Shropshire Star

What to expect on the General Election campaign trail on Tuesday

It is manifesto launch day for the Conservatives while Labour presses its action plan for child health.

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (right) has a selfie taken with a local

Here is your guide to the main developments in the General Election campaign on Tuesday:

– D-Day for Sunak

After several days of the Prime Minister trying to move on from the fallout over his early departure from D-Day commemorations, Rishi Sunak now has a natural opportunity to shift the conversation onto something else.

He will make a series of pledges to cut taxes and woo first-time buyers when he launches the Conservative Party manifesto on Tuesday.

D-Day 80th anniversary
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak with National Chair, Royal British Legion, Jason Coward after laying wreath during the UK national commemorative event for the 80th anniversary of D-Day, held at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer, Normandy, France (Jane Barlow/PA)

The policies trailed overnight include: a 100% relief on capital gains tax liability for landlords who sell to their existing tenants; abolishing stamp duty up to the value of £425,000 for first-time buyers; a “new and improved” Help to Buy scheme; and reports of a 2p cut to national insurance.

These build on previous pledges of no increases to income tax, national insurance or VAT, an expansion of levelling up funding with a pledge to give 30 towns £20 million, and mandatory national service for 18-year-olds.

All eyes will be on pledges linked to immigration, including UK involvement with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), as Mr Sunak seeks to persuade voters against backing Reform UK – now led by Nigel Farage.

– Monster mash

Labour will continue to press its “child health action plan”, which now includes a commitment to stop children under the age of 16 from buying highly caffeinated energy drinks.

The sale of drinks containing more than 150mg of caffeine per litre to under-16s is “not justifiable or acceptable”, according to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

The party said it expects soft drinks such as Coca-Cola to fall below the caffeine per litre limit, but a 500ml can of Monster Energy would exceed it.

National trading standards would be tasked with enforcing the policy.

Labour has also vowed to “put a smile back on kids’ faces” by providing an extra 100,000 urgent dental appointments for children and supervised toothbrushing for three-to-five year olds.

Sir Ed Davey looks excited riding a theme park ride
Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey during a visit to Thorpe Park in Chertsey, Surrey, whilst on the General Election campaign trail (Lucy North/PA)

– The doctor won’t see you now

After a day of ups and downs – thanks to party leader Sir Ed Davey visiting a theme park – the Liberal Democrats are suggesting around 1.8 million people cannot reach their GP when they want help.

The party said that patients are being “catastrophically let down” as they struggle to access GP services.

– Meanwhile, another visit to the talking shop awaits

There is no slowing down in the election debates, with BBC Debate Night hosting the leaders of the main five Scottish parties to answer questions in Glasgow from 8pm.

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