Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (2024)

Table of Contents
Summary Live Reporting We're pausing our coverage for the eveningpublished at 19:08 29 June19:08 29 June In pictures: The final Saturday of campaigningpublished at 19:01 29 June19:01 29 June Labour preaching to the choir, but warning against complacencypublished at 18:53 29 June18:53 29 June Labour needs to 'combat the populist nationalism' of Reform UK, says Kinnockpublished at 18:34 29 June18:34 29 June Plaid Cymru will 'hold Labour to account' in Westminsterpublished at 18:24 29 June18:24 29 June BBC defends Question Time audience after Farage criticismpublished at 18:24 29 June18:24 29 June Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voterspublished at 18:03 29 June18:03 29 June Labour has left 'gesture politics' behind, says Starmerpublished at 17:56 29 June17:56 29 June Labour unveils celebrity backers, but do they make a difference?published at 17:49 29 June17:49 29 June 'Don't believe the hype', says Rayner at campaign eventpublished at 17:32 29 June17:32 29 June Labour event aimed at encouraging weary campaignerspublished at 17:05 29 June17:05 29 June Starmer to speak at London campaign event shortlypublished at 17:04 29 June17:04 29 June Next government 'should compensate LGBT+ veterans'published at 16:45 29 June16:45 29 June Has frantic election campaign actually grappled with massive issues UK faces?published at 16:30 29 June16:30 29 June Reform UK says it's reported Channel 4 to the Electoral Commissionpublished at 16:11 29 June16:11 29 June Lib Dem and SNP leaders concerned over postal vote delaypublished at 15:53 29 June15:53 29 June Archbishop of Canterbury urges people to avoid 'personal abuse'published at 15:30 29 June15:30 29 June BBC and Snapchat team uppublished at 14:56 29 June14:56 29 June Swinney says a lot of work for SNP to do, but party support 'going up'published at 14:42 29 June14:42 29 June 'A few hundred votes' will decide result in some areas - Starmerpublished at 14:16 29 June14:16 29 June References

Summary

  • Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer have been campaigning on defence and support for veterans on the final weekend of the election campaign

  • At an event in London, the Labour leader asks voters to give the party "a clear mandate" for change, saying the Conservatives could win "if we take our foot off the gas"

  • Earlier, deputy leader Angela Rayner said the party "know the scale of the challenge"

  • Reform UK has withdrawn its support for three candidates over offensive comments they reportedly made

  • Starmer criticised Nigel Farage, saying as leader of Reform UK he was responsible for setting the "tone" and "culture" of the party

  • On Friday, Farage said Reform was disowning candidates who had made offensive remarks and said all parties had candidates who had said "bad things

  • Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey is spending the remaining five days before the election on a 1,300-mile UK tour

  • And the Green Party has unveiled a charter for small businesses

Live Reporting

Edited by Jamie Whitehead

  1. We're pausing our coverage for the eveningpublished at 19:08 29 June

    19:08 29 June

    Jamie Whitehead
    Live reporter

    We’re pausing our live coverage of the general election campaign now, but don't worry, we'll be back tomorrow to bring you all the latest lines and updates throughout the day.

    If you want more now, don't worry, we've got you covered:

    Thank you for joining us. Today's coverage was brought to you by Sean Seddon, Hollie Cole, Lana Lam, Alex Therrien and me.

  2. In pictures: The final Saturday of campaigningpublished at 19:01 29 June

    19:01 29 June

    It feelslike a lifetime ago since a rain-soaked Rishi Sunak called the general election.So on this last Saturday of campaigning, here's a snapshot of what party leadershave been up to today across the UK:

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (1)Image source, PA Media

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (2)Image source, Reuters

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (3)Image source, Getty Images

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (4)

  3. Labour preaching to the choir, but warning against complacencypublished at 18:53 29 June

    18:53 29 June

    Harry Farley
    Political correspondent, reporting from central London

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (5)Image source, Reuters

    A room full of partymembers and activists willing to cheer and applaud every line. It felt buzzy,energetic and enthusiastic, topped off by the singer Lapsey performing her songBetter Times.

    That even prompted a bit of hesitant dancing from the shadow cabinet.

    There was a serious point the party wanted to make. A warningagainst complacency: “Undecided voters – and there are millions of them – it [aConservative victory] could happen,” Sir Keir Starmer said.

    He also looked to counter the Conservative’s warning about alarge Labour majority. Running through a list of Labour policies, he said:“We'll need a clear mandate for this change, don't doubt that.”

    But as strictly as Sir Keir, and all the Labour representativessent out to talk to reporters afterwards stuck to their message, it wasdifficult not to leave with a sense that this is a confident party heading intothe final few days of this election campaign.

  4. Labour needs to 'combat the populist nationalism' of Reform UK, says Kinnockpublished at 18:34 29 June

    18:34 29 June

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (6)

    Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock is urging his party to “combatthe populist nationalism” of Nigel Farage’s Reform UK party in the final weekof the election campaign.

    Lord Kinnock, who was Labour leader from 1983 to 1992, told the Guardian, external“now” was the time for the party to start targeting Reform.

    He said: "People like Farage, love the personal attention,like all narcissists, so we have to focus on explaining what they are, and allthat inconsistencies and falsehoods, they plant and harvest lies".

    Farage has been facing accusations Reform “attracts racists andextremists” but says support has been withdrawn from candidates who have madeoffensive comments. Three candidates have been dropped by the party.

    He also repeated assertions yesterday that footage showing racistcomments apparently made by a party activist was a “set up” by Channel 4.

  5. Plaid Cymru will 'hold Labour to account' in Westminsterpublished at 18:24 29 June

    18:24 29 June

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (7)

    Plaid Cymru’s leader says his party is the only one that willput Wales’ interests first in Westminster.

    On the last weekend of general election campaigning, Rhun apIorwerth said the Conservatives would lose “heavily” on Thursday and “we know”Sir Keir Starmer will form the next government.

    He says Plaid will “hold Labour to account” on Welsh issues inWestminster.

    Plaid won four of Wales’ 40 seats in the 2019 general election,but boundary changes mean there are only 32 seats available this time around.

    Elsewhere in Wales, Welsh Secretary David TC Davies says a Torygovernment will ensure “local consent” must be given before 20mph zones areimplemented.

    Wales has had a 20mph speed limit in largely built-up areassince September – a move that prompted the largest petition the WelshParliament has ever received.

    Welsh Labour says it’s spending the weekend promoting its“message of change” to voters.

  6. BBC defends Question Time audience after Farage criticismpublished at 18:24 29 June

    18:24 29 June

    The BBC has refuted Nigel Farage's claim that the audience for his BBC Question Time appearance was "rigged".

    The Reform UK leader claimed a "prominent pro-Palestinian activist" and a "BBC TV director" were among those who asked questions, adding: "These were not ordinary members of the public."

    He faced questions from an audience in Birmingham during a leaders' special in which Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay also featured.

    After being contacted by BBC News, a spokesperson for the BBC said: "Last night’s Question Time audience was made up of broadly similar levels of representation from Reform UK and the Green Party, with the other parties represented too.

    "There were also a number of people, with a range of political views, who were still making up their mind.”

    It's understood no BBC employees were in the audience.

    Mr Farage said later on Saturday that he was boycotting the BBC until it apologised over the make-up of the Question Time audience. The BBC has not further commented.

  7. Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voterspublished at 18:03 29 June

    18:03 29 June

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (8)Image source, Reuters

    Starmer urges voters to deliver a "democraticreckoning" on the Conservative Party on Thursday, saying: "Don'tforget what they have done."

    Setting out his plans for "change", he tells therally: "We'll need a clear mandate for this change, don't doubt that.

    "And if you don't believe me, take a good look at theTories. Chaos under Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, two politicians who never had aclear mandate."

    He says Sunak could still win if "we take our foot off thegas, if people think it's in the bag".

    Starmer says the country would be left in a "doomloop", adding: "We cannot allow that to happen."

    The Labour leader takes to the stage with his wife Victoria andthanks supporters after finishing his speech.

  8. Labour has left 'gesture politics' behind, says Starmerpublished at 17:56 29 June

    17:56 29 June

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (9)

    Starmer tells supporters in London the "hardest mile"is still ahead as he urges campaigners to make a "last push" ahead ofpolling day.

    The Labour leader says "hope has almost been kickedout" of people and that voters need to be convinced that "change ispossible"

    After four-and-a-half "long years", the party has left "gesture politics" behind and is "back in the service of workingpeople".

    Starmer adds: "Nothing has been decided - each and everyvote is out there ready to be earned."

  9. Labour unveils celebrity backers, but do they make a difference?published at 17:49 29 June

    17:49 29 June

    Harry Farley
    Political correspondent, reporting from central London

    Labour has just unveiled aseries of high-profile backers, including Sir Elton John and his husband DavidFurnish.

    Deborah Meaden, Kit Harington, James Norton, Beverly Knight, andGeorgia Harrison also appeared in slickly produced videos at the event tonightand longstanding Labour supporter Bill Bailey addressed activists from thestage.

    Celebrity endorsem*nts are a feature of all election campaigns.

    In Sir Elton John’s case he was considered by Labour as a potential ally to fight against Margaret Thatcher as far back as 1979.

    So do celebrity backers make a difference? It’s difficult totell whether they persuade the wavering.

    But they can enthuse thealready convinced. And this event – which as I said earlier, Labour isinsisting is not a rally – is mainly aimed at energising members and existingsupporters before the final campaigning sprint to polling day on 4 July.

  10. 'Don't believe the hype', says Rayner at campaign eventpublished at 17:32 29 June

    17:32 29 June

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (10)

    Speaking in London, Rayner thanks Labour supporters for their efforts over the past few weeks but says the campaign still has "a long way to go", adding: "Right now, we've won nothing."

    She urges campaigners to keep working in the final days before the election, saying: "Next Friday we could all wake up to five more years of Tory chaos.

    "Don't believe the hype - anything could happen if people don't go out and vote."

    Setting out Labour's policy pledges, she told supporters "we're under no illusion about the scale of the challenge, we don't promise the Earth".

    But she says the party will offer the stability needed to deliver a "radical and responsible future".

    The event was introduced by TV presenter June Sarpong, while comedian Bill Bailey, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves and London Mayor Sadiq Khan are also in attendance.

  11. Labour event aimed at encouraging weary campaignerspublished at 17:05 29 June

    17:05 29 June

    Harry Farley
    Political correspondent, reporting from central London

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (11)

    I’m in a very sweaty,stuffy, buzzy hall in central London. People in red t-shirts, holding redsigns, bearing the word ‘Change’, sit on tiered seating around a stage.

    Sadiq Khan, the Labour Mayor of London, appeared to whoopsand applause, high-fiving people sitting in the front row.

    This – Labour staffers insist – is not a ‘rally’.

    A rally, they argue, is for protesters. And they don’t want tobe seen as a party of protest.

    So this ‘event’, this ‘occasion’, this ‘member mobilisation’ asone called it, is to try and dispel any presumptions about the result onThursday.

    The last few days of an election campaign is a lot aboutreminding your voters to go to the polls and vote. That requires your membersto give up their time to knock on doors to cajole, persuade and prompt. AndLabour is nervous about the numbers of people who still tell pollsters they areundecided.

    So tonight is aimed at encouraging weary campaigners.

    We are expecting celebrityendorsem*nts as Labour tries to show it is confident – but not making anyassumptions – about the outcome of this election.

  12. Starmer to speak at London campaign event shortlypublished at 17:04 29 June

    17:04 29 June

    Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner are about to address Labour supporters at a campaign event in London.

    The Labour leader was joined by his wife Victoria as he walked into the hall with his deputy, to loud applause from dozens of Labour backers.

    We'll be listening to what they have to say and bringing you updates.

  13. Next government 'should compensate LGBT+ veterans'published at 16:45 29 June

    16:45 29 June

    Josh Parry
    LGBT and identity reporter

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (12)

    Around a million people are expected to descend on the capital for Pridein London - and for one of the groups marching there, politicians' promises are atthe forefront of their minds.

    With party leaders focussing on veterans this weekend, campaign group Fighting With Pride - which represents LGBT+ veterans - say they’remarching to make sure plans to compensate people for years of mistreatment aren’tforgotten.

    Before the year 2000, it was illegal to be gay in theBritish military. Thousands of people were thrown out for being gay, or being perceivedas gay.

    Last year an independent review recommended they receive compensation, capped at £50m overall.

    Speaking at the march, Fighting With Pride's Craig Jones - a Royal Navy veteran - said the future government should “restore the values of today’sarmed forces to those members of the LGBT+ community who defended peace andfreedoms they themselves were denied”.

  14. Has frantic election campaign actually grappled with massive issues UK faces?published at 16:30 29 June

    16:30 29 June

    Laura Kuenssberg
    Presenter, Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (13)

    Nearly there!

    The battle buses have revved up for their final journeys. The set piece debates are all over. The parties’ manifestos almost seem like a distant memory.

    It’s five days until polling day and this time next week, on Saturday 6 July, you can expect the occupant of Number 10 to be gathering together their cabinet.

    Time to take stock then of the state of play after five frantic weeks.

    The Conservatives have not managed to narrow the gap between them and Labour in the polls, which was their hope and expectation.

    For Labour the campaign has run more or less like clockwork. They didn’t have 4 July pencilled in as one of the possible dates for the poll but were long suspicious that the Tories would call a surprise spring election, so had spent months preparing.

    Read more from Laura here.

    And don't forget, Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg will be on BBC One and iPlayer from 09:00 tomorrow.

  15. Reform UK says it's reported Channel 4 to the Electoral Commissionpublished at 16:11 29 June

    16:11 29 June

    Reform UK says it has reported Channel 4 to the ElectoralCommission.

    Earlier this week, the broadcaster released footage of Reform UKcanvasser Andrew Parker using a racial slur to describe prime minister RishiSunak while campaigning for party leader Nigel Farage.

    In a letter to the Electoral Commission, Reform UK's secretaryAdam Richardson claims it was "entirely evident that Mr Parker was a plantwithin the Channel 4 news piece".

    He adds: "The Channel 4 broadcast has clearly been made toharm Reform UK during an election period and this cannot be described asanything short of election interference."

    Parker says he's "glad" the party had reported Channel4 to the Electoral Commission, but declined to say weather the broadcaster hadpaid him to appear in their footage.

    "It'll all come out in the papers," Parker told the PA news agency, "what'll come out is the truth".

  16. Lib Dem and SNP leaders concerned over postal vote delaypublished at 15:53 29 June

    15:53 29 June

    The leaders of the SNP and Liberal Democrats have both expressed their concerns over the thousands of people in Scotland who haven't yet received their postal votes.

    Speaking in St Andrews, Sir Ed Davey accused Rishi Sunak of forgetting the Scottish school holidays when calling the election for 4 July, saying the last thing people going away needed was to worry about whether or their postal vote had arrived.

    But he added he was "delighted" councils were "opening up their town halls to try to have emergency measures to make sure people don’t lose their democratic right".

    School summer holidays in Scotland start at the end of June.

    Concerns have already been raised in Scotland over delays to people receiving postal vote forms ahead of the general election next Thursday.

    Speaking in Glasgow today, SNP leader John Swinney warned the public could become disenfranchised because of the delay, and said he expects an inquiry to be carried out.

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (14)Image source, Getty Images

  17. Archbishop of Canterbury urges people to avoid 'personal abuse'published at 15:30 29 June

    15:30 29 June

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (15)Image source, Reuters

    The Archbishop of Canterbury has urged people to avoid"personal abuse" as the election campaigns come to an end.

    Justin Welby has also encouraged voters to make sure they voteon Thursday.

    "Let us encourage courteous and kind debate and not usepersonalised abuse," he says.

    "Let us carefully consider issues and the common good, andabove all vote."

  18. BBC and Snapchat team uppublished at 14:56 29 June

    14:56 29 June

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (16)

    The BBC and Snapchat have teamed up to make a special filter counting down to the election, letting you know all the key information on how to vote.

    The Catch-Up’s Lola Schroer is giving it a whirl here - just scan the Snapcode to check it out.

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (17)

  19. Swinney says a lot of work for SNP to do, but party support 'going up'published at 14:42 29 June

    14:42 29 June

    Andrew Kerr
    BBC Scotland political correspondent, reporting from Glasgow

    A big crowd turned out to seethe SNP leader John Swinney speak in the west end of Glasgow today.

    The party's yellow battle busstood behind him and he spoke to the people wearing a pair of the party’s yellowsunglasses.

    At first, his speech focussedon the party's campaign - saying there was a lot of work to do.

    But he said the polls showed"SNP support going up" and they would work hard for a successfulresult.

    He then hit out at theConservatives, saying that "people are hurting due to 14 years ofausterity".

    And he was also critical ofLabour saying they were not doing enough to combat child poverty.

    The leader claims the result ofthe election is a foregone conclusion with Labour in government, saying theTories will be "well and truly beaten".

    Speaking to Swinney afterwards,I put it to him that his party was in danger of being beaten in the centralbelt of Scotland by Labour.

    He told me the election here inScotland is on a knife-edge - with voters having a choice of a Labour partycarrying on Tory austerity or the SNP railing against austerity and eradicatingchild poverty in Scotland.

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (18)

  20. 'A few hundred votes' will decide result in some areas - Starmerpublished at 14:16 29 June

    14:16 29 June

    Harry Farley
    Political correspondent, reporting from the Labour campaign trail

    Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (19)Image source, PA

    There was a cautiously buoyant mood among the Labour adviserswith Sir Keir Starmer this morning.

    Some of the nerves I’ve seen on visits earlier in the campaignseem to have eased a little.

    And where they chose to take their leader on this final weekendbefore polling day tells a story in itself.

    My colleagues Lauren Tavriger and Oscar Bentley have looked into the wider pattern of where party leaders have spenttheir time – with limited time and resources – in the shortweeks before the election

    Today, Starmer was in Aldershot in Hampshire, seen as the homeof the British Army.

    It has been a Conservative seat for the last 100 years. But inMay Labour won control of the local council here for the first time, and partysources tell me they believe they have a chance of taking this seat onThursday.

    The official Labour message today is one I expect we will hear repeatedlyover the next few days: “Change will only happen if you vote for it,” which iswhat Starmer said when speaking to reporters after his coffee morning withmilitary victims.

    He added many constituencies will be decided by “a few hundred”votes, saying “the numbers are really tight.”

    Despite a more relaxed mood, there is a concern in Labour thattheir lead in the polls will mean some people think the result on 4 July is aforegone conclusion.

Give us a 'clear mandate', Starmer urges voters on final campaign weekend (2024)

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