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General Election 2024: Analysis of resigning MPs reveals upcoming demographic shift in parliament | UK News

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.

Early retirement

Considering all 132 MPs not seeking re-election, age has been a crucial factor. Perhaps unsurprisingly those leaving are on average seven years older than those seeking re-election.

But look a little closer and there’s a striking difference between the parties: resigning Conservative MPs are, on average, 10 years younger than their Labour counterparts, at 56 and 66 years old, respectively.

Mps resigning younger

This suggests that while Labour may be experiencing a routine turnover, the Conservatives might be facing a different kind of renewal, driven by political disenchantment and the prospect of heavy seat losses.

So, the next parliament could see a significant influx of Conservative MPs with minimal parliamentary experience, potentially reshaping the party’s dynamics as it ponders new leadership and where it stands on policy.

Veteran MPs standing down

Age isn’t the only sign of experience. It is just as important to consider when an MP was first elected. Notably, 38% of resigning MPs first entered the Commons between 1974 and 2005. The departure of these MPs raises questions about the development of collective experience.

MPs retiring by length of service
Image:
MPs retiring by length of service

Interestingly, an almost equal proportion of resigning MPs (30%) have spent less than 10 years in parliament. This mix of long-serving and relatively new MPs stepping down suggests that the life of an MP may be becoming increasingly challenging.

Whether due to the demands of the job, political disenchantment, harassment, or other factors, this highlights the pressures faced by MPs and could signal a significant generational shift.

Both Dehanna Davison and Mahri Black have spoken about the challenges of working as Members of Parliament. Ms Davison quoted in her letter of resignation that her chronic migraines make it difficult to plan work ahead and that she was afraid to be perceived as weak if she had to cancel events due to migraine episodes. Ms Black cited safety concerns, social media abuse and unsociable hours as she explained her decision to step down.

Their stories also indicate the difficulties faced by women MPs specifically.

While a smaller proportion of women MPs (15%) than men (23%) are resigning in 2024, more than half of them (52%) have spent less than 10 years in the job, compared with 23% for men.

Female Mps retire quicker

Recent research has found that prominent young women MPs are more likely to attract abuse, harassment and intimidation. This, together with the higher structural barriers faced by women to participate in electoral politics may be driving the turnaround.

While a record number of women stand for election, also a significant number of women resign.

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An analysis of Democracy Club’s most recent dataset of candidates for the 2024 general election suggests that the proportion of women selected to stand for parliament remains relatively stable – around a third (34% in 2019 and 32% in 2024).

Among the major parties, 31% of Conservative candidates are women, while Labour boasts a higher figure at 47%.

Although Labour’s current percentage represents a slight decline from 2019, when 53% of their candidates were women, it is still a strong showing.

So, we will likely see a significant proportion of women elected on 4 July. Notably, if Labour secures victory, it will mark the first time a substantial number of women would be in government, reflecting a shift towards greater gender representation in UK politics.

Since 21% of them are standing for the first time, let’s hope that more experienced incumbent MPs will make them feel welcomed in politics.


Dr Sofia Collignon is an associate professor in Comparative Politics at Queen Mary, University of London and an expert in the study of candidates, elections and parties and gendered violence against political elites.

Sunak claims Starmer could ‘put Brexit in peril’ – as Labour warn voters against election complacency | Politics News

The Conservatives have claimed a Labour government could “put Brexit in peril” in statements and op-eds published on the eighth anniversary of the EU referendum.

Rishi Sunak has made a series of claims about rival Sir Keir Starmer and his intentions if Labour get into government – claiming he “would recommit us to free movement of EU citizens, taking thousands more illegal migrants and binding our businesses again in Brussels red tape”.

“Keir Starmer has never believed we can succeed as a sovereign country and has tried to overturn the result time and time again,” he said. “Now he has committed to years more wrangling the EU and abandoning all our hard-won freedoms like the ability to strike more trade deals and cut more red tape.

“Make no mistake, Brexit would be in peril under Labour.”

General election: Follow the latest updates

Rishi Sunak speaking during a visit to a bathroom supply company near Rhyl, Wales.
Pic: PA
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Sunak and three other Conservatives have launched Brexit-related attacks on Labour. Pic: PA

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch has claimed Starmer and Labour “have never believed in Britain’s ability to forge its own path”.

“Instead of using the opportunities, Starmer wants to renegotiate the Brexit deal, taking us back to square one of being a rule-taker from Brussels,” she added.

“Only the Conservatives will continue to take the bold action required to build a secure, independent future for our country.”

What have Labour said about Brexit and the EU?

Sir Keir last month told Sky News he plans to seek “a better [Brexit] deal than the one that we’ve got” if elected in next month’s general election.

“I don’t think many people look at that deal and think it’s working very well,” he said of the current trade arrangements. “We were promised an oven-ready deal and we got something that was, frankly, half-baked.”

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‘We need a better Brexit deal’

The Labour manifesto makes one mention of Brexit. It reads: “With Labour, Britain will stay outside of the EU. But to seize the opportunities ahead, we must make Brexit work.”

“We will reset the relationship and seek to deepen ties with our European friends, neighbours and allies,” it continues. “That does not mean reopening the divisions of the past.

“There will be no return to the single market, the customs union, or freedom of movement.

“Instead, Labour will work to improve the UK’s trade and investment relationship with the EU, by tearing down unnecessary barriers to trade.”

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Meanwhile, Home Secretary James Cleverly has claimed Labour will “open the door to 100,000 illegal migrants” in a piece for the Sunday Telegraph – which a Labour spokesperson has already labelled “desperate lies from a party that has totally failed to control our borders or manage the asylum system”.

And in The Times, Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has said in a new interview: “I think one of the biggest question marks over Labour is what they would do in terms of relations with the EU because it is on the record that Starmer did everything he could to frustrate a Brexit deal and to secure a second referendum.

“I was in the room with him when we were trying to negotiate an agreement between Labour and the Conservatives under Theresa [May] to secure a Brexit deal.”

Meanwhile, as polls continue to predict Labour are heading for a comfortable majority, their national campaign co-ordinator has reminded the public: “Change will only happen if you vote for it.”

Labour’s national campaign coordinator Pat McFadden wrote in the Observer: “There is a danger that the debate in this election becomes consumed by polls and specifically by the idea that the outcome is somehow pre-determined… No way is this election a done deal.

“The headlines about the clutch of MRP polls disguise a huge level of uncertainty.”

Emma Thompson backs Just Stop Oil at London march as protesters boo ‘all politicians’ | Climate News

Dame Emma Thompson has backed Just Stop Oil, just days after the climate action group attacked Stonehenge with orange paint.

The actress led thousands of people on a Restore Nature Now march in London on Saturday, aimed at persuading politicians to put nature and climate first.

Asked if she supported Just Stop Oil, whose supporters have also targeted private jets, the Magna Carta and the Duke of Westminster’s wedding this year, she said: “I think I support anyone who fights this extraordinary battle.”

Election latest:
Farage ‘playing into Putin’s hands’ – Sunak

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Stonehenge sprayed orange by climate activists

Dame Emma added: “We cannot take any more oil out of the ground. I mean, there’s much argument about it. And I know there’s a lot of very complicated economic arguments about it.

“We have to leave all the resources in the ground, we cannot bring them out of the ground.”

Emma Thompson led the march in London on Saturday
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Emma Thompson led the march in London on Saturday

More than 350 charities, businesses and direct action groups joined Dame Emma on the protest, along with renewable energy tycoon and Labour donor, Dale Vince, and naturalists Chris Packham and Steve Backshall.

Mr Packham said it was the first time organisations across the entire spectrum of campaigning and conservation have united, from the National Trust to Just Stop Oil.

Reflecting on the long campaign to achieve action on climate change, Dame Emma called it “extraordinary”, as “we have known about this for decades and government after government have completely ignored the advice”.

“All the scientists are saying we are in deep, deep trouble,” she added.

People during a Restore Nature Now rally at Parliament Square in central London. Picture date: Saturday June 22, 2024.
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Protesters rallied at Parliament Square. Pic: PA

The UK, she said, is “one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world”.

She added: “But we are also one of the most rich, so this is not good for anybody.

“Anyone who has ever written about our country [has written] about the beauty of these islands and they are being despoiled, polluted and destroyed at an unprecedented rate.

“We have to take action now. There is not enough discussion about this. It has to come to the forefront of our politics at every level.”

The Red Rebel Brigade during a Restore Nature Now protest in central London. Picture date: Saturday June 22, 2024.
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Environmental campaign troupe, The Red Rebel Brigade, at the protest. Pic: PA

A model of an insect during a Restore Nature Now rally at Parliament Square in central London. Picture date: Saturday June 22, 2024.
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A model of an insect at the march. Pic: PA


Protesters marched from Hyde Park to Parliament Square, staying in a line, led by Dame Emma and Mr Packham who held a banner reading Restore Nature Now.

Other banners carried different messages, including There’s No Life Without Wildlife and There Isn’t A Reset Button.

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From earlier this month: Just Stop Oil disrupt duke’s wedding

Some of the crowd booed and gestured as they walked past Downing Street.

Gary Smith, a 64-year-old ex-veteran, said: “The booing was because they’re useless in acting against any policies to do with wildlife. It’s the booing of all politicians.”

While wildlife rescuer Sally Burns, 58, said: “The state of this country… it’s politicians that run it and look at the state of it, a mess in many many ways. It’s the people in power that have caused all this.”

Rishi Sunak says Nigel Farage ‘playing into hands of Putin’ with ‘completely wrong’ comments on Ukraine war | Politics News

Rishi Sunak has said Nigel Farage’s comments about the West provoking Vladimir Putin were “completely wrong” and play into the Russian dictator’s hands.

The Reform UK leader is facing a backlash from across the political spectrum for saying that the expansion of NATO and the EU “provoked” Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Follow the latest updates on the general election campaign

Mr Sunak told reporters: “What he said was completely wrong and only plays into Putin’s hands.

“This is a man who deployed nerve agents on the streets of Britain, is doing deals with countries like North Korea

“And this kind of appeasement is dangerous for Britain’s security, the security of our allies that rely on us and only emboldens Putin further.”

In an interview with BBC Panorama, Mr Farage said he had been warning since the fall of the Berlin Wall that there would be a war in Ukraine due to the “ever-eastward expansion of NATO and the European Union”.

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Farage: NATO expansion ‘provoked’ Ukraine war

He said this was giving Mr Putin a reason to tell the Russian people “they’re coming for us again” and go to war.

The Reform leader confirmed his belief the West “provoked” the conflict – but said it was “of course” the Russian president’s “fault”.

Asked about comments he made in 2014 stating that Mr Putin was the statesman he most admired, Mr Farage said: “I said I disliked him as a person, but I admired him as a political operator because he’s managed to take control of running Russia.”

Mr Putin has served continuously as either Russian president or prime minister since 1999, with elections which have been described as “rigged”.

Mr Sunak is the latest Conservative figure to condemn the comments, after Home Secretary James Cleverly said Mr Farage was “echoing Putin’s vile justification for the brutal invasion of Ukraine”.

Meanwhile, former Defence Secretary Ben Wallace branded the Reform UK leader a “pub bore…who often says if ‘I was running the country’ and presents very simplistic answers to actually I am afraid in the 21st century complex problems”.

Read more:
Parties raise £5.8m in a week
Who are Reform UK?
Do the figures in Reform UK’s ‘manifesto’ add up?

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Farage called out over comments

Mr Farage has so far enjoyed a relatively smooth campaign, with his party’s popularity increasing and even overtaking the Conservatives in some polls.

Senior Tories, some of whom want Mr Farage to join them to counter the threat of Reform UK, have until now refrained from the sort of personal attacks they have launched at Sir Keir Starmer.

The most that cabinet ministers have said against him up to now is that a vote for him is a vote to put Labour in Downing Street with a “super-majority”.

Starmer: Farage remarks ‘disgraceful’

Sir Keir also condemned Mr Farage’s remarks, calling them “disgraceful”.

“I’ve always been clear that Putin bears responsibility, sole responsibility for the Russian aggression in Ukraine”, he said.

“Anybody who wants to stand to be a representative in our Parliament should be really clear that whether it’s Russian aggression on the battlefield or online, that we stand against that aggression.”

Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey said: “It is Putin and Russia who are to blame for this, no one else.”

He added: :”I don’t share any values with Nigel Farage.”

Following the backlash, the former Brexit party leader posted a late-night tweet appearing to clarify his comments.

He wrote: “I am one of the few figures that have been consistent & honest about the war with Russia. Putin was wrong to invade a sovereign nation, and the EU was wrong to expand eastward.

“The sooner we realise this, the closer we will be to ending the war and delivering peace.”

Windrush scandal: Campaigners demand citizenship for all victims in first 100 days of new government | UK News

Windrush campaigners are calling on the next government to grant citizenship to all victims of the immigration scandal in the first 100 days after the election.

Campaigners including Action for Race Equality (ARE) have warned that the current compensation and documentation scheme is “unwieldy” and in need of desperate reform.

This comes as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said that justice for the Windrush community “has taken far too long” as he promised a “fundamental reset” for the Windrush generation.

Sir Keir said the Windrush generation, who arrived 76 years ago on HMT Empire Windrush, in Tilbury, Essex, represented the “best of Britain” as his party vowed sweeping reform, including appointing a Windrush commissioner, to help them.

The Windrush scandal refers to migrants from the Caribbean who started to arrive in 1948 to help rebuild Britain after the war.

They were given the right to live and work in Britain permanently but many were later wrongly deemed illegal immigrants.

Windrush
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Many people who arrived from the Caribbean on HMT Empire Windrush lost their UK jobs and homes. Pic: AP

As a result of the scandal, a Windrush Scheme for Documentation was established in 2018 so those impacted were able to retrieve their documents and demonstrate their right to citizenship.

The Home Office estimates that more than 16,800 people have been provided with their documents through the scheme.

However, ARE says a third of those who have received documents are from EU countries and claims more than 57,000 people impacted by the Windrush scandal may still be eligible.

The charity has also criticised the Windrush Compensation Scheme which the Home Office says has paid out £85.86m across 2,382 claims, as of March.

Jeremy Crook OBE, chief executive, Action for Race Equality
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Jeremy Crook OBE, chief executive, Action for Race Equality

But Jeremy Crook OBE, ARE chief executive, believes almost 4,000 claims were rejected and says it is likely because the 44-page long application is “very bureaucratic” and “onerous”.

“Our manifesto calls for legal aid to be put in place by the next government,” says Mr Crook.

‘A fundamental reset’

Labour have said that, if elected, they’re going to streamline the initial applications for compensation, speed up payouts and implement the recommendations which Wendy Williams made in her independent Windrush Lessons Learned Review.

Sir Keir said: “The Windrush generation embodies the best of Britain: determination, spirit, public service and graft.

“But instead of being thanked, they’ve been badly mistreated.

“A Labour government will offer a fundamental reset moment for the Windrush generation, with respect and dignity at its very core.”

He promised “urgent reform” of the compensation system and to restore the Windrush Unit to the Home Office along with appointing a Windrush commissioner to be “the voice of families affected”.

He added: “Justice has taken far too long for the Windrush community.

“A government that I lead won’t let this happen again. Where the Tories have dragged their feet, I am determined to get money out the door to compensate those who were failed by the state.”

‘I still think they’re gonna come for me’

Shane Smith spent almost his entire life in the UK before he was told he had no right to be in the country
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Shane Smith spent almost his entire life in the UK before he was told he had no right to be in the country

Shane Smith, 44, was born in Trinidad and Tobago, but was brought to the UK by his British mum when he was just four months old.

He was at work, in his early thirties, when he was told he had no right to remain in the only place he knew as home.

“I was dragged into the office and they were like, you’ve got an immigration issue,” says Mr Smith.

“I said, ‘Can’t you hear my voice? I’m a scouser!’ That’s when everything fell apart.”

He lost his job as a result of the scandal and it took him years to obtain the documents he needed to be granted the citizenship he was already entitled to.

Mr Smith became homeless as a result of work insecurities, and years later is still battling with mental health issues.

“I just felt alone, I couldn’t provide for my family anymore… I’m embarrassed, because I am a proud man, and before this I thought I was very, very strong,” says Mr Smith.

“I still think they’re gonna come for me.”

Although he may be entitled to compensation, Mr Smith hasn’t yet applied for the scheme, as he believes the process does not consider the complex lives created by the scandal.

Read more from Sky News:
Starmer makes ‘Swift pit stop’… at the Eras Tour
Heatwave could hit UK next week – but there’s a catch
Farage says West ‘provoked’ Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

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“I’ve got to go through a dossier and provide all this stuff, when half the time I was homeless,” he says.

He says when he received the compensation booklet, he couldn’t face going through the paperwork.

“I just threw it in the bin.”

Mr Smith also says even if he found the mental strength to fill it out, he’s not sure he could accept the money based on principles.

“If I accept it, it’s just like saying what you did to me is fine, and you are okay doing that to anyone else,” he says.

It’s this “lack of faith” in the government’s ability to right the wrongs of the scandal that has inspired ARE, which is also calling upon the incoming government to establish a Windrush covenant for mental health.

JK Rowling will ‘struggle to support’ Labour with Starmer’s stance on gender | Politics News

JK Rowling has said she will “struggle to support” Labour if Sir Keir Starmer keeps his current stance on gender recognition.

The Harry Potter author has authored a 2,000-word essay in The Times in which she outlines her dissatisfaction with the Labour Party‘s current position.

In the piece, she criticises Sir Keir, as well as shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, shadow equalities secretary Anneliese Dodds, shadow foreign secretary David Lammy and shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry.

Election latest: Starmer makes ‘Swift pit stop’

Rowling has been outspoken in her belief that biological women should be able to have separate spaces, and trans women – who were born male – should not be allowed access.

She has been criticised for her position, being widely condemned in recent years for her views on transgender rights, for example claiming that she would rather go to jail than refer to a trans person by their preferred pronouns.

Transgender newsreader India Willoughby recently responded to comments by Rowling as “genuinely disgusted”.

She added: “Grotesque transphobia, which is upsetting. I am every bit as much a woman as JK Rowling.”

Daniel Radcliffe, who became a worldwide star after playing schoolboy wizard Harry in the blockbuster adaptations of the novels, has also criticised her views, and said in an interview last month that the fallout with Rowling “makes me really sad“.

JK Rowling and India Willoughby
Pic: Reuters/PA
Image:
JK Rowling and India Willoughby. Pic: Reuters/PA

JK Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe at the UK premiere of Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004.
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JK Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe at the UK premiere of Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004. Pic: PA

In the article, the author speaks about how she thought she “misheard” Sir Keir in 2021 when he criticised Labour candidate Rosie Duffield for saying only women have a cervix.

Sir Keir was asked about this statement in a recent leaders debate, at which point he said he agreed with Sir Tony Blair that women have vaginas and men have penises.

Rowling says she felt the Labour leader gave “the impression that until Tony Blair sat him down for a chat, he’d never understood how he and his wife had come to produce children”.

She added that she “really wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt”.

In her article, Rowling claims to “have been a Labour voter, a member (no longer), donor (not recently) and campaigner (ditto) all my adult life” – and she wants to see the end of the Conservative government.

According to Electoral Commission records, she gave £1m to the party in 2008, and £8,000 in 2015.

Read more:
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Rowling accuses Starmer of ‘misrepresenting equalities law’
Starmer says 99.9% of women ‘haven’t got a penis’

In the article, the author highlighted Ms Dodds for saying what a woman is “depends on what the context is”.

Ms Cooper is criticised for saying she was “not going to get into rabbit holes on this”.

Rowling points to Ms Thornberry for saying: “some women will have penises. Frankly, I’m not looking up their skirts, I don’t care”.

And Mr Lammy draws ire for saying women like Rowling are “dinosaurs hoarding rights”.

David Lammy MP calls for immediate humanitarian ceasefire
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David Lammy is among those who Rowling criticised

The Harry Potter author also claims Mr Lammy said that a cervix is “something you can have following various procedures and hormone treatments”.

Rowling wrote: “It’s very hard not to suspect that some of these men don’t know what a cervix is, but consider it too unimportant to Google.”

The NHS definition of the cervix is the opening between the vagina and the womb.

Rowling says the debate for “left-leaning” women like herself “isn’t, and never has been, about trans people enjoying the rights of every other citizen, and being free to present and identify however they wish”.

Instead, she says it is “about the right of women and girls to assert their boundaries”.

She adds: “It’s about freedom of speech and observable truth.

“It’s about waiting, with dwindling hope, for the left to wake up to the fact that its lazy embrace of a quasi-religious ideology is having calamitous consequences.”

The author says she met a mother of a girl with learning difficulties who was “smeared as a bigot and a transphobe for wanting female-only intimate care” for her.

“I cannot vote for any politician who takes issue with that mother’s words,” Rowling adds.

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She concludes: “An independent candidate is standing in my constituency who’s campaigning to clarify the Equality Act.

“Perhaps that’s where my X will have to go on 4 July.

“As long as Labour remains dismissive and often offensive towards women fighting to retain the rights their foremothers thought were won for all time, I’ll struggle to support them.

“The women who wouldn’t wheesht didn’t leave Labour. Labour abandoned them.”

Earlier in the day, Sir Keir ruled out lifting the block on the Scottish government’s controversial gender reforms.

Sky News has approached the Labour Party for comment.

Parties raise £5.8m in second week of campaign – with Labour greatly exceeding others | Politics News

Labour raised almost £4.4m in the second full week of the general election campaign – close to 15 times the amount brought in by the Tories.

Rishi Sunak’s party took in just under £300,000 between 6 and 12 June.

Reform UK raised more than double this figure, with £742,000 taken.

Election latest: Sunak faces more question on betting scandal

However, £500,000 of this money was handed over by Britain Means Business, a company run by Reform’s deputy leader Richard Tice.

The Liberal Democrats also took in more than the Conservatives, raising £335,000.

The Green Party raised £20,000.

Labour raised £4,383,400 – and its partner the Co-operative Party raised £60,000.

The Conservatives raised £292,500, according to Electoral Commission figures.

The Tory figure is also roughly half of what they raised in the first full week of the campaign.

Between 30 May and 5 June, the Conservatives took in £574,918, compared to Labour’s £926,908.

However, looking at the 2019 election, the Conservative Party raised ten times this in the first week of the campaign.

They took in £5.7m between 6 and 12 November 2019.

Labour took in £218,500 at this time.

Keir Starmer and  Rachel Reeves tour a Morrisons supermarket in Wiltshire.
Pic: Reuters
Image:
Labour has raised almost 15 times what the Tories did. Pic: Reuters

Read more:
Do the figures in Reform’s manifesto add up?
Who are the Liberal Democrats?
What are the Conservative’s policies?
What are Labour’s policies?

Who gave the parties the most money?

Digging into the breakdown from the Electoral Commission, we can see a bit more about who gave the different parties the most money.

As mentioned, Reform’s biggest donor is a company run by their deputy leader.

A man called David Lilley also gave the party £100,000, and another notable contributor was Holy Vukadinovic – the maiden name of model Holly Valance – who gave £50,000.

For Labour, the biggest donor was Lord Sainsbury, who gave £2.5m, followed by Autoglass boss Gary Lubner, who handed over £900,000.

Their largest union donation came from train driver body Aslef, which donated £100,000.

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For the Lib Dems, they received £150,000 from Adam Management Holdings, and another £100,000 from the late John Faulkner, a former party member who has left money to the party.

The Conservatives registered a £50,000 donation from “The Spring Lunch” – which is the name of one of their fundraising events – as well as £50,000 from Bestway Wholesale, a company which has a Tory peer named as a director.

Euro 2024: Eight England fans arrested in Frankfurt – as offences revealed | World News

Eight England fans have been arrested in Frankfurt, where the Three Lions took on Denmark on Thursday night in their Euro 2024 clash.

One was detained for riding an e-scooter while under the influence of alcohol.

Others were held for bodily harm and violating narcotics laws.

The police also confirmed one arrest had been made after a person attempted to enter the stadium dressed as a referee – though their nationality was not specified.

German police monitor fans from a bridge in Frankfurt Pic: AP
Image:
German police monitor fans from a bridge in Frankfurt Pic: AP

Hessen Police said no Danish fans were arrested in the city yesterday.

A spokesman added that there was an “exuberant mood” among the fan groups – and despite the arrests, there was a “peaceful togetherness on the streets”.

On Wednesday, three England fans were also arrested by German police.

Their alleged offences included bottle throwing, throwing a missile at an officer, and being in possession of drugs.

Although there was a small amount of unrest, the UK Football Policing Unit said no major issues were reported as 2,000 fans packed into the main city square.

Rubbish left after the match. Pic: Reuters
Image:
Rubbish left after the match. Pic: Reuters

“This is indicative of what we have seen across Germany so far, with the vast majority of England fans behaving extremely well,” the statement added.

Ahead of the Group C clash – which ended in a 1-1 draw – local detectives had classed the match as “high risk”.

But while there was an increased police presence in and around the stadium, there was no ban on alcohol sales within the venue.

Read more:
Frustrated England eke out draw
Serbia threaten to quit tournament

Pic: AP
Image:
British police are in Germany helping to monitor England fans. Pic: AP

In the run-up to England’s match against Serbia last weekend, riot police were forced to intervene outside a restaurant festooned with Serbian flags.

Video posted on social media showed men throwing chairs at each other.

Seven Serbia supporters and one England fan were detained after the brawl and missed the game.

Last week, Sky News spoke to the British officers deployed to Germany to help monitor England fans.

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Chairs and bottles thrown as football fans clash

PC Stuart Dickerson, from the UK Football Policing Unit, said: “We have seen people openly taking cocaine off the back of their hands.

“They’re drinking beer that’s a lot stronger than they’re used to and people tend to get carried away and do things they don’t do at home.”

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He warned that “the slightest thing” can change the dynamic in the crowd after hours of drinking – with something as little as a smashed bottle or a cross word sparking a fight.

“They’re singing a song and all of a sudden, they just turn, and you see the body language change, the chest puffs up,” he added.

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Fans celebrate first England goal of the Euros

Spotters in the crowd have identified English supporters who have previous convictions for football violence – and at the time of the interview, PC Dickerson said about 100 known hooligans had been seen.

After a disappointing draw, attention now turns to England’s final group game in Cologne.

Gareth Southgate’s side will face Slovenia in Cologne at 8pm UK time on Tuesday.

‘Tawdry’ Conservative Party’s campaign is marred by election betting scandal, Ruth Davidson says | Politics News

The Conservative Party is seen as “sleazy” and “grubby”, Ruth Davidson has said, as two of its candidates are being investigated over alleged bets placed on the election date.

The Gambling Commission is looking into two Tory candidates over alleged wagers on the date of the 4 July election.

An industry source has told Sky News that “more names” are being looked into, but police are so far “not involved”.

Speaking on the Electoral Dysfunction podcast with Sky News political editor Beth Rigby, and former broadcaster and presenter Carol Vorderman, the former leader of the Scottish Tories waded into the fallout of the alleged betting scandal.

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“What an absolute shit show. Firstly, I mean, how tawdry is it?” she said.

She described it as akin to “insider trading” and criticised Rishi Sunak’s response, saying he had repeatedly failed to get out in front and take control of events.

Speaking on the podcast, Ms Vorderman added: “The Tory party as they stand is just sleazy, it’s grubby.

“And it has gone on and on and on.

“From outside the Westminster bubble, whatever Sunak says, people now openly laugh at Tory politicians whenever they’re out of your studio Beth.

“Whenever they’re in front of an audience they don’t command any respect whatsoever.”

The trio also discussed tactical voting and why candidates target some seats more than others.

Tory candidates Craig Williams and Laura Saunders are both under investigation. Ms Saunders is married to the party’s director of campaigns Tony Lee.

Laura Saunders is the party’s candidate in Bristol North West.
Pic: Laura Saunders for Bristol North West
Image:
Laura Saunders is the party’s candidate in Bristol North West.
Pic: Laura Saunders for Bristol North West

Read more:
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It also emerged this week that one of Mr Sunak’s close protection police officers has been arrested over alleged bets on the timing of the election as well.

During a leader’s event on BBC Question Time, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was “incredibly angry” to learn of the allegations and said if anyone had broken the rules “they should face the full force of the law”.

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However, he refused to suspend the candidates while the investigations were ongoing.

It comes as the election campaigns approach the last two weeks before the country heads to the polls.

Email the team electoraldysfunction@sky.uk, post on X to @BethRigby, or send a WhatsApp voice note on 07934 200 444.

Rishi Sunak ‘incredibly angry’ over ‘really serious’ election date betting allegations | Politics News

Rishi Sunak has said he is “incredibly angry” to learn of allegations that Tory candidates placed bets on the election date, calling it a “really serious matter”.

The prime minister told the BBC Question Time leader’s special that “it’s right they’re being investigated by relevant law enforcement” and he is “crystal clear that if anyone has broken the rules they should face [the] full force of the law”.

Asked why those under suspicion haven’t been suspended, Mr Sunak said an investigation had to take place first – but anyone guilty would be “booted out” of the party.

Election latest: Audience shouts ‘shame’ in latest TV showdown

Two Tory party candidates are being investigated by the Gambling Commission over alleged wagers placed on the date of the 4 July contest.

Laura Saunders, the candidate for Bristol North West, has worked for the party since 2015 and is married to its director of campaigns, Tony Lee.

Ms Saunders earlier said she “will be co-operating with the Gambling Commission” probe, while her husband “took a leave of absence” from his role on Wednesday night, a Conservative Party spokesman told Sky News.

The revelation came a week after the prime minister’s close parliamentary aide Craig Williams, the Tory candidate in Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr, admitted to putting a “flutter” on the election, saying this has resulted in “some routine inquiries” which he was co-operating with “fully”.

Mr Sunak’s close protection officer has also been arrested and suspended over alleged bets about the timing of the election.

A gambling industry source told Sky News that “more names” are being looked at, though police “are not involved” in those cases.

Pic: PA
Image:
Pic: PA

The prime minister was asked by an audience member, to a round of applause, if the allegations are “the absolute epitome of the lack of ethics that we have had to tolerate from the Conservative party for years and years”.

He replied: “I was incredibly angry to learn of these allegations. It is a really serious matter.”

“I want to be crystal clear that if anyone has broken the rules, they should face the full force of the law.”

Quizzed over why the candidates have not been suspended while the investigations take place, Mr Sunak said the “integrity of that process should be respected”.

He added: “What I can tell you is if anyone is found to have broken the rules, not only should they face the full consequences of the law, I will make sure that they are booted out of the Conservative Party.”

Calls to suspend Tory candidates

Labour Party campaign sources told Sky News they noticed the odds on a July election narrow the day before Mr Sunak announced it on 22 May.

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Gove: Alleged betting ‘unacceptable’

Earlier, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called for Ms Saunders to be suspended and said it is “very telling” Mr Sunak has not already done so.

“If it was one of my candidates, they’d be gone and their feet would not have touched the floor,” Sir Keir added.

Mr Sunak faced many questions about trust during the BBC grilling, with the first audience member asking if he would “confess to [a] small amount of embarrassment” after having five Tory prime ministers in the last seven years and the UK becoming something of an “international laughingstock”.

The Tory leader said that “very clearly mistakes had been made” and asked the public to judge him on the last 18 months in office.

He faced shouts of “shame” when he launched an attack on the “foreign court” – the European Court of Human Rights – and also insisted he was glad he called the election when he did despite his standing in the polls plummeting further since then.

Having named the date of the election amid a 20-point deficit, the prime minister has failed to make up ground in a campaign dominated by political gaffes – notably his early exit from a D-day event.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer speaking during a BBC Question Time Leaders' Special in York. Picture date: Thursday June 20, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Election. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Image:
Starmer faced questions over his policy U-turns. Pic: PA

The gambling scandal was the latest blow, after multiple projections of a historic Labour landslide and a number of big figures – from a former Tory donor to a former Tory minister – announcing they would back Sir Keir for the first time ever when polling day comes around.

Responding to Mr Sunak’s BBC performance, Lib Dem Education Spokesperson Munira Wilson said the prime minister “has gone from ducking D-Day to blundering on betting”.

“If he was truly angry about this scandal these Conservative candidates would have been suspended,” she said.

Pat McFadden, Labour’s National Campaign Coordinator, said Mr Sunak’s “performance tonight was an abject failure”.

The Tories hit back: “It was clear from the debate tonight that Keir Starmer will say just what he thinks you want to hear.”

Read more:
Has Sunak blundered by opting for long, six-week election campaign?
Tory voters say gambling scandal won’t make a difference

Starmer grilled on U-turns

Mr Sunak faced questions after Sir Keir took to the stage for a grilling that mainly centred around his previous support for Jeremy Corbyn and multiple policy U-turns.

The Labour leader ducked a volley of questions over whether he truly believed his predecessor would make a “great” prime minister, but said he would have been better than Boris Johnson – who went on to win in 2019.

On his U-turns, such as rowing back on a promise to abolish university tuition fees and nationalise energy, Sir Keir said he was a “common sense politician” and those pledges were no longer financially viable after the damage the Tories had done to the economy.

Davey confronted over-coalition years

The event also heard from Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey, who faced difficult questions about his record in the coalition years and as postal affairs minister during the Horizon scandal.

Challenged by a student over his party abandoning their pledge to scrap tuition fees in the coalition era, he said: “I understand why your generation lost faith in us. It was a difficult government to be in.”

On his time as postal affairs minister, and whether he was proud of that role, he said he made “two big mistakes”, including failing to initially meet campaigner Alan Bates and not seeing through assurances given to him by the Post Office that there was nothing wrong with the faulty IT system that led to hundreds of wrongful convictions.

Meanwhile, SNP leader John Swinney, when asked whether he was going to carry on with calling for independence “until you get the answer you want”, stressed his belief that Scotland would be better as an independent country.

“I want Scotland to be like Denmark, or Ireland, or Sweden as an independent country. And when you look at those countries, they are more prosperous, they are more equal, they are fairer than Scotland and the United Kingdom,” he said.