Election latest: Senior Tory says bets on date are 'stupid' but seeks to play down scale of scandal (2024)

Key points
  • 'Many more people' under investigation in Tory election betting scandal
  • Cleverly: 'No reason to believe' any ministers involved
  • Tory betting scandal: What is the law around gambling?
  • Labour candidate's office vandalised in 'anti-democratic attack'
  • Live reporting by Faith Ridler
Election essentials
  • Manifesto pledges:Alliance Party|Conservatives|Greens|Labour|Lib Dems|Plaid Cymru|Reform|SNP|Sinn Fein|Workers Party
  • Trackers:Who's leading polls?|Is PM keeping promises?
  • Campaign Heritage:Memorable moments from elections gone by
  • Follow Sky's politics podcasts:Electoral Dysfunction|Politics At Jack And Sam's
  • Read more:Who is standing down?|Key seats to watch|What counts as voter ID?|Check if your constituency is changing|Guide to election lingo|Sky's election night plans


That's all for the Politics Hub tonight

We'll be back at 6am with all the latest from this busy election campaign, which has entered its latter days before polls open on 4 July.

Until then, you can scroll through the posts below to catch up on the day.

Join us for more live updates on Monday.


What are the rules around political donations, do they change for an election and can parties give back money?

It's an election campaign - and that means political donations have ramped up.

What exactly are the rules on donations? Do they change for elections? Who gets the most money? Why do people donate? And can parties give funds back?

Here, we explain...


Mercer: Plymouth hustings 'descended into anarchy'

Veterans minister Johnny Mercer has tonight offered further details of an "awkward" hustings in Plymouth, after which he claimed his Labour rival was "bloating" his military service.

Mr Mercer, who is standing as the Conservative candidate for the Plymouth Moor View constituency, took aim at his Labour opponent Fred Thomas after the event on Wednesday.

The minister questioned whether the Labour candidate had served in combat missions during his time as a Royal Marine, as had been reported by the Guardian newspaper in 2023.

Labour has said Mr Thomas is unable to discuss much of his role in the armed forces because of its "sensitive" nature.

Now, in a lengthy social media post, Mr Mercer described the event, which he said "descended into anarchy".

In response to Mr Mercer's comments, Labour's shadow defence secretary John Healey said: "The Commanding Officer of the Special Forces Support Group wrote of Fred's integrity and his character. Those words will not have been penned lightly. Mr Mercer should do the right thing and withdraw his deeply disrespectful remarks."


The polling industry should be shut down for being useless if the Tories win

By Adam Boulton, Sky News commentator

Have you ever taken part in an opinion poll? I was about to say I haven't and then a dim memory surfaced from decades ago of a nice lady with a clipboard asking me questions in the Berkshire town of Pangbourne.

Whether or not your opinions have been sampled, you will have found it impossible to miss coverage of polls during this electioncampaign.

Reporting of opinion polls has been such a feature of the race that some are complaining about it. The controversy has been inflamed after the dramatic results shown in recent MRP polls,such as this week's YouGov survey for Sky News.

Critics range from those who argue polls are one-day wonders that take coverage away from the "real issues" to others grumbling that polls distort how people vote, even though they may turn out to be wrong.

In this election, there are at least 18 separate companies publishing voting intention polls. They are busier than ever now the campaign is under way.

Read the rest of Adam's column here:


Analysis of resigning MPs reveals upcoming demographic shift in parliament

A flurry of general elections since 2015 has brought an unprecedented churn in our parliamentary representatives.

This year, two in five MPs aren't seeking re-election and the picture for the Conservatives is record-breakingly grim.

An unparalleled total of 23% of Conservative MPs are calling it a day in 2024, more than the previous high of 22% of Tories who quit in 1997, another year of boundary changes.

In contrast, only 15% of Labour MPs are resigning.

There are many reasons MPs quit: from retirement, family commitments and health concerns to career change, abolished constituencies, and the prospect of defeat.

But their decision to depart can reveal much about life in Westminster and have a significant impact on parliament's mix of experience, demographics, and the direction of political parties.

Dr Sofia Collignon, associate professor in Comparative Politics, analyses the churn in our representatives here:


That's all for the Politics Hub show tonight

Our politics show hosted by political correspondent Ali Fortescue has just wrapped up for today.

But don't worry - the Politics Hub will be live at 7pm on Sky News every night through the election campaign.

And until then, you can keep up with all the latest right here.


Where is Liz Truss?

This is the question asked by our political correspondent Darren McCaffrey...

In 2019, Liz Truss was once again elected MP for South West Norfolk - her fourth election win.

The then international trade secretary and later prime minister romped home to victory with nearly 70% of the vote.

Her constituency was one of the safest in the country.

Now, if the polls are to be believed, it is hanging in the balance.

Watch below as Darren tries to track Ms Truss down:

The full list of candidates in the South West Norfolk constituency is:

• Earl Elvis of East Anglia - The Official Monster Raving Loony Party
• James Bagge - Independent
• Gary Conway - Heritage Party
• Pallavi Devulapalli - Green Party
• Lorraine Douglas - Communist Party of Great Britain
• Terry Jermy - Labour Party
• Toby McKenzie - Reform UK
• Josie Ratcliffe - Liberal Democrats
• Liz Truss - Conservative and Unionist Party


Labour would 'reset' for UK-EU relations, says peer

Crossbench peer Lord Darroch is next up with Ali Fortescue.

She asks if Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer becoming prime minister would change the UK's relationship with the European Union.

"Yes, there will be a reset," he says. "I think that he is hosting a European political community summit in Blenheim House within a couple of weeks of the election."

Lord Darroch says Sir Keir will likely be "the star of that show".

"If he wins as big as some of the polls suggest, this will be a historic margin of victory.

"All the other leaders will want to meet him, and talk to him, and discover how he did it."

He will find himself "almost mobbed" at this summit, Lord Darroch claims.


Poll tracker: Where do the parties stand today?

Our live poll tracker collates the results of opinion surveys carried out by all the main polling organisations - and allows you to see how the political parties are performing in the run-up to the general election.

It shows a drop in support in recent days for Labour and the Tories - with a jump for Reform and the Liberal Democrats.

Read more about the tracker here.


Police launch criminal damage probe after Labour candidate's office attacked

The Metropolitan Police have opened an investigation into criminal damage after Labour candidate for Walthamstow Stella Creasy's office was attacked.

Photos shared by Ms Creasy on social media appear to show thethat the glass of one of the windows and the front door was hit several times.

Detectives Superintendent Dion Brown, one of the senior officers responsible for policing Waltham Forest, said: "It is entirely unacceptable for the office of one of London's prospective parliamentary candidates to be targeted in this way.

"An urgent investigation is under way, and officers have attended the scene and are already following up active lines of enquiry, which will include full analysis of all available CCTV footage.

"The incident is believed to have occurred between 03:10hrs and 03:30hrs on Sunday, 23 June.

"I urge any witnesses or anyone with information to contact police and share what they know.

"Anyone who witnessed the damage being caused, or who has other information, should call police on 101 with the reference 2621/23jun."

Ms Creasy sent a message to the perpetrators herself, writing on social media: "You don't intimidate me and you don't belong in the political process.

"Same as those circulating malicious and false leaflets. Police already on this to find you - will press for the strongest penalties for such an anti-democratic attack and I know Walthamstow won't be cowed or influenced by your violence either."

Here is the full list of candidates standing in the constituency of Walthamstow:

  • Imran Arshad, Workers Party of Britain
  • Mohammed Ashfaq, independent
  • Stella Creasy, Labour Party
  • Dan Edelstyn, independent
  • Sanjana Madan Mohan Karnani, Conservative Party
  • Martin Lonergan, Reform UK
  • Ruth Theresa Rawlins, independent
  • Rosalinda Ayo Rowlands, Green Party
  • Nancy Taaffe, Trade Union and Socialist Coalition
  • Rebecca Taylor, Liberal Democrats
Election latest: Senior Tory says bets on date are 'stupid' but seeks to play down scale of scandal (2024)
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