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Local Election Results Show Labour On Course For Outright Majority When Tactical Voting Considered, New Polling Suggests – UK Politics Live

Key events

Q: What is happening with the Labour investigation into Nick Brown, the former chief whip?

Starmer says an investigation is taking place. He says he cannot say any more.

The process is independent, and confidential, he says.

Q: What do you respond to the revelation that Boris Johnson thinks Sue Gray is a psycho?

Starmer says he and Johnson rarely agree on anything. He knows Gray, has worked with her and admires her, he says.

He dismisses Johnson’s theory that Gray was trying to help Labour with the Partygate report as nonsense.

Q: Are you committed to the triple lock for pensioners?

Yes, says Starmer. He says Labour would keep it.

He recalls meeting a pensioners in Dewsbury who spends the day under a blanket because she is concerned about her heating bills.

Q: Would Labour repeal the Public Order Act?

Starmer says Labour was opposed to it as it was going through.

But now it has passed, he says it would be best to let it bed down and see how it operates.

Q: But what are you going to change? Not the Public Order Act? Not higher corporation tax? You promised clause 4 on steroids. This is clause 4 on sleeping tablets.

Starmer does not accept that. He cites his missions, and says they do amount to a “huge, bold reform”.

Q: Would Labour reverse the rise in corporation tax?

Starmer says he does not think Labour would be able to afford that. That is why the party did not vote against the increase, he says.

Starmer defends his decision to change his position on tuition feesA caller says he feels let down by Starmer’s U-turn on tuition fees, which at one point he was committed to abolish?

Starmer says this is a tough issue.

He does wonder whether he would have gone to university if he had had to get a loan.

But he says he no thinks a Labour government could afford to just get rid of them.

Q: How can we believe anything you say?

Starmer says the economy is in a different state. Leaders should change their mind when circumstances change.

Q: Do you really think you would not have gone to university if you had had to get a loan?

Starmer says he does not know.

He says his parents were working class, and were scared of accumulating debt.

Q: Do you agree with what the archbishop of Canterbury said about the government’s illegal migration bill?

Starmer says he agrees with the archbishop that the government’s policy won’t work.

Asked if he thought it was immoral too, Starmer said he thought the Rwanda policy was immoral.

Q: Do you agree that Britons have forgotten how to work (as Suella Braverman is claiming today)?

Starmer says he does not think that.

But he does think the country needs a skills strategy.

Starmer refuses to rule out deal with Lib Dems, saying he wants outright majority but will ‘see what situation is next year’Q: Would you form a coalition with the Lib Dems if you failed to win an outright majority?

Starmer says he is focused on getting a majority.

Q: But would you do a deal if you did not get one?

Starmer says he would not do a deal with the SNP.

Q: What about with the Liberal Democrats?

Starmer says he is going for a majority.

Q: Can you look me in the eye and say, no deal?

Starmer says he will “have to see what the situation is next year”.

He says it is the Conservative party that has done deals with other parties, with the Lib Dems in 2010 and with the DUP in 2017

PR ‘not one of my priorities’, says StarmerQ: Is PR in the mix for the Labour manifesto?

“Not really,” says Starmer.

He says some in the party are in favour of PR.

But it is “not one of my priorities”, he says.

Starmer says he can see case for allowing EU nationals to vote in general election, but rejects claims this means he wants to reopen BrexitKeir Starmer is holding his LBC phone-in.

Nick Ferrari starts by asking about stories claiming that Labour proposals to give EU nationals the vote amount to a plan to reverse Brexit.


Starmer said he had no intention of reopening Brexit.

Before the election, there would be “increasingly hysterical headlines”, he said.

He said Labour was still considering plans to let EU nationals vote in general elections, and to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in election. He said he could see the case for both moves.

It is a sign of how feverish things are getting in the Conservative party that Chris Mason, the BBC’s political editor, found himself being asked on the Today programme this morning if Rishi Sunak might be replaced before the general election. Mason said he did not think anyone was pushing for that.

But when the rightwinger Sir John Redwood was interviewed on the programme, and asked if he supported Sunak leading the party into the general election, Redwood decline to say yes. He said he was focused on “policy not on people”.

Explaining what he wanted to change, Redwood said:

The current focus is on policy and I am an optimist. I think this government could do well. It could make changes for the better.

I and my colleagues are desperate for it to do so.

It needs to make big changes on its attitude towards Brexit, on its attitude towards economic growth and on migration.

No 10 says UK to supply Ukraine with hundreds of long-range attack drones as Zelenskiy visits Chequers for talks with SunakVolodymyr Zelenskiy, the Ukrainian president, is making a surprise visit to the UK today. He is holding talks with Rishi Sunak at Chequers.

To coincide with his arrival, Downing Street has announced a significant increase in military support for Ukraine, including the supply of hundreds of long-range attack drones. In its news release No 10 says:

Last week the UK confirmed that we have provided Storm Shadow precision missiles to Ukraine. This is the first long-range cruise missile in Ukraine’s arsenal and will be critical in helping the country defend against the relentless bombardment of their critical national infrastructure.

Today the prime minister will confirm the further UK provision of hundreds of air defence missiles and further unmanned aerial systems including hundreds of new long-range attack drones with a range of over 200km. These will all be delivered over the coming months as Ukraine prepares to intensify its resistance to the ongoing Russian invasion.

This equipment will support Ukraine over the coming months in their anticipated military surge to counter Russian forces. During their meeting today the prime minister will discuss with President Zelenskyy what support Ukraine needs from the international community, both in terms of immediate military equipment and long-term defences.

Martin Belam has more coverage on our Ukraine live blog.

Local election results show Labour on course for outright majority when tactical voting considered, poll suggestsGood morning. “For many of those at the very top of the party an awful lot of their time and energy is devoted to the next leadership election rather than the next general election,” says Tim Bale in his new book, the Conservative Party After Brexit. It looks like we will see a good example of that today when Suella Braverman, the home secretary, addresses the National Conservatism (NatCon) conference in London. Of course, she will not be pitching it like that explicitly, but that it how it will be seen by many Conservatives, who are expecting a contest after the next election, and expecting Braverman to be a favourite in that ballot.

After the local elections, the psephologists who analysed the results for the BBC and Sky News argued that the vote share suggested Labour is on course to be the largest party after a general election, but probably without an outright majority. Today Labour Together, a Starmerite thinktank, has published research suggesting the results do show the party on course for an outright majority. This conclusion is based on polling suggesting that a significant number of people who voted Lib Dem or Green in the locals would vote Labour in a general election. Here is the Labour Together summary.

Labour Together’s analysis found that:

-If replicated in a general election, Labour’s lead in the local elections would secure Labour a majority in Parliament. Labour Together asked those who voted at the locals whether they would vote differently at a general election. Accounting for this, a 9-point lead in the projected national vote share, calculated by the BBC, becomes a 13-point lead at a general election [which would be enough for an outright majority].

-The Liberal Democrat surge was largely tactical voting against the Conservatives. In the 54 councils where the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats had the largest number of councillors, the Lib Dems gained 214 seats while Labour gained only 69. But in the 93 councils which were Conservative-Labour contests, Labour won 335 councillors and the Lib Dems increased their tally by only 48.

-Many Liberal Democrat voters will return to Labour. 21% of Liberal Democrat voters at the local elections said that they voted for the party that was “best placed to defeat a party I disliked, even though they were not my first choice.” Nearly a quarter (23%) of the Liberal Democrats’ local election vote plans to vote Labour at the next general election. Just 44% intend to vote Lib Dem.

-Fewer than half (44%) of Green voters would vote the same way at a general election (the same proportion as the Lib Dems). The Green party drew voters from both the Conservatives and Labour, with 40% of their vote coming from 2019 Labour voters and 23% from 2019 Conservative voters. At a general election, however, the Greens would hold onto less than half of their vote, with Labour the biggest beneficiary.

We may get to hear what Keir Starmer thinks about this shortly; he is holding his LBC phone-in shortly.

Here is the agenda for the day.

9am: Keir Starmer holds his regular ‘Call Keir’ LBC phone-in.

10am; Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Tory former business secretary, speaks at the National Conservatism (NatCon) conference in London. At 2pm Suella Braverman, the home secretary, is speaking.

11.30am: Downing Street holds a lobby briefing.

1.50pm (UK time): Liz Truss, the former PM, takes part in a live Q&A at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit.

2.30pm: Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, takes questions in the Commons.

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