Election latest: Lib Dem leader unveils plan to 'save the NHS' - and fix UK's 'broken' relationship with EU (2024)

Election news
  • Reform UK outlining economic plans - watch live above
  • Lib Dems launch manifesto to 'save the NHS'
  • Davey pays tribute to mum|Will Lib Dems take UK back into EU?
  • PM insists he didn't consider quitting after D-Day fallout
  • Douglas Ross to quit as Scottish Tory leader
  • Live reporting by Tim Bakerand Ollie Cooper
Expert analysis
  • Connor Gillies:Big moment for Scottish politics
  • Rob Powell:Sunak struggles to change weather after bad two weeks
  • Electoral Dysfunction:What could be in the party manifestos?
  • Politics At Jack And Sam's:The day... Rishi resurfaces
Election essentials
  • Battle For No 10:PM and Starmer taking part in Sky News special
  • Campaign Heritage:Memorable moments from elections gone by
  • Trackers:Who's leading polls?|Is PM keeping promises?
  • Follow Sky's politics podcasts:Electoral Dysfunction|Politics At Jack And Sam's
  • Read more:Who is standing down?|Key seats to watch|How to register to vote|What counts as voter ID?|Check if your constituency is changing|Your essential guide to election lingo|Sky's election night plans

11:04:44

Liberal Democrats announce 'manifesto to save the NHS'

Sir Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, has launched the party's 114-page, "fully costed" manifesto.

We updated this post with the key pledges as they were announced:

  • It is branded a "manifesto to save the NHS";
  • Everyone will have a right to see a GP with seven days - or 24 hours if it's urgent;
  • Improved access to dentists and pharmacists;
  • Guaranteed cancer treatment within two months;
  • New mental health hubs for young people, and mental health professional in all schools;
  • There will be NHS-style free social care;
  • A new higher minimum wage will be offered to care workers;
  • Establishing a new Royal College of Care Workers;
  • Restoring "proper" bereavement support for parents who lose a partner;
  • A plan to stop raw sewage being dumped into rivers and onto beaches, and hold water companies to account;
  • Policies to solve the cost of living crisis for "the long term";
  • An emergency home energy upgrade scheme;
  • Restoring community policing;
  • "Fixing" the "broken relationship" with Europe;
  • Ending first past the post and replacing it with proportional representation;
  • Getting "big money out of politics" with a cap on donations to parties;
  • Shifting power out of the centre to the communities they affect.

You can read the Lib Dem manifesto in full here.

12:11:44

Reform announcing economic policy plans

Richard Tice, the Reform UK chairman, is giving a speech in London about his party's economic policy.

He says he wants to get more people into work, as it will reduce the burden on the exchequer.

Mr Tice also wants to reform the way the Bank of England pay interest on their debts.

He specifically singles out the interest paid on the £800bn of debt held by the Bank following quantitative easing.

The interest payments on this debt have soared since the base rate went up as the Bank tries to return inflation to 2%.

It is money taken off the taxpayer and paid ton "institutions" in the city, among others.

The money would be used for a "great British tax cut".

Mr Tice says he wants to raise the VAT threshold for small businesses.

12:00:02

Lib Dem manifesto launch ends - with Reform event to come

The Liberal Democrats have wrapped up their manifesto launch event, and you can scroll back through the Politics Hub to read more on their announcements and leader Sir Ed Davey's answers to the media.

We'll have more reaction and analysis to the manifesto throughout the afternoon.

Shortly we'll have live coverage of a Reform UK event with party leader Nigel Farage, where he and predecessor Richard Tice will be outlining their economic policies.

Stay with us for updates.

11:57:09

Sunak insists he didn't consider quitting after D-Day fallout

Speaking to broadcasters at the Dog and Bacon pub in Horsham, West Sussex, Mr Sunak is asked if contemplated stepping aside.

It is the first time he has answered on-camera questions since Friday.

He says: "No, of course not.

"I'm energised about the vision that we're putting forward for the country.

"This campaign is not even halfway through yet, and I'm finding enormous amount of support for the policies that we're putting on the table."

He says lots of people are saying the election is a "foregone conclusion" - and have been saying so since he took over.

But the PM says he is "not going to stop going - I'm not going to stop fighting for people's votes".

11:56:49

Analysis: Lib Dems go from serious policies to theme park trip in the blink of an eye

Reacting to the outlining of the Liberal Democrats' election manifesto, our deputy political editorSam Coates says the party seem confused.

"A party leader desperate, it seems, to show how serious he is about British politics says he's come up with a manifesto to save the health service, a series of tax rises and proposals that he insists are fully costed," Sam says.

"He (Sir Ed Davey) wants the Liberal Democrats to be taken seriously, but then in the next breath, he says: 'I'm off to go on a rollercoaster'."

The Lib Dem battle bus is heading to Thorpe Park this afternoon.

Sir Ed spent much of today asking the public to "take a chance" on a serious party in the Lib Dems, but much of his campaigning has been focused on social media stunts - and he opened his speech by joking he'd become "a meme".

"I think that kind of encapsulates a bit of where we are with the Liberal Democrats at the moment," Sam says.

11:54:29

Lib Dems 'paid a price' for coalition with Conservatives

Politico asks the Lib Dem leader about the fallout from the party's coalition government with the Tories.

Sir Ed - who was a minister at the time - says the party "fought the Conservatives every day, but we didn't win everything - and we paid a price for that".

He points to how he lost his parliamentary seat, and the three "bad" general election results the Lib Dems have endured since.

Sir Ed says that when he became leader he said people "needed to wake up and smell the coffee".

He said he instilled "iron discipline" in the party and people have "seen the disaster of the Conservatives".

11:41:40

How will Lib Dems pay for policies?

Times Radio asks the Liberal Democrat leader how he will pay for specific policies in the manifesto.

They list ending the two-child benefit limit, doubling statutory maternity and paternity pay and paying compensation to Waspi women.

Sir Ed says the manifesto has been costed, and there is a policy costing document online that goes through the figures.

We'll be hearing more about that later from our economics and data editor Ed Conway.

Back to the politics, and Sir Ed says taxes will be put up on big banks, oil and gas companies, social media giants and the wealthiest people in the UK.

He adds that, in his view, some parties "are not really telling the truth about the funding of their policies".

The Lib Dems' costings document can be found here.

11:32:08

'Take a chance on us,' Davey tells Sky News

Sky deputy political editor Sam Coates asks Sir Ed Davey what success looks like to the Liberal Democrats.

He says that in the first instance, success is "lots of liberal MPs getting elected".

Sir Ed says he wants people to "take a chance on us" - and see the Lib Dems have "got great ideas, great candidates".

"And the more of us they vote for, the more we can get real change because we are the party offering change - whether it's on the political system or health and care".

He says his policy on health is "the most ambitious" of any party.

Sir Ed later tells GB News that in many seats, the Lib Dems are the only party who can beat the Tories.

11:29:47

Will Lib Dems get UK back into Europe?

Continuing to take questions from journalists, Sir Ed Davey is now asked about the Liberal Democrat's long-standing ambition of getting the UK to the "heart of Europe".

He's asked specifically on when he would want to see the UK back in Europe.

"We've made clear time and again that we are a pro-European party who believe that our country's interests are best served by working with other countries in mutual benefit.

"We believe in the long term."

"But we're being really clear that we're not going to pretend that's going to be easy," he adds, adding that the Tories damaging the UK's reputation so badly has made it harder.

"There are lots of things set out in the manifesto about how we could begin to rebuild that relationship... but it's going to take time."

Asked what he makes of the European elections across the weekend may mean for those plans, he says: "[People] want change and we want change, too, because we're unhappy."

You can follow the fallout from those polls, which led to Emmanuel Macron calling a snap election in France after major gains for the far right, in our dedicated live blog:

11:27:08

Lib Dems will be 'great local champions' in parliament

In the first question from the press, Sir Ed Davey is asked what his party will do to actually affect government, since they are unlikely to actually win a majority of seats.

Sir Ed says his party has a "proud record of being great local champions".

Sending more Lib Dems to Westminster will mean more local champions in the Commons.

He says this will also mean they can affect "the big issues of the day" - and start winning debates.

The manifesto and his policies are "already influencing the debate" in the current campaign, Sir Ed claims.

The Lib Dems were not even the third-largest party in the last parliament, losing that status to the SNP.

11:12:44

Lib Dem leader pays emotional tribute to his mum

Ed Davey begins his speech with an emotional speech discussing his own care story - looking after his mother who was battling cancer when he was young.

"When she died, I never called myself a young carer, I never thought of myself that way. I was just looking after my mum," he says.

"It has been truly overwhelming over the past week or so to have the incredible messages I've received from people who've heard me talking about my experiences caring for my mum when I was a teenager," he says.

"Your message just means so much to me… caring has been in the shadows for far too long. And I'm proud that as a party we have brought it into the light."

Bereavement support

He returns to his care story a few minutes later, when discussing restoring bereavement support for parents whose partners have died.

"I remember how important the widow's pension was for my mum after my dad had died," he says, adding "you can imagine how angry I was" when the Conservatives cut it in 2017.

Getting emotional again, he says: "I am proud that in this manifesto we commit to reversing those cuts and restoring proper support payments to parents like my mum."

Election latest: Lib Dem leader unveils plan to 'save the NHS' - and fix UK's 'broken' relationship with EU (2024)

FAQs

Do the Lib Dems want to rejoin the EU? ›

The Liberal Democrats have said they want to re-join the European Union, but have stressed it is a "longer term objective".

What is the Liberal Democrats manifesto in 2024? ›

In the 2024 manifesto, that has become a promise to “put tackling climate change at the heart of a new industrial strategy”. In fact, climate change comes third in the list of priorities in the manifesto, after the economy and business and jobs.

What do Liberal Democrats stand for in the UK? ›

Emphasising stronger protections for civil liberties, the party promotes social-liberal approaches to issues like LGBT rights, drug liberalisation, education policy and criminal justice. It favours a market-based economy supplemented with social welfare spending.

Who is the Lib Dem leader? ›

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey refuses six times to say whether coalition-era austerity was a mistake.

What countries have left the EU since joining? ›

Currently, the United Kingdom is the only state to have withdrawn from membership of the European Union.

Did the UK want to leave the EU? ›

Referendum result

In the referendum 51.89% voted in favour of leaving the EU (Leave), and 48.11% voted in favour of remaining a member of the EU (Remain). After this result, Cameron resigned on 13 July 2016, with Theresa May becoming Prime Minister after a leadership contest.

What are the 4 liberal ideas? ›

Major themes
  • believing in equality and individual liberty.
  • supporting private property and individual rights.
  • supporting the idea of limited constitutional government.
  • recognising the importance of related values such as pluralism, toleration, autonomy, bodily integrity, and consent.

What are the liberal democratic ideas? ›

In liberal democracy, an elected government cannot discriminate against specific individuals or groups when it administers justice, protects basic rights such as freedom of assembly and free speech, provides for collective security, or distributes economic and social benefits.

How long have Democrats been liberal? ›

Democrats have been more liberal on civil rights since 1948, although conservative factions within the Democratic Party that opposed them persisted in the South until the 1960s. On foreign policy, both parties have changed positions several times.

What do Republicans believe in? ›

The positions of the Republican Party have evolved over time. Currently, the party's fiscal conservatism includes support for lower taxes, gun rights, government conservatism, free market capitalism, free trade, deregulation of corporations, and restrictions on labor unions.

What do the tories stand for? ›

The British Conservative Party and Conservative Party of Canada, and their supporters, continue to be referred to as Tories. Adherents to traditional Toryism in contemporary times are referred to as High Tories, who typically defend the ideas of hierarchy, natural order, and aristocracy.

What does Republicans mean in the UK? ›

Republicanism in the United Kingdom is the political movement that seeks to replace the United Kingdom's monarchy with a republic. Supporters of the movement, called republicans, support alternative forms of governance to a monarchy, such as an elected head of state.

Who is the boss of the Liberal Party? ›

The position is currently, and has been since 30 May 2022, held by Peter Dutton, who represents the Division of Dickson in Queensland.

Who is the new leader of the Liberal Democrats? ›

Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Incumbent Sir Ed Davey since 27 August 2020
Member ofLiberal Democrat frontbench team Liberal Democrats Federal Board
AppointerLiberal Democrats membership
Inaugural holderDavid Steel and Bob Maclennan
2 more rows

Who was the late Lib Dem leader? ›

Charles Peter Kennedy (25 November 1959 – 1 June 2015) was a British politician who served as Leader of the Liberal Democrats from 1999 to 2006, and was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ross, Skye and Lochaber from 1983 to 2015.

Does the EU need to be democratic? ›

The European Union describes its values as being 'Human Dignity, Freedom, Democracy, Equality, Rule of Law, and Human Rights'. Democracy is a cornerstone of the project that is the European Union, and has been since its inception. It thus also represents a criterion for accession to the EU.

Is Renew Europe liberal? ›

Following the announcement of European election results across Europe, the liberal and centrist Renew Europe Group has pledged to be in the driving seat of a new pro - European coalition in the European Parliament, with the goal of modernising and reforming the Union, if our ambitions are matched by other pro-Europeans ...

Can a nation be removed from the EU? ›

Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union is a procedure in the treaties of the European Union (EU) to suspend certain rights from a member state. While rights can be suspended, there is no mechanism to expel a state from the union. The procedure is covered by TEU Article 7.

Why did the European political community fail? ›

The European Political Community project failed in 1954 when it became clear that the European Defence Community would not be ratified by the French national assembly, which feared that the project entailed an unacceptable loss of national sovereignty.

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