Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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LIVE: Seven-Way BBC Election Clash

LIVE: Seven-Way BBC Election Clash


The seven-way BBC debate is taking place in Broadcasting House in London. There are three ways to get it:

  • ⁠BBC One
  • ⁠BBC News: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/live/bbcnews
  • BBC iPlayer: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/live/bbcone

Representatives from each party are:

  • Tory: Penny Mordaunt
  • Labour: Angela Rayner
  • SNP: Stephen Flynn
  • LibDems: Daisy Cooper
  • Green: Carla Denyer
  • Reform: Nigel Farage
  • Plaid: Rhun ap Iorweth

Penny Mordaunt has the hardest gig defending the PM after a disastrous day. Guido will provide live text-based updates below…

UPDATE: That’s proceedings over. Not the most sparkling of debates…

  • That’s it over.
  • Farage: I don’t need an autocue unlike the other six. The arguments between them are pathetic. Who will form the opposition to Labour? Who will fight for men and women running small businesses, who will fight to secure the borders. Join the revolt.
  • Cooper: Everything feels broken. LibDems will fix NHS, sewage problems, and economy. We all want and need change.
  • Mordaunt: Stick with us and working plan. We will protect your pension. We will defend this nation. For a more secure future vote Conservative.
  • Rhun: This isn’t as good as it gets. Tories are finished. We have a chance to send Labour a message. Stop taking Wales for granted.
  • Denyer: Tories are toast. Starmer has turned Labour into Conservatives. Greens will protect NHS from privatisation and push Labour to do better.
  • Flynn: Tories are finished, who will put Scotland’s interests first? SNP believes in cost of living action, NHS and rejoining EU single market. And net zero. SNP will not get comfortable with Westminster status quo.
  • Rayner: It’s time for change after 14 years of chaos. Fully costed policies. Secure borders and more appointments. GB energy, more jobs. More police to tackle anti-social behaviour.
  • End of questions now to final thoughts. 30 seconds each.
  • Farage says our whole approach is wrong – street-level crime is growing. Do all the stuff and the bottom and you deal with the more serious stuff. Adds that drugs and drug gangs have been disastrous. No one has found the answer to that.
  • Flynn is asked about police in Scotland giving up on investigation crimes. He says knife crime is comparatively low. Says we need to invest in areas with most poverty. Westminster has failed generations of young people, so they turn to violence.
  • Rhun says high poverty and low hope lead to criminality. Says his son was attacked a couple of years ago. For Wales decision making needs to be closer to communities. So devolution needed.
  • Rayner says young people don’t feel safe. She says some pick up knifes to protect themselves and put themselves in danger – they need to be educated. Labour will put 13,000 more on the street and Tories have actually cut them. Mordaunt interjects but only half-heartedly…
  • Mordaunt says if you discount some crimes e.g. cyber Tories have more than halved crime. She says London is top of the list and Tories have met manifesto commitments, where you have Tory PCCs you have lower crimes.
  • Denyer says inequality must be stopped. Farage says “we’re scared of our own shadow here”.
  • Cooper says that there have been cuts, 4,500 PCSOs. Says suspicionless stop and search should not be used because it targets specific groups of people.
  • Farage says stop and search to wide applause. Says that fears of being called racism is stopping us from doing this. We have to have proper sentences. “You can go shoplifting now, any of you! Nick up to £200 and you will be fine”. Says radical surgery needed.
  • Denyer says we have the right to feel safe. Husain presses her: “how many more police officers?” Denyer refuses to answer. Says manifesto will come out soon.
  • Next question on crime and specifically knife crime: How will you defend my son?
  • “Oh dear” from Farage – “they agree, it’s all for show!”
  • Rayner attacks Tories – you have failed the British people. Mordaunt says without tax rises Labour can’t pay for its green policies.
  • Rayner responds and gets interrupted by Mordaunt: “how much energy will you produce?” Husain tells Mordaunt to let Rayner finish.
  • Mordaunt says the Tories will do this at a pace that people can afford. At the end of the Parliament you won’t be able to buy a petrol car under Labour. Labour won’t get the money in and by doing it too fast you destroy the supply chain.
  • Rayner argues with Flynn about oil and gas.
  • Flynn says it’s not GB energy it’s Scotland’s energy. Everyone wants the wind and the oil. Labour is betraying the future by abandoning £28 billion pledge. On oil and gas in the North Sea
  • Rayner says “we will get to that point” on dropping £28 billion pledge. Farage says we have to use oil and gas – “we recognise that, it won’t be forever” and that Labour has green prosperity plan.
  • Denyer says tackling climate crisis will give benefits – home insulation to bring down bills.
  • Farage says we have to be grown up and sensible. If we get innovation then go for it. But don’t sacrifice growth and manufacturing and just export carbon emissions to other countries. Farage says we can’t deal with climate change ourselves – we’re responsible for 1% of world CO2. Net zero is a bad policy.
  • Question: What’s more important, climate policies or growth?
  • Cooper says mini budget was terrible. Mordaunt brings in tuition fees pledge to applause and chuckles from Farage. Cooper grimaces and says “that was a sore decision for us, for sure” and delivers attack back on maintenance grant cuts. Good blow…
  • Rhun says he was a journalist and saw cynicism in politics then. Attacks Gething for taking that £200,000 donation.
  • Flynn repeats £18 billion of cuts line. “All roads lead back to Westminster”.
  • SNP says Scottish Child Payment is lifting 100,000 out of poverty.
  • Denyer says Green party is different. You can’t get cig paper between Tories and Labour.
  • Rayner says Tories have crashed economy and that Labour won’t promise anything it can’t fund. Tories have record number of tax hikes on working people, which Labour won’t do. Mordaunt shouts “you are!”. Husain tells Mordaunt to stop talking as Rayner says “rubbish”.
  • Rayner says Farage has “clown” personality, like Boris who had parties.. Husain reminds her of the question.
  • Farage says at least Rayner has some personality. Mordaunt doesn’t believe any of the lines given to her. Parties don’t disagree on anything. We need proportional representation and break up current model to break up this kind of politics in Britain because nothing is going to change no matter who gets in.
  • Says tax cuts are in Tory DNA and not in Labour’s. People will get higher bills from Labour. Husain drops Bowler letter mention on the tax cuts.
  • Husain points out that due to stealth tax rises the tax burden is rising. Mordaunt blames pandemic and global shocks – “we are coming through that thanks to your personal efforts”
  • Mordaunt says pledge to lower taxes is being fulfilled. GB Energy stands for “giant bills” and more costs are coming with net zero plans.
  • “Penny Mordaunt” says Husain to laughter.
  • Next question: Why are there pledges before an election and no delivery afterwards?
  • Cooper says oil and gas companies need to be taxed fairly and that LibDems were first to propose a hike.
  • Husain brings up coalition to Cooper – “we fought them every single day in coalition”. Hmm…
  • Mordaunt says we are outperforming Eurozone and exports are at record high. Correct…
  • Brexit gets a mention from Flynn – it has put your food bills up completely unnecessarily – an unmitigated disaster for the economy, to applause. “ignore the snake oil salesman who delivered it” he says as he points at Farage.
  • Flynn goes for mini budget and attacks austerity. What austerity?
  • Farage says during Blair’s time top rate was 40p and that by 2027 8 million people will pay 40p. We are driving people into higher and higher taxation. For Mordaunt to pretend they are a tax-cutting party is insane.
  • Farage says people are opting just not to work. Energy bills are too expensive because we load tax on your bills for windfarm companies. Population explosion has made housing too expensive.
  • Denyer makes most of that shouting match: “well that was dignified wasn’t it.” Says a green economy would create jobs and give us warmer homes. Touts £15 minimum wage and removing “ageist cap” on that wage as well as scrapping two-child benefit cap.
  • Mordaunt says supporting people has been expensive and that we are now thankfully in recovery. Those are your achievements. The only way to keep that going is by cutting taxes. “We’ve already started doing that”. Alleviating burden on businesses needed. Mordaunt says Starmer admitted he would raise taxes. Rayner says that is a lie. They now argue over each other. Rayner says there are record levels of taxes raised by Tories. Mordaunt says “yes and we hated it.” Poor you…
  • Rayner says no vote has been cast in this election. Says Liz Truss crashed economy and we are at mercy of global energy prices. Says Labour will secure the economy and won’t play fast and loose with finances. GB Energy will give taxpayer money back and bring down bills and create jobs and secure the energy sector. The Tories shouldn’t be allowed to forget that they crashed the economy, said to applause.
  • Rhun says he will get rid of two-child benefit cap. There is a lack of change on offer from Labour party. At least in the 90s there was a feeling of something different with Blair.
  • Next question: well-off enough couple says they are working to survive not live – who will change things for working people?
  • Denyer calls Farage cold-hearted for saying dependents shouldn’t come in. Says Tories are to blame for problems, not immigration. Says immigration system should be fairer and more humane, not capped.
  • Cooper says social houses need to be built and that Tories have made a mess of migration and handed tax breaks to big banks. LibDems would give care workers a higher minimum wage and welcome people when they come.
  • Rayner says Tories relying on immigration because they don’t have an industrial strategy. Rhun says that Labour is talking language of Tories.
  • Rayner says she loves the spin on that – net migration up 3x under Tories. Mordaunt says Starmer has spent most of his life arguing for free movement.
  • Mordaunt says Labour have no plan and no targets – “uncontrolled immigration under Labour”.
  • Mordaunt says this “might be an immigration but it is definitely a cost of living election” and deploys Labour attack line. People tell her to answer the question. She says immigration is too high and we need to have a balance. So we need to get Parliament to have an annual cap. But not let ministers decide it?
  • Rhun says Farage is saying this for his own interests. No one stands up to Nigel. Farage jeers “benefits for everybody, yay.” Rhun says Rwanda should stop, we need immigration for health system and economy.
  • Farage says Blair hiked immigration, then Tories said they would reduce it and actually let in more. Most that come in are dependents and not productive. This ought to be the immigration election – rents are up between 20-30% in last 4 years, roads are bad – an increase of 10 million since Blair is making us poorer and diminishing quality of life. We need to put interests of communities first and get net migration down to zero. About 50% coming are dependents. Light bickering.
  • Flynn says immigration needed for public services and businesses, to applause. “We need to end demonisation of migration” and Scotland needs migrants. Race to the bottom is driven by Farage and followed by Tories, chased eventually by Labour – which doesn’t serve Scotland’s interests. We should talk about the benefits of migration. Husain clarifies that any voter wanting to cut migration in Scotland should vote for another party. That simplifies it…
  • Next question: housing. no doctors. Immigration is to blame for problems. What will the parties do?
  • Denyer says MNCs should be kept out of NHS. Says that £30 billion increase in funding for health services and £20 billion on social care and one-off £20 billion capital investment will come from reforming the tax system by taxing the super-rich. Millionaires et al. How much of tax is paid by the top 10% again?
  • Farage touts highly successful European-style social insurance scheme for the same amount of money. Cooper says the Kings Fund says that funding models don’t make a difference to health arguments. The only study to say so…
  • Farage says the NHS model isn’t working. Says the issue isn’t money. We are spending 11% of the national cake on the NHS. More money = less delivery. So the model is wrong. Flynn interjects: “Nigel does not believe in the NHS”. Farage hits back with Scotland attack, where the NHS is terrible.
  • Rhun says Labour and Tories are happy to privatise NHS. Husain points out that Plaid was in deal with Labour until recently. Rhun says NHS wasn’t part of that.
  • Mordaunt says public spending will go up. The only people who have cut the NHS budget are Labour in Wales and that’s why waiting lists are four times longer there. Tories recruiting 70,000 more nurses and will retain people in the service. Says Labour will increase waiting lists. Rayner hits back with Liz Truss attack to applause. Mordaunt responds with Trident attack.
  • Rayner says “efficiencies” will help with cost and that waiting list numbers are Tories’ fault.
  • Rayner says community care is important and that far too many people are on trolleys for hours on end. They will have 40,000 new appointments with the money from that. Flynn says non-dom tax isn’t going to help £18 billion fiscal gap.
  • Flynn blames covid backlog and austerity for NHS failures. Tories and Labour will both cut public sector investment. Rayner says they will end the non-dom loophole to fund NHS.
  • Husain says Flynn is dealing with highest waits. He also says good luck and that he was under care of NHS from 14 to 32 so is grateful to it. Says Scotland is doing great with the NHS. Says the SNP is different to Westminster parties because university is free in Scotland. To the detriment of Scottish students who are kept off the university rolls there…
  • Cooper says good luck and under Tories it’s driven into the ground. They will fix the front door to the NHS and will offer free personal care. The total annual cost is… not named. But don’t worry, it’s all funded…
  • Next question: how will they ensure fully-functioning NHS?
  • Cooper tells story about veteran grandfather with visceral imagery. If he had seen sunak he would have thought it unforgiveable.
  • Husain asks Mordaunt about Sunak and D-Day again. Same line about it being wrong and that he’s apologised. “He’s also apologised to everyone because he was there representing us” and the same line about veterans feeling treasured. Farage says the veterans are already let down and if his instincts were with the people he would have stayed there. Rhun – the PM displayed panic, the same panic the Tory policies are displaying.
  • Rhun attacks Farage for showing up to D-Day. Farage hits back saying he raised £100,000 for charity.
  • Flynn says we need to look after veterans and attacks Rishi – for putting his career above war veterans. It’s incumbent on us to do our national service and vote out Tories. A proud aide in the spin room right now for that line…
  • Carla Denyer. This election is about choosing what kind of country we want to be. Uncertain times. Waffle about military. Husain pushes her on pledges for army. “let’s look at why we are talking about that number?” says Carla. The UK is already contributing that 2%. She says we should just spend that money more effectively and that militaries all over the world are dealing with climate change already. Climate change first mention…
  • A bit of bickering. “If your foe does not believe you will use weapons you are done” says Mordaunt. Rayner hits back and says the country is a laughing stock under Tories. More mutual bickering. Rayner says she “won’t be lectured”.
  • Rayner blames Mordaunt for the mess armed forces are in.
  • Mordaunt responds: it was completely wrong, Sunak was right to apologise. She wants all veterans to feel treasured by the end of the week. She says she needs to be straight with people. Says she didn’t go to D-Day and that “what happened was very wrong”. Says that baseline for equipment programme is 2.5% and that if you don’t commit to it you are not funding defence. Nuclear deterrent is crucial to defence – it’s too late for Labour on credibility. Says Rayner and Lammy voted to end nuclear deterrent – she might be prime minister in four or five years time. Imagine what Putin is thinking. Without credibility, we become a target.
  • Farage. Army has shrunk from 100,000 to 72,000 – bashes national service and says we need to recruit 30,000 full-time troops. Respect veterans. First attack on Sunak – veterans “deserted by Sunak”. He says “it was dreadful.” There we go…
  • Daisy Cooper. Reverse cuts, increase defence spending with 2.5% by end of Parliament. Decent homes for veterans and armed forces. Blames GE for losing decent homes amendment.
  • Rayner in red. Says Labour is committed to triple lock nuclear deterrent. Will make sure submarines get built and upgraded. 2.5% GDP on defence. Decent homes for military personnel. No attack on Sunak…
  • First question from Francis: as we celebrate D-Day, how will the parties ensure army is ready and country is safe from another major conflict? Topical…
  • Questions are coming from the audience.
  • Lots were used to decide position on stage. Savanta has decided audience.
  • Mishal Husain says that poll performance and past elections have decided the seven parties.

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