2024 general election: Starmer calls for closer EU ties as Angela Rayner reacts to ‘desperate’ Tories

Starmer mocks Sunak’s National Service plans

Sir Keir Starmer has called for closer links with the European Union while Angela Rayner has hit out at Conservatives “desperate” over the dispute over the housing conditions of her former council house.

Speaking during the general election campaign in Hertfordshire today, the Labor leader said: “I think we can get a better deal with the EU than the one we have… So we have to take it on board. a closer relationship.” He cited trade, defense and security and education as areas with “enormous scope for closer work.”

It comes as Greater Manchester Police and Stockport Council confirmed they would take no further action against their deputy, Ms Rayner, after months of investigations.

Following a complaint from Conservative deputy chairman James Daly, the Ashton-under-Lyne MP faced allegations she may have broken electoral law and avoided capital gains tax and council tax. The allegations revolved around the 2015 sale of her council house in Stockport and whether she provided false information about her address during the 2010s.

Meanwhile, The times reported that Diane Abbott, the longest-serving black MP, will be banned from standing as a Labor candidate in the next general election.

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Geraint Davies announces his resignation from parliament in the general election

Geraint Davies has said he will stand down from Parliament at the general election.

The Swansea West MP is currently suspended from the Labor Party following allegations of sexual harassment, which he denies, and has been sitting as an independent.

In a statement posted on

“As a result, I cannot stand as a Labor candidate at the next general election and will continue to seek a fair hearing after them.”

Tara CobhamMay 28, 2024 7:12 p.m.

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Starmer says decision on Diane Abbott will come ‘in due time’

Sir Keir Starmer has said the dispute over Diane Abbott’s suspension will be resolved “in due course” as he faced questions over a report that an investigation into her racist comments was completed five months ago.

The Labor leader said his party’s National Executive Committee will decide whether Ms Abbott can stand as a Labor MP in the general election.

Sir Keir was asked about a BBC Newsnight report that an investigation into comments the veteran MP made about racism, which led to the Labor whip’s withdrawal, was completed five months ago.

He told broadcasters: “The overall process is obviously a little bit longer than the investigative exercise.

“But in the end, this is a matter that will have to be resolved by the National Executive Committee and will do so in due time.”

Tara CobhamMay 28, 2024 7:10 p.m.

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Police abandon investigation into Angela Rayner over municipal house dispute

Police have dropped an investigation into Angela Rayner over allegations about her former council home.

Following a complaint from Conservative deputy chairman James Daly, Ms Rayner faced scrutiny over the 2015 sale of her council house in Stockport and whether she had given false information about her address during the 2010s.

Read the full story here:

Tara CobhamMay 28, 2024 19:04

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Conservatives say Rayner ‘has yet to explain himself’ in dispute over housing conditions

The Conservatives said Angela Rayner “has still not given an explanation” in the dispute over her housing conditions.

A Conservative Party spokesperson said: “Greater Manchester Police has said it has passed on the results of its investigation into Angela Rayner to HMRC, which does not comment on its tax investigations.

“As tax expert and Labor Party member Dan Neidle said, Rayner has yet to give any explanation.

“Sir Keir Starmer could easily clear this up simply by reading and then publishing the tax notice that Labor claims will exonerate its criticized MP.”

Tara CobhamMay 28, 2024 19:04

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Abbott to be banned from standing as Labor candidate as investigation ended months ago

Diane Abbott will reportedly be banned from standing as a Labor candidate in the general election as it emerged a party investigation into her ended five months ago.

Sir Keir Starmer said on Tuesday the party’s National Executive Committee will decide whether Abbott, the longest-serving black MP, will be able to stand as the party’s candidate in the July 4 general election.

But The times reports that the party leadership has already made a decision about the 70-year-old woman, who was suspended last April for a letter she wrote suggesting that Jews are not subject to the same racism as other minorities.

Tara CobhamMay 28, 2024 7:01 p.m.

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In full: police abandon investigation into Angela Rayner over municipal house dispute

Salma OuaguiraMay 28, 2024 7:00 p.m.

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Diane Abbott will be banned from standing as Labor candidate, reports say

Diane Abbott will reportedly be banned from standing as a Labor candidate in the next general election.

The times reported on Tuesday that it is understood the decision to exclude the MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington will not change.

It comes as Sir Keir Starmer was plunged into a fresh row over Ms Abbott’s suspension after it emerged the investigation into her was completed five months ago.

The Labor leader says the party’s National Executive Committee will decide whether Abbott, the longest-serving black MP, will be able to stand as the party’s candidate in the July 4 general election.

She was suspended last April for a letter she wrote suggesting that Jews are not subject to the same racism as other minorities.

Abbott, a former shadow home secretary under Jeremy Corbyn, apologized for the comments and said the letter had been an “early draft”.

More than a year later, Sir Keir insisted there was an ongoing investigation into Mrs Abbott and he could not get involved in the case. He had promised it would be resolved by June 4.

but a news night The report states that the investigation into Ms Abbott was completed in December. She was given a formal warning for her conduct and was required to complete an anti-Semitism awareness course, which she completed in February, she added.

A source close to Abbott told the BBC program that she has not been told whether she will be allowed to stand as a Labor Party candidate in Hackney North and Stoke Newington, where she was elected in 1987.

But the source added that she did not expect the suspension to be lifted because the party had a “predetermined outcome” and was “lengthening the process to prevent her from being a candidate in the elections.”

Labour's investigation into Diane Abbott was completed in December 2023, according to Newsnight
Labour’s investigation into Diane Abbott was completed in December 2023, according to Newsnight (PA Cable)

Tara CobhamMay 28, 2024 18:49

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Rayner also faces no further action from council over dispute at council house

Angela Rayner also faces no further council investigations into allegations about living conditions at her former council house.

Stockport Council said on Tuesday they would take no further action against the deputy Labor leader.

It comes as Greater Manchester Police announced they were dropping their investigation into Ms Rayner.

A council spokesperson said: “Stockport Council has reviewed and responded to all correspondence relating to this matter, including information received from Greater Manchester Police (GMP), which concluded that no further police action will be taken.

“We have also concluded that no further action will be taken on behalf of the council.”

Tara CobhamMay 28, 2024 18:41

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What is the triple lock plus and what could it mean for pensions?

The new plans would increase the tax-free pension benefit each year in line with the triple lock. This means an increase in line with average wages, inflation or 2.5 per cent, whichever is higher.

The tax-free allowance for both pensions and workers was frozen in 2021 at that year’s level of £12,570 and will not increase again until 2028. Before this, it would rise annually with inflation.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says the measure “demonstrates that we are on the side of pensioners” and adds that it aims to provide “peace of mind and security in retirement”.

Those who receive the state pension solely on the basis of their earnings would not immediately benefit from this policy. After rising 8.5 per cent in April, the state pension is £11,502 a year, meaning no tax is paid on it.

Salma OuaguiraMay 28, 2024 18:30

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‘There is no reason to return to the EU,’ says Starmer as he calls for closer ties

Sir Keir Starmer has said there is “no reason to say we are going back to the EU”.

Asked if his government would review freedom of movement with the EU, the Labor leader said: “We obviously had freedom of movement when we were members of the EU, we don’t have it anymore and we’re not going back.

“There is no reason to say that we are returning to the EU. “We had that referendum in 2016 and we got a result.”

Speaking to an audience at the Airbus factory in Hertfordshire this afternoon, Sir Keir added: “I think we can get a better deal with the EU than the one we have.

“We have done a botched job because Boris Johnson simply wanted to say that he went overboard, he didn’t deliver on the details and we have a deal that doesn’t work as well as it should.

“So we have to embrace that: a closer relationship, I think actually not only in trade, but also in defense.

“I think there is enormous scope to work more closely on defense and security and also on education.”

Tara CobhamMay 28, 2024 18:09