Politics latest: Keir Starmer accused of 'rank hypocrisy' by Rishi Sunak after setting out what he'll do to tackle small boat crossings (2024)

Key points
  • Starmer says small boat crossings 'one of the greatest challenges we face'
  • Explained: What's in Labour's plan to try and tackle problem
  • Darren McCaffrey: Will Labour's plan cut it with voters?
  • Starmer says no flights to Rwanda will take off under Labour
  • Sunak accuses Starmer of 'rank hypocrisy'
  • Electoral Dysfunction:Jess Phillips says Elphicke defection like 'being punched in gut'
  • UKexits recession | Economy 'returning to full health'
  • Faultlines: Can British farming survive?
  • Live reporting by Tim Baker


Faultlines: Can British farming survive?

Across the UK, anger is brewingamongst some farmers.

Protests have already been held in London, Dover and Cardiff, with more planned- mirroring similar tensions seen across Europe in the last six months.

They say they’re annoyed about cheap foreign importsand changes to subsidies forcing them to give up land in favourof environmental schemes.

But what does this mean for the food on our table - and does British producerisk becoming a luxury product for the wealthy only?

On the Sky News Daily, Niall Paterson is joined by West of England and Wales correspondent Dan Whitehead to find out why farmers are so concerned, and speaks to Liz Webster, the founder of Save British Farming, about why she believes eating British isn'tjust goodfor our farmers - it'sgood for the nation's health, too.

In response to our report, Farming Minister Mark Spencer, said: "We firmly back our farmers. British farming is at the heart of British trade, and we put agriculture at the forefront of any deals we negotiate, prioritising new export opportunities, protecting UK food standards and removing market access barriers.

"We've maintained the £2.4bn annual farming budget and recently set out the biggest ever package of grants which supports farmers to produce food profitably and sustainably."

The Welsh government said: "A successful future for Welsh farming should combine the best of our traditional farming alongside cutting-edge innovation and diversification.

"It will produce the very best of Welsh food to the highest standards, while safeguarding our precious environment and addressing the urgent call of the climate and nature emergencies."

👉Listen above then tap here to follow the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts👈


'A punch in the gut': The defection of Natalie Elphicke

Following the defection of the Dover and Deal MP Natalie Elphicke to Labour, Beth, Ruth and Jess discuss the surprise move and whether it could have been handled differently by Sir Keir Starmer.

They also talk about Beth's interview with the former immigration minister Robert Jenrick and his warnings about Reform UK.

Plus, how significant was the defeat of former Conservative mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street? Beth and Jess were both there to tell the story.

And they answer a question on Labour and the Muslim vote, and what the party can do to restore confidence and trust.

Email Beth, Jess, and Ruth at electoraldysfunction@sky.uk, post on X to @BethRigby, or send a WhatsApp voice note on 07934 200 444.

👉Listen above then tap here to follow Electoral Dysfunction wherever you get your podcasts👈


Pledge tracker: Is Sunak keeping his promises?

In January 2023, Rishi Sunak made five promises.

Since then, he and his ministers have rarely missed an opportunity to list them. In case you haven't heard, he promised to:

• Halve inflation
• Grow the economy
• Reduce debt
• Cut NHS waiting lists and times
• Stop the boats

See below how he is doing on these goals:


Will Labour or the Conservatives win the next election? Latest polling from the Sky News live tracker

The Sky News live poll tracker - collated and updated by our Data and Forensics team - aggregates various surveys to indicate how voters feel about the different political parties.

With the local elections complete, Labour is still sitting comfortably ahead, with the Tories trailing behind.

See the latest update below - and you can read more about the methodology behind the trackerhere.


Starmer: I am ruthless in trying to ensure we have a Labour government

Speaking to Sky political editorBeth Rigby, Sir Keir Starmer has defended his decision to allow Tory MP Natalie Elphicke into Labour.

Ms Elphicke was on the right of the Conservative spectrum, and previously defended her sex-offender ex-husband, comments which she apologised for this week following her defection.

Addressing Tory voters, Sir Keir says he wants Labour to be a "place where they who have ambitions about their families, their communities, their country, can join and be part of what we are trying to build for their country".

Asked by Beth if he was ruthless, Sir Keir said: "Yes, I'm ruthless in trying to ensure we have a Labour government that can change this country for the better.

"Not ruthless for my own ambition, not ruthlessness particularly for the Labour Party - I'm ruthless for the country.

"The only way we'll bring about a change in this country is if we're ruthless about winning that general election and putting in place a government of public service, that’ll be a major change.

"Politics, I believe, should be about public service, that's what I've been about all my life."


Starmer rules out SNP coalition - but doesn't shoot down working with Lib Dems

More now from political editor Beth Rigby's interview with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

She reminded him that he previously ruled out doing a deal with the SNP - but has not done so for the Liberal Democrats.

Sir Keir again ruled out a coalition with the SNP - adding that he is aiming for a "majority Labour government".

He says Labour needs "to keep working hard, keep disciplined and getting our message across, which is something fundamental to me".

Pushed on his lack of ruling out a possible agreement with the Lib Dems, Sir Keir says: "I'm going for a majority.

"That's the answer I gave you a year ago. It's the same answer I'm giving you now."


Starmer rules out any flights to Rwanda

Sir Keir Starmer was earlier today pushed on whether Rwanda deportation flights will take off if he was prime minister - although it was not clear if he would cancel flights which had already been organised.

Sky News understood that previously booked deportation flights to Rwanda would still go ahead if Sir Keir entered Number 10.

But the Labour leader has now gone further.

Speaking to political editor Beth Rigby, Sir Keir has ruled out any flights taking off.

"There will be no flights scheduled or taking off after general election if Labour wins that general election," he says.

He says: "Every flight that takes off carries with it a cheque to the Rwanda government.

"So I want to scrap the scheme - so that means the flights won't be going."

Sir Keir says he would rather spend the money on his own measures to counter small boats.

"No flights, no Rwanda scheme. It's a gimmick," he says.


Swinney: Gender recognition reforms 'cannot be implemented'

By Alix Culbertson, political reporter

Scotland's new first minister has told Sky News that the controversial gender recognition reforms "cannot be implemented."

John Swinney,who became first minister this week, has faced questions over his stance on gender recognition after MSPs voted in 2022 to pass a bill to make it simpler for people to change their gender without having to obtain a medical diagnosis.

The UK government blocked the bill from being made into law and the Supreme Court rejected a request by the Scottish government for a judicial review.

Asked if he would be fighting to push the bill through, Mr Swinney told Sky News: "The reality of the situation we face is that the Supreme Court has said that we can't legislate in that area. We can't take forward that legislation."


UK no longer in recession, official figures show, as 'confident' Sunak insists economy has 'real momentum'

The UK economy is no longer in recession, according to official figures.

Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by a better-than-expected 0.6% between January and March, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

Economists had predicted the figure would be 0.4%.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said it showed the economy had "turned a corner".

He told Sky News's Ed Conway: "I am pleased that while there's more work to do, today's figures show that the economy now has real momentum, and I'm confident that with time, people will start to feel the benefits of that.

"We've had multiple months now where wages are rising, energy bills have fallen, mortgage rates are down and taxes are being cut... I'm pleased with the progress that we're making."

Mr Sunak added: "I am confident the economy is getting healthier every week."

You can read more here:


Starmer's Rwanda plan 'rank hypocrisy' - Sunak

Rishi Sunak has criticised Sir Keir Starmer's position on Rwanda as "rank hypocrisy".

Speaking to broadcasters, the prime minister says the Labour leader has announced things the government is "already doing".

He gives the example of "punching through the backlog, having more law enforcement officers do more, that's all happening already".

"We've announced all of that more than a year ago," the prime minister adds.

"The question for Keir Starmer if he cares so much about that, why did he vote against the new laws that we passed to give our law enforcement officers new powers?

"They've now used those to arrest almost 8,000 people connected with illegal migration, sentenced them to hundreds of years in prison.

"And if it was up to him, all those people would be out on our streets, so I think it's rank hypocrisy property of his position."

Politics latest: Keir Starmer accused of 'rank hypocrisy' by Rishi Sunak after setting out what he'll do to tackle small boat crossings (2024)


How much is Rishi Sunak worth? ›

The Sunday Times Rich List values Mr Sunak and Ms Murty's fortune at £651 million, an increase of £122m on last year but still below the 2022 peak of £730m.

What religion is the Prime Minister of the UK? ›

Sunak is a Hindu and identifies as British Indian, stating that he is "thoroughly British" but with an Indian religious and cultural heritage.

What has Keir Starmer done? ›

Barrister. Starmer became a barrister in 1987 at the Middle Temple, becoming a bencher there in 2009. He served as a legal officer for the campaign group Liberty until 1990. He was a member of Doughty Street Chambers from 1990 onwards, primarily working on human rights issues.

How rich is King Charles? ›

The 74-year-old monarch's personal wealth has climbed to $770 million, making him the 258th wealthiest person in the United Kingdom. His mother, Queen Elizabeth's wealth was determined to be $468 million prior to her death in September 2022, as per the.

How many billionaires are there in the UK? ›

The amount of billionaire in the country has dropped from a peak of 177 in 2022 to 165 this year. However, despite this drop, the combined wealth of the 350 people and families in the list totals £965bn, an amount larger than the entire GDP of Poland.

Which actress speaks 5 languages? ›

A good friend of Mila Kunis, Natalie Portman goes a few better than her bilingual buddy – she can speak five languages fluently. Her two native languages are English and Hebrew. Natalie was born in Israel and her family moved to the US when she was three.

What language do most millionaires speak? ›

Our data revealed that the top languages spoken by billionaires on this list were Chinese, French and Spanish – which is unsurprising, as China is the third largest country in the world. Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook and worth $67,300,000,000 (£55.8bn) speaks Chinese as his second language.

Who can speak 200 languages? ›

The record, though, probably belongs to Sir John Bowring, Governor of Hong Kong from 1854 to 1859, who was said to know 200 languages, and capable of speaking 100.

Do Hindus believe in Jesus? ›

Unlike other religions, Hinduism has no established set of beliefs and thus no universal or common view of Jesus. However, a lot of Hindus, including religious and political leaders, tend to variously venerate Jesus as either a Āchārya, Sadhu or Avatar.

Which British prime ministers were atheist? ›

Winston Churchill, Clement Attlee, and James Callaghan were all atheists. Churchill described himself as 'a buttress of the Church; I support it from the outside'. Attlee said he believed in Christianity's moral teachings but not 'the mumbo-jumbo'.

What religion is close to the Church of England? ›

The Church of England, and the Anglican Communion generally, historically has both catholic and reformed influences, and they have retained much of that catholic character, while not being Catholic (that is, part of the Catholic Church).

What were Keir Starmer's pledges? ›

The Labour leader set out plans to increase income tax for the top five per cent of earners when he stood for the party's top job in 2020, and promised to re-nationalise water, energy, rail and water firms.

What are the promises of Starmers? ›

Stand up for universal services and defend our NHS. Support the abolition of tuition fees and invest in lifelong learning. Put the Green New Deal at the heart of everything we do. There is no issue more important to our future than the climate emergency.

What does the Labour Party stand for? ›

The Labour Party is a political party in the United Kingdom that has been described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists, and trade unionists.

Is Rishi Sunak richer than the king? ›

So, while Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty's net worth is parked at the £651million figure, King Charles's direct net worth is around £610million, with his assets as monarch totalling in the region of £49billion. Even Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty can't compete with that kind of wealth.

Who is richer Rishi Sunak or Queen Elizabeth? ›

According to the BBC, the Sunaks' wealth also ranked higher than that of the late Queen in 2022. This was after Elizabeth II's personal fortune was evaluated at £370 million. However, the report added that estimating the personal fortunes of monarchs is tricky.

How rich is Taylor Swift? ›

And now, as of February 2024? Bloomberg reported that Taylor's net worth is officially $1.1 billion.

What does net worth mean? ›

Net worth is the value of all assets, minus the total of all liabilities. Put another way, net worth is what is owned minus what is owed. This net worth calculator helps determine your net worth. It also estimates how net worth could grow or decline over the next 10 years.

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