A big Labour majority would be ‘better for the country’, Starmer claims


Sir Keir Starmer has said a big majority would be “better for the country”, as the Tories continue to urge voters to proceed with caution and not hand Labour a “blank cheque”.

With just two days to go until polling day, Rishi Sunak has repeated the warning that Labour could achieve a “supermajority”, allowing the party to raise taxes, which he claimed is in its DNA.

In an interview with The Times, Sir Keir said he needed a “strong mandate” to reform the planning system and improve the economy.

Asked if he was saying the bigger a majority, the better, he told the newspaper: “Better for the country. Because it means we can roll up our sleeves and get on with the change we need.”

This follows weeks of warnings from the Conservatives of a Labour “supermajority”, in a bid to prevent bleeding votes to Reform UK and the Liberal Democrats.

Speaking at a campaign event in Leicestershire, Mr Sunak said: “Once you’ve given Labour a blank cheque, you won’t be able to get it back.

“And that means that your taxes are going up: your car, your pension, your savings, your work, you name it, they will tax it thousands and thousands of pounds.

“It’s what they always do. It’s in their DNA.”

Asked if he had given up trying to win during an earlier visit, he said: “No, absolutely not.

“I’m fighting hard for every vote. I don’t take a single place or person for granted, but I don’t want Britain to sleepwalk into the danger of what an unchecked Labour government with a supermajority would mean.”

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister is expected to say: “If just 130,000 people switch their vote and lend us their support, we can deny Starmer that supermajority.”

Mr Sunak kicked off the penultimate day of the campaign with an early-morning visit to an Ocado packing plant in Bedfordshire.

He faced more difficult polling as half the public said their opinion of Mr Sunak had got worse since he called the election, including a third of 2019 Tory voters, according to a Savanta survey of 2,867 people.

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Rishi Sunak during a campaign visit to an Ocado distribution warehouse in Luton (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Northern Ireland minister Steve Baker has again hinted at a leadership bid, telling Sky’s Politics Hub he “wouldn’t mind the chance” to lead the party.

Elsewhere, Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner has revealed she has found parts of the General Election campaign “nasty”.

At the Citizens UK’s General Election assembly, Ms Rayner admitted: “I know that politics isn’t always the most enjoyable business.

“Bits of this election campaign have been nasty. And if we win this Thursday, being in government won’t always be easy either.”

On Monday, Sir Keir faced criticisms from the Conservatives after he told Virgin Radio he would not usually do anything work-related after 6pm on a Friday, so that he can spend time with wife Victoria, their 16-year-old son and their 13-year-old daughter.

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer with his wife Victoria (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Mr Sunak took a swipe at the Labour leader, telling reporters: “I haven’t finished at six ever.”

Tory deputy chairman Jonathan Gullis then said: “Let’s hope Putin doesn’t choose 6.01pm when he wishes to go any further with his illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine.”

Sir Keir said protecting time to spend with his children made him more relaxed and a better decision-maker.

A Labour source said: “The only person who’s clocked off early in this campaign is Rishi Sunak at the D-Day commemorations.”

The Labour Party’s main focus on Tuesday is expected to be on the risk facing the nation’s eye health, as Wes Streeting claims thousands are waiting more than a year for treatment.

The shadow health secretary said: “High street opticians have the kit and staff to do basic checks and scans. Labour will partner with them to get patients the treatment they need.

“This is just one way Labour will reform the NHS and use spare capacity in the private sector to beat the Tory backlog and cut NHS waiting lists.”

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats are calling on voters to “end the sewage scandal” and vote for “historic change”, after the party leader Ed Davey undertook a bungee jump on Monday to encourage others to also take a “leap of faith” on July 4.

Ahead of his visits to the South West of England, Sir Ed said: “In just 48 hours’ time, the British public can vote to end the sewage scandal and kick the Conservatives out of power.

“Filthy sewage dumping has caused untold damage to our precious environment and left people feeling unable to swim in their local rivers and beaches because they’re worried about getting sick.”



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