country a better place to live”.

  • Sunak snubs Braverman in manifesto speech

    Rishi Sunak snubbed former home secretary Suella Braverman, skipping her out as he listed the work done by people in the role.

  • Transport pledges

    The Conservative Party manifesto details a series of transport pledges, including £8.3 billion to “fill potholes and resurface roads” and boosting Midlands rail connectivity with £1.75 billion to fund the “Midlands Rail hub in full”.

    Railway upgrades in the South West, including the line through Dawlish, the energy coastline in Cumbria and the Ely Junction scheme in East Anglia are also among the measures listed.

    Public spending on research and development would be increased to £22 billion a year in the next Parliament, the Conservatives said.

  • No stamp duty for first-time buyers on homes up to £425,000

    Rishi Sunak said stamp duty would be scrapped for first-time buyers on homes under £425,000.

    “We Conservatives believe in tax cuts. So for young families, for the first-time buyers purchasing a home up to £425,000, we will abolish stamp duty entirely," he said.

    “We will also introduce a new form of Help to Buy to get a new generation onto the property ladder. All part of our plan to build an ownership society where more and more people have the security and pride that comes from owning your own home.

    “From Macmillan to Thatcher to today, it is we Conservatives who are the party of the property-owning democracy in this country.”

  • Sunak says plan is for people to get financial security

    Sunak, launching the tory manifesto, said: “We Conservatives also have a plan to give you financial security. We will enable working people to keep more of the money you earn because you have earned it and have the right to choose what you spend it on.

    "Keir Starmer takes a very different view. He says he’s a socialist, and we all know what socialists do, don’t we? They take more of your money because they think it belongs to them.”

    He repeated the disputed claim that Labour’s policies would require a £2,000 hike in taxes.

    “My friends, families cannot afford that and it is our job to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

  • Tories to cut funding for 'rip-off degrees' and pay for more apprenticeships

    Rishi Sunak said the Conservative Party would cut funding for "rip-off degrees" and fund new apprenticeships.

    He also reiterated plans for national service, which said would leave people secure in the know that "we are all on the same side."

  • Brad Pitt gets two mentions in manifesto launch

    Actor Brad Pitt attends the premiere of the movie 'Babylon' in London, Britain, January 12, 2023. REUTERS/Toby Melville
    Rishi Sunak appears to be a big fan of Brad Pitt. (Reuters)

    Brad Pitt was an unexpected feature of the Conservative Party manifesto launch. Rishi Sunak said early in his speech that Pitt wasn't attending the launch at Silverstone, but added: "Brad Pitt is currently filming outside with a great British crew".

    He later quoted from the film Fight Club, saying that the Labour Party was taking its inspiration from a Brad Pitt film by saying the first rule of Labour was not to talk about tax cuts.

  • Manifesto 'is our clear plan for the UK' says Sunak

    Laying out the Conservative manifesto, Rishi Sunak said: “The last few years have been some of the toughest our country has faced in decades. We were hit by COVID, and then the spike in energy prices following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

    "But economic stability is now returning. Inflation back to normal. Real wages have been rising for almost a year now and the economy growing healthily again. So the question now is, who is best to turn that foundation into a secure future for you, your family and our country? This manifesto is our clear plan for the UK.”

  • Sunak says he will always choose UK security over foreign jurisdiction

    Rishi Sunak said Rwanda flights will depart in July if the Tories are in power. (PA)
    Rishi Sunak said Rwanda flights will depart in July if the Tories are in power. (PA)

    Rishi Sunak said he would 'always choose" UK security over foreign jurisdiction, pledging that Rwanda flights would depart in July if the Conservatives are elected.

    "If we are forced to choose between our security and the jurisdiction of a foreign court, even the ECHR, we will always choose our nation's security," Sunak said.

    He pledged that a Conservative government would “halve migration as we have halved inflation and then reduce it every single year” as he set out the party’s manifesto.

  • Parents must see what their children are being taught, Tories say

    For young people, the Tory manifesto outlines the plans for mandatory national service, funding 100,000 “high-quality” apprenticeships” and protecting children by “requiring schools to ban the use of mobile phones during the school day”.

    It adds parents must also see what their children are being taught “especially on sensitive matters like sex education.”

  • Manifesto pledges 2p national insurance cut

    The Conservatives’ manifesto commits to a further 2p national insurance reduction, to 6%, as part of a drive to eliminate the employee rate altogether.

    The Conservative Party manifesto pledges to “cut tax for workers by taking another 2p off employee national insurance”, adding: “The next step in our long-term ambition (is) to end the double tax on work when financial conditions allow.”

    It adds they want to cut taxes to support the self-employed by “abolishing the main rate of self-employed national insurance entirely” by the end of the next Parliament.

  • Questions over Ben Houchon as choice to introduce Rishi Sunak

  • Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchon introduces Sunak

    Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchon, introducing the prime minister, said Rishi Sunak "delivered for people" during COVID and had delivered for Teeside.

    He said the manifesto would be an extension of this, and said Sunak was a man who "works hard, cares... and is the man who can deliver."

  • Keegan says apprenticeships invest in future

    Education secretary Gillian Keegan, kicking things off before Rishi Sunak delivers his manifesto, has said the Conservatives are investing in apprenticeships and have a clear plan for the future.

  • No biscuits at Tory manifesto launch

  • Sunak set to launch manifesto

    Rishi Sunak (pictured with his wife Akshata Murthy) is to announce the Tory manifesto shortly. (PA)
    Rishi Sunak (pictured with his wife Akshata Murthy) is to announce the Tory manifesto shortly. (PA)

    Rishi Sunak is to take to the stage shortly to announce his manifesto.

  • Tories will be 'toast' after 'disaster' campaign, Stephen Flynn predicts

    Stephen Flynn of the SNP, arrives to take part in the BBC Election Debate hosted by BBC news presenter Mishal Husain, at BBC Broadcasting House in London, ahead of the General Election on July 4. Picture date: Friday June 7, 2024.
    The SNP's Stephen Flynn has said the Tories will be 'toast'. (Alamy)

    The Tories will be “toast” in the General Election after a “complete disaster” of a campaign, SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn has predicted.

    Flynn said that Douglas Ross’s decision to quit as Scottish Conservative leader after polling day on July 4 was the “icing on the cake” for the party.

    Describing the election as “an opportunity for Scotland to do its bit in getting the Tories out”, Flynn said the SNP would be campaigning “every day” to defeat the Conservatives in the Scottish seats they hold.

    Read the full story from The National.

  • Reform's Nigel Farage brands Tory manifesto 'lies'

    Asked about the Tory manifesto launch, Reform UK leader Nigel Farage said: “I’m sorry to use this word – more lies, more lies.

    “In 2010, 2015, 2017, 2019, they told us they would reduce immigration and they’ll be saying the same thing today.

    “They’re also saying today they’re going to reduce tax.

    “Well, hang on. The tax burden has now risen. It’s the highest it’s been since 1948.”

    Speaking on the party bus on the way to a campaign event in South Yorkshire, he said: “I don’t believe a single word that they say and I think, increasingly, nor does the country.

    “The funny thing is that, with (Sir) Keir Starmer, I literally still have no idea what he believes in.”

    Asked about prime minister Rishi Sunak’s D-Day troubles, Farage said: “If it wasn’t a General Election, he’d been gone by now.”

  • Starmer says Tories have put forward a 'Jeremy Corbyn-style' manifesto

    FILE PHOTO: British opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer visits the Historic Dockyards in Portsmouth, Britain June 5, 2024. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/File Photo
    Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said the Conservatives' manifesto was full of uncosted promises. (Reuters)

    Sir Keir Starmer has accused the Conservatives of putting forward a “Jeremy Corbyn-style manifesto” full of uncosted promises.

    Asked about Tory claims a Labour government would hike taxes during a campaign visit to the Whale Hill Primary School in Middlesbrough, the Labour leader told broadcasters: “We have been absolutely clear that all our plans are fully costed and funded.

    “We will not be increasing income tax, national insurance or VAT, so no tax increases for working people. None of our plans require tax rises.

    “But this is coming from the party that put tax to the highest level for 70 years and they’re building this sort of Jeremy Corbyn-style manifesto where anything you want can go in it. None of it is costed. It’s a recipe for more of the same.

    “That’s why this choice of turn our back on this, turn the page and rebuild with Labour is so important.”

  • What does National Insurance pay for? How the Tory manifesto tax cut would work

    The Conservatives have pledged to cut National Insurance (NI) for the third time in the space of a year, saving the average worker £449 a year.

    Rishi Sunak’s bold proposal, which will be to the benefit of 27 million households, comes as his party desperately tries to close the wide gap in the polls to Labour.

    The pledge – to be officially announced in Tuesday’s manifesto launch – comes after the employee rate of NI was reduced from 12pc to 10pc last autumn and then to 8pc in spring. The next plan cut would mean it falls to 6pc.

    Read the full story from The Telegraph.

  • Who is Mel Stride - the unlikely poster boy of the Tory election campaign?

    London, UK. 9th June, 2024. Mel Stride, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, at the BBC for Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg. Credit: Mark Thomas/Alamy Live News
    Mel Stride, secretary of state for work and pensions, has been doing the media rounds. (Alamy)

    Cabinet minister Mel Stride has been “doing the heavy lifting” for the Tories as he completed a fourth media round in two weeks.

    The Work and Pensions Secretary seems to have become “the trusted voice of the Conservative party”, being regularly sent to be grilled by broadcasters.

    The Conservative candidate for Central Devon has already spoken to interviewers on May 28, May 31, June 6 as well as on Tuesday, making him one of the most visible Tory candidates ahead of the July 4 poll.

    Read the full story from The Telegraph.

  • Mel Stride says Tories have 'very clear plan' for the economy

  • OPINION - This is what should be in the Labour and Conservative party manifestos

    Predictably, the general election seems to have got stuck in men-shouting-at-each-other mode, rather than any concrete ideas on policy, writes Victoria Moss for the Evening Standard.

    The poor old fashion industry, so often overlooked in spite of its not insubstantial contributions — ie, the £28.9 billion it adds to the UK economy — could certainly do with some manifesto promises.

    Read the full story from the Evening Standard.

  • Sunak to unveil tax-cutting manifesto

    British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will promise voters "financial security" and tax cuts when he unveils his Conservative party manifesto on Tuesday, following a disastrous week that even led to rumours he might quit.

    "We Conservatives have a plan to give you financial security," he will say, according to extracts of his speech released in advance.

    "We will enable working people to keep more of the money you earn because you have earned it and have the right to choose what to spend it on," the speech added.

    Read the full story from AFP.

  • Tories promising 'big, bold interventions' on homes, says Mel Stride

    Mel Stride said the Conservatives were promising “big, bold interventions” to help people buy their first home.

    The work and pensions secretary defended the Conservatives’ plans when asked by BBC Radio 4’s Today programme if the party was offering enough to young people to help them with housing.

    Stride replied: “What we are going to be doing is extending the £425,000 threshold below which as a property purchase price first-time buyers will pay no stamp duty whatsoever.

    “We will also be providing help to buy which will mean government equity loans going into properties, up to 20% of their value for first-time buyers, and a requirement just to find a 5% deposit to get on the property ladder because what we know is that many people, young people included, can afford mortgages but struggle to find that deposit.

    “These are big, bold interventions to help the very people that you are referring to.”

  • Rishi Sunak admits it is ‘harder’ to buy a house under Tories

    British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak attends an interview with Nick Robinson, in London, Britain June 10, 2024. Jeff Overs/BBC/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. NOT FOR USE MORE THAN 21 DAYS AFTER ISSUE. MANDATORY CREDIT.
    British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pictured at an interview with Nick Robinson, in London. (Jeff Overs/BBC/Handout via Reuters)

    Rishi Sunak has admitted it has become harder for people to buy their first home under the Conservatives.

    Speaking to Nick Robinson as part of the BBC’s Panorama interviews, the prime minister pledged to “make sure that we support young people in to great jobs so they can save for that deposit.”

    Read the full story from The Independent.

  • Rishi Sunak tax-cutting manifesto one of last chances for Tory election lift-off after D-Day blunder

    Rishi Sunak faces a crunch day on Tuesday as he launches the Conservative Party manifesto pledging help for first-time buyers and tax cuts.

    The Prime Minister will be pinning his hopes on the launch finally igniting his election campaign after his D-Day blunder.

    His offer will include a 100% relief on capital gains tax liability for landlords who sell to their existing tenants, claiming the move will be "transformational".

    Read the full story from the Evening Standard.