Who won the BBC Question Time election debate?

Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer were grilled by the audience as they tried to win over voters ahead of the 4 July polling day.

Rishi Sunak. (BBC)
Rishi Sunak. (BBC)

Rishi Sunak was jeered and laughed at by voters in the latest TV election debate programme.

Some members of the BBC Question Time audience reacted angrily when the prime minister said he would prioritise the UK’s security over the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

That was in response to the last question of the programme and calls of “shame on you” could still be heard during the programme’s closing credits. A smaller number of audience members had applauded Sunak's stance.

Tell us who you think performed best on Thursday night

The exchange followed a tough night for the PM, who faced challenging questions over the betting scandal that has hit his faltering general election campaign. Sunak said he was “incredibly angry” after a string of people with links to the Tories or Number 10 were caught up in allegations about gambling on the timing of the 4 July contest. He pledged anyone found to have broken betting rules will be “booted out”.

Meanwhile, Sunak was also laughed at as he tried to justify the timing of the election, a decision that appears to have backfired so far with the Conservatives some way behind Labour in the polls. However, he also received applause when he insisted he was fighting for “what I believe is right”, as he said he did when losing to Liz Truss in the 2022 Tory leadership contest.

Labour's Sir Keir Starmer, the Liberal Democrats' Sir Ed Davey and the SNP's John Swinney also appeared on the programme in York in separate half-hour segments.

Starmer was questioned on the NHS waiting list and immigration: two of the issues Sunak has asked voters to judge him on.

On waiting lists, he promised Labour will “clear the backlog completely”. On net migration - which hit a record 745,000 in 2022 - Starmer would not commit to a lower target “because every single politician who has put a number on it has never met that number." He didn’t answer when pressed by host Fiona Bruce on how the party can hit targets on areas such as house building with no firm idea of what it wants migration numbers to be.

Meanwhile, Starmer’s previous support for Jeremy Corbyn once again troubled him. Bruce repeatedly challenged him over his one-time statement that Corbyn would make a great PM. When she then asked for a yes or no answer, there was laughter from the audience when he did not give one, instead saying Corbyn would have been a better premier than Boris Johnson.

Davey was also confronted over the Post Office Horizon IT scandal, for which he has come under fire for failing to do more to help wrongly-convicted subpostmasters when he was Post Office minister between 2010 and 2012, and not acting on concerns raised by sacked subpostmaster Sir Alan Bates.

And, 14 years on from the Lib Dems’ tuition fee fiasco, he also faced angry questions about this - but insisted his party had learned lessons.

Brexit also made an appearance in the discussion as SNP leader Swinney said it was the “source of the problems”, and that rejoining the EU would provide a boost to the country’s manufacturing sector.

Here is how the Question Time election special unfolded:

  • National Service: What is Rishi Sunak’s plan, is it mandatory and how will it work?

    Rishi Sunak has vowed to bring back National Service for 18-year-olds. Under the mandatory scheme, teenagers will have to enrol in the military for 12 months – or spend one weekend each month volunteering in their community.

    A new Royal Commission will design the programme, with a pilot scheme opening for applications in September 2025, ahead of a national rollout by 2029.

    Read the full story from The Telegraph.

  • Sunak: Tories found to have broken betting rules will be booted out of party

    Rishi Sunak has said Tory figures who are found to have broken betting rules “should face the full force of the law” and will be “booted out” of the party.

    The Prime Minister faced tough questions over the betting scandal that has hit his faltering General Election campaign on a BBC Question Time special, which also featured the leaders of Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP.

    Read the full story from PA.

  • Opinion: Who won the BBC Question Time election special? Writers have their say

    The BBC Question Time debate was unique in giving the main leaders a lengthy period to answer questions – half an hour each to be exact.

    Each leader attempted to stand their ground and deliver their core message. Here, two of our columnists react on who they believe did better – and worse.

    Read the full story from The Telegraph.

  • Audience shouts 'shame, shame' at Sunak over ECHR

    the audience member said leaving the ECHR made no strategic sense. (BBC)
    the audience member said leaving the ECHR made no strategic sense. (BBC)

    Sunak was asked if he was serious about leaving the ECHR to push his Rwanda policy.

    He replied that 15 other European countries had agreed that removing people to a safe third country was an important way of solving the issue.

    "When it comes to the ECHR I am crystal clear," he said. "If a foreign court forces me to choose between this country's national security and a foreign court I will choose this country every time."

    Entering into a back and forth with Fiona Bruce, who pointed out that a British judge sat on the court, he said sarcastically, "well it is in Strasbourg, Fiona".

    Jumping into the fray, another audience member said: "There’s only two countries in the world that don’t subscribe to the ECHR - Russia and Belarus."

    Sunak replied that the UK didn't need a foreign court to enforce its rules, prompting the audience to shout "shame, shame".

  • Sunak asked 'are you glad you called the election when you did?'

    Fiona Bruce, following up on a question from an audience member, asked Sunak: "Are you glad you called the election when you did? How's it going", prompting the audience to laugh.

    Sunak insisted he would keep fighting just as he did during the leadership contest with Liz Truss. Which he lost.

    He told the BBC Question Time audience: “It was the right moment to call the election, for the reasons that I have outlined.”

    Asked if he was glad to have called the election, he added: “I am.”

    The Prime Minister compared his current prospects to those he had during the Tory leadership contest of 2022.

    Sunak said: “Even though people didn’t want to hear it at the time, I kept going, I kept saying what I thought was right for this country, I kept going until the end and you know what? I was proved right then.

    “And that is why you can trust me now when I say that what Keir Stammer is promising you is the same fantasy as Liz Truss did and it is just going to make your taxes go up and that matters to me because I don’t want that to happen.”

  • Audience gets tough on Sunak

    The audience have asked Sunak some tough questions.

  • Sunak asked about migration numbers

    Sunak was asked: "Can you tell me how setting strict migration limits is beneficial when we have skills shortages in the NHS?"

    He replied: "You’re right, of course, migrants can make a contribution like my parents, but the levels are too high and they need to come down."

    Asked about limiting people's family members he said people needed to be able to support any family members who were coming to the UK with them.

  • Doctor asks Sunak what will happen next

    The audience member, a doctor, ask Sunak how people could trust he would change a situation where
    The audience member, a doctor, ask Sunak how people could trust he would change a situation where "patients are suffering" and "waiting lists are going up". (BBC)

    A doctor asked Sunak how people could trust what he was saying, when patients were suffering and waiting lists going up.

    Sunak replied: "There is more money going into the NHS than in its history - I’m sure BBC Verify will verify that."

    He added that the Pharmacy First programme meant people could get their medications quicker, and that he would work to expand that if re-elected.

  • What message do you have for people who have been on NHS waiting lists for more than a year, Sunak asked


    Rishi Sunak was asked what message he had for people who had been on NHS waiting lists for more than a year.

    Sunak said that waiting lists had not come down as quickly as they hoped but said they were moving in the right direction.

    "During the pandemic, 6 million referrals that should have happened didn't," he said. "The NHS is today carrying out more checks, tests, scans... than it ever has done. But when you're dealing with 6 million missed referrals that is going to take time."

    “I come from an NHS family… it matters to me personally. We haven’t made as much progress as I would have liked tackling waiting lists in the last 18 months.”

    Sunak made a pledge in January last year that “NHS waiting lists will fall and people will get the care they need more quickly”.

    “Because of the things we are doing, what you are seeing over this year is waiting lists are now starting to go down. There is still a way to go but we will stick to it.”

    The man who asked the question said he wasn’t convinced by Sunak's response. “So your message to people still on the waiting list is: ‘Sorry but could do better’?”

    Sunak looked momentarily surprised. “What I want to do is make sure they get their treatment as quickly as possible.”

  • Sunak asked about national service

    The audience member said he backed the national service scheme. (BBC)
    The audience member said he backed the national service scheme. (BBC)

    An audience member asked Rishi Sunak: "I support the National Service scheme - but many of my friends do not - what are you going to do to encourage people?"

    “I’ve heard an enormous amount of support for it," Sunak said. He added he spoke to someone on the campaign trail who had seen an elderly person fall. They were able to help as they were a volunteer with St John’s Ambulance.

    “That’s why I think national service is a good idea, that one person’s example is a great reason to spread this to as many people as possible," he said.

    Pressed on how he will “make” people do national service, Sunak only said there will be a “set of sanctions and incentives”.

  • Sunak said young people could trust him

    what are you going to do to rebuild the trust of politicians with young people
    what are you going to do to rebuild the trust of politicians with young people

    Sunak was asked how he could build trust between young people and politicians.

    He said if you're asking about the trust in me, "My grandparents came to this country with very little and in two generations I am standing here as your prime minister.

    "This country did something extraordinary for my family," he said.

  • Sunak asked about alleged election betting from Tories

    Sunak was asked about the investigation into three people being investigated over alleged bets linked to the timing of when he announced the date of the election.

    The prime minister said he was as angry as everyone else, he added that they were "serious" allegations and "if anyone is found to have broke the rules not only should they face the full consequences of the law, I will make sure they are booted out of the Conservative Party".

    Laura Saunders and her husband, the Conservatives’ director of campaigning Tony Lee, are among a number of people with links to Sunak’s party or No 10 caught up in the allegations.

    With just two weeks until polling day, Mr Lee took a leave of absence amid reports the couple were being investigated by the gambling regulator.

    In a statement released on Ms Saunders’ behalf, Nama Zarroug, a solicitor at Astraea Linskills, said: “Ms Saunders will be co-operating with the Gambling Commission and has nothing further to add.

    “It is inappropriate to conduct any investigation of this kind via the media, and doing so risks jeopardising the work of the Gambling Commission and the integrity of its investigation. The publication of the BBC’s story is premature and is a clear infringement of Ms Saunders’ privacy rights. She is considering legal action against the BBC and any other publishers who infringe her privacy rights.”

  • Sunak asked if he will 'confess' to embarrassment to be leading Conservative Party

    An audience member asked whether Rishi Sunak would confess to even a small amount of embarrassment to be leading the Tories.

    Sunak said he had acknowledged that mistakes had been made but urged people to judge him on his performance.

  • Rishi Sunak takes the stage

    Rishi Sunak. (BBC)
    Rishi Sunak. (BBC)

    The prime minister is the last person to face questions from the audience.

  • Starmer asked about rents and mortgages

    Starmer was asked how people could save for a deposit while rents were so high.

    "We have to stop the landlords ripping off tenants," Starmer said, adding that bidding wars were driving rents through the roof.

    Fiona Bruce asked how he would stop this, commenting: "Are you telling private landlords they have to take the first offer?"

  • Starmer asked about private school tax

    Starmer said he understood that families work hard to send their children to private schools because they were aspirational for their children. "But all parents are aspirational for their children," he said.

    He added that there were not enough teachers in secondary schools for core subjects such as maths, and wanted to fund more teachers for all children by removing tax breaks for private schools.

  • Starmer asked about Rosie Duffield and trans comments


    Keir Starmer was asked whether he still disagreed with Labour MP Rosie Duffield's comments that only women have a cervix and whether he would stick to his views.

    In 2021, Starmer said it was "not right" to say only women have a cervix, as Duffield had done.

    He told the BBC audience he worried that the debate was "very toxic, very divided" and said "we lost sight of people in all that".

    "We got to the point where the prime minister of the United Kingdom made a trans joke when the mother of a murdered trans girl watched on."

  • Starmer asked about his party not committing to migration targets

    Susan asked if it was acceptable for Labour not to commit to specific targets on immigration. (BBC)
    Susan asked if it was acceptable for Labour not to commit to specific targets on immigration. (BBC)

    Starmer was asked whether it was acceptable that his party hadn't committed to a number regarding net migration.

    He replied: "We want to get it down significantly, it needs to be balanced immigration so that it works for our country and our economy."

    He added that the country needed a skills strategy so the workforce is available for the jobs that need doing. However, he declined to put a fixed number on migration.

    “We need to get that number down, significantly down. I’m not going to put an arbitrary figure on it because every single politician who has put a number on it has never met that number."

    Bruce asked how the party can make targets on areas such as house building with no target migration number.

    Starmer didn't answer, saying: "We've got a plan for our social care workforce, we've got a plan for construction..."

    Net migration hit a record 745,000 in 2022, although it is estimated to have fallen to 672,000 in the year to June 2023.

  • Starmer asked about U-turns

    Starmer was asked why people should trust his party given the U-turns they had made on tuition fees.

    He replied that he had taken "a political decision" to prioritise the NHS, and said: "I accept that is different from the position I put forward five years ago."

  • Nurse asks Starmer whether they would see change on wards

    A nurse asked Keir Starmer if they would see real change on the wards. (Question Time)
    A nurse asked Keir Starmer if they would see real change on the wards. (Question Time)

    An audience member said: "I’m a nurse, you’re talking about putting money in, but are we going to see that on the wards? You’re saying you’re getting rid of waiting lists but that’s putting more pressure on us."

    Starmer said he understood the problems in the NHS, adding "Rishi Sunak is blaming the NHS staff - I know how hard you work".

    He said: "We will be working evening and weekends to get that waiting list down. Because the waiting list is a drag. It will work and we will pay the staff to do it."

    Fiona Bruce added: "Be honest with us now - we know how bad waiting lists are - when can the people expect to see an improvement - and get an appointment within a month?".

    Starmer said: "We will start the work on waiting lists on day one of government if we are elected.

    “We will get those operations going as quickly as we can.

    “We’ve got the models from the London hospital and Leeds hospital: we’re asking those teams to go round the country and say ‘this is how we’ve done it’."

    Asked by Bruce again about when waiting lists will go down, he said: “We will make a start on that absolutely straight away.”

    Pressed once again by Bruce, Starmer said: “We will be able to do two million a year on this model, that means over the course of the parliament we will get it down and clear the backlog completely.”

  • Starmer asked whether he meant Corbyn would be a great prime minister

    Fiona Bruce asked whether Starmer meant it when he said Jeremy Corbyn would be a great prime minister. Starmer repeatedly dodged the question, insisting: "I was campaigning for the Labour Party."

    He went on to say that the country was left with Boris Johnson, who Starmer said offered big promises but didn't deliver.

    “He would be a better prime minister… look what we got: Boris Johnson," Starmer said.

    Pressed on whether he thought Corbyn would be a “great” PM, Starmer said: "I didn't think we were in a position to win that election."

    Emma, the audience member who asked the original question about Starmer's support of Corbyn, said she was not convinced by Starmer's responses.

    “It leaves with the same question about integrity and trust that I had with the clown called Boris Johnson. I would like to vote for someone I can trust," she said.

  • Starmer takes the stage

    Keir Starmer. (BBC)
    Keir Starmer. (BBC)

    Keir Starmer has taken to the stage. His first question is on why he backed Jeremy Corbyn's manifesto.

    Starmer said he campaigned for the Labour Party as he always had done but did not think they would win the election.

    In all the analysis of what went wrong, he said, people said they wanted to see something fully costed and fully funded.

  • Swinney asked whether devolution better than independence

    Swinney was asked whether devolution was better than independence. He said countries that had independence were fairer and more equal than Scotland under devolution.

  • Swinney asked to pick Sunak or Starmer

    Swinney was asked whether Keir Starmer or Rishi Sunak would be better for Westminster.

    "I think the Conservative government has been a total disaster and a calamity, so they can't be out of office quick enough," Swinney said.

  • Swinney asked about climate change goals


    Audience member Henry Cotton asked John Swinney: "Why is the SNP government backtracking on green energy, climate change goals when Scotland is such a world leader on renewable energy?"

    Swinney said there were a lot of issues to wrestle with about energy security and the journey to net zero.

    "The judgements we make have got to be made on a case-by-case basis," he said. "It would take into account all of the issues with oil supply, if we use oil as an example. The prime minister has said he would authorise 100 new oil and gas licences... that is denying the climate emergency."

    He said he would work with oil and gas companies to work towards net zero.

  • Swinney says he wants respectful debate on independence

    Swinney was asked how he can talk about uniting people when he is pushing for a second divisive referendum.

    He said he wanted respectful debate and wanted people to discuss things - also pointing out that he felt people were more divided now than ever before.

  • Swinney asked how he will fund Scotland's NHS without Westminster funding

    Tina quizzed Swinney about the NHS> (BBC)
    Tina quizzed Swinney about the NHS> (BBC)

    Audience member Tina Greenwood asked John Swinney: "If no more money comes from Westminster - how will you fix the NHS in Scotland?"

    He said there were "significant challenges" in Scotland's NHS, and that the SNP was making headway on long waiting lists that came following COVID.

    He said funding came in the form of a block grant from Westminster and from money raised in Scotland. He explained the SNP had raised taxes on higher earners that they now invest in public services.

    "The deeper problem we have... is the long-term effect of 14 years of austerity."

  • Swinney suggests rejoining EU to support growth

    Swinney was asked what "specifically" the SNP would do to support growth and manufacturing.

    He replied that we should rejoin the EU.

    Asked whether that answered her question, the audience member replied: "No."

  • SNP asked whether they will continue pursuing independence

    Audience member Sam asked Swinney whether the SNP would continue having referenda on independence until they got the answer they want.

    He responded that he genuinely believed that Scotland would be better off if it could govern itself. He added that the majority in the Scottish parliament wanted independence but were not being permitted to put that idea to the public.

    He was reminded by host Fiona Bruce that there was a referendum in 2014.

  • Has SNP become complacent, Swinney is asked


    Swinney has been asked by an audience member whether the SNP has become complacent because of its dominance in Scottish politics.

    He replied that on every piece of legislation, on every budget, he had to win friends and allies because the SNP was not always at the forefront in Scottish politics.

    He said he pledged on becoming leader to reach out to other parties and other people to being them back together.

  • Swinney said SNP delivering on promises

    Swinney insisted the SNP was delivering on pledges to Scottish people, including work to eradicate child poverty.

  • John Swinney takes the stage

    John Swinney. (BBC)
    John Swinney. (BBC)

    Scotland's first minister John Swinney is next to take questions from the audience, and said he wanted to regain the trust of the Scottish people.

  • Davey asked what he is doing to make housing more affordable

    An audience member asked about the housing ladder. (BBC)
    Audience member Ryan asked about the housing ladder. (BBC)

    Audience member Ryan asked what Ed Davey would do to make housing more affordable in the cost of living crisis. Fiona Bruce said she had yet to see his housing plans costed - prompting him to explain all of the costings were in the manifesto, citing increased borrowing in this instance.

    "We're going to have to skill up. It needs to happen," he said. "We want a very different approach - a bigger focus on social homes, that means the state investing in social housing."

    He said his wife was in charge of a large council house building scheme and insisted it could be done. "I think it needs political will," he said.

  • Ed Davey asked whether he was proud of his conduct as Post Office minister

    Ed Davey said he was "sorry" for not "seeing through the lies" told by the Post Office. He was asked by audience member France Gregory whether he was proud of his conduct as Post Office minister.

    France Gregory asked Ed Davey about the Post Office inquiry. (Question Time)
    France Gregory asked Ed Davey about the Post Office inquiry. (Question Time)

    "The Horizon scandal is the biggest miscarriage of justice in our country’s history. And my heart goes out to those subpostmasters and their families who have suffered so much. I am representing three in my constituency and hearing their stories is harrowing," he said.

    "I made two big mistakes during that time… Alan Bates wrote to me, I had been in office for two weeks, and I said ‘this is a matter for the Post Office, we don’t govern it’. He wrote back furious and I read his letter and said ‘I better meet him’. I met him in the October - I was the first Post Office minister to meet him - and I listened to his concerns… and I took all his questions and I asked them to my officials and the Post Office.

    "They gave me a categorical assurance that the points Mr Bates was making were not true, that their system had been independently assured by IT experts, that the courts had looked at this and found people guilty under a minute examination. I wish I had seen through that but that is what I was told.

    "I wish I had seen through those lies."

  • Davey swerves question on whether he would go into a coalition again

    Davey dodged questions about whether he would enter into a coalition again, insisting that he was focused on the upcoming election and not what happened after it.

    "What I am being really clear to people about is I want to make sure we maximise the number of Liberal Democrat MPs," he said. "I am determined to focus on that."

  • Audience member asks 'why should I vote for you?'

    An audience member who said she was torn between Labour and the Lib Dems asked Ed Davey why she should vote for his party.

    "I work in youth justice," she said. "That’s important to me - what are you going to to do to help youth violence?"

    Davey said more visible policing was important, and said he found it sad that people had to be worried about knife crime.

  • Davey asked how he can be trusted by people with student debt

    "I understand why your generation lost faith in us," Davey told an audience member who said she had been addled with student debt.

    "It was a difficult government to be in. We got punished at the 2015 election... I would urge people to look at our manifesto." He said he had learned from past mistakes and a disastrous backlash against the Lib Dems that saw him lose his own seat.

    Lola Violet asked Ed Davey how her generation could trust the Lib Dems. (Question Time)
    Lola Violet asked Ed Davey how her generation could trust the Lib Dems. (Question Time)
  • Davey insists manifesto is not a wish list

    The gentleman asked if the Lib Dems were being unrealistic with their manifesto. (BBC)
    The gentleman asked if the Lib Dems were being unrealistic with their manifesto. (BBC)

    Davey said he was "realistic" about the Liberal Democrats' chances of winning the election. "It would be challenging given the polls," he said. "But I don't want to put a ceiling on our ambition."

    He was asked whether his manifesto was realistic, and told the audience: "In our manifesto we say we need to recruit 8,000 GPs - it would take about four years... we need to train more, we need to retain more."

    "It's absolutely not a wish list, it's a programme for government."

  • Davey asked about election stunts

    Linda in the audience. (BBC)

    Davey was asked by audience member Linda about the stunts he had pulled along the campaign trail. She said: "Is this prime ministerial?"

    Ed Davey replied that there was a serious message behind some of his stunts, talking about mental health by sliding down a slide and having fun, and paddle boarding on Lake Windermere. to highlight issues about water sewage problems.

  • Davey asked if Lib Dems can be trusted after coalition

    An audience member told Davey: "People will not be convinced with what you’re saying now" - referencing the party's previous decision to go into a coalition with the Conservatives.

    "Isn’t the problem you’ve got a credibility issue? We all remember broken promises tuition fees, you enabled austerity with Cameron and Osborne," he was asked.

    Davey replied: “I have to say it was very difficult governing with the Conservatives. We couldn’t get everything we wanted. We were faced with a choice: you either had to stay in and fight inside the government, or leave. I think the easy choice would have been to leave the government, voting against it, tour the media studios and complain. The hard choice was to stay in, roll my sleeves up and really fight.”

    Questioned by Bruce, he conceded he is “not proud” of some of the policies he voted for. “A lot of our [current] policies are changing some of the policies we had to agree to back then.”

  • Ed Davey says Lib Dems have been 'cautious' with spending plans

    Ed Davey rejected the suggestion that his party's plans would bankrupt the country, insisting they were "fully costed" plans that were needed to "rescue services, including the NHS".

    He said that their spending plans were "cautious"

  • Lib Dem leader Ed Davey is up first

    First of the four leaders this evening is Ed Davey. He has been asked by audience member Alison whether the Liberal Democrats are going to bankrupt the country.

    She said: "The Liberal Democrats are planning to spend five times as much as the Labour Party. Aren't you going to bankrupt the country?"

    His appearance prompted a flurry of tweets referencing previous stunts the leader has pulled on the campaign trail.

  • Fig rolls, hard hats and micromanagement: Behind the scenes with Michael Gove on the Tory battle bus

    At 9am on Thursday, the Tory-blue bus was parked outside a cafe in the heart of Westminster to pick up a gaggle of broadcasters, print journalists and photographers – as well as Mr Gove. We were heading for Capital Interchange Way, a housing development in Brentford, west London, writes Archie Mitchell for The Independent.

    Reporters had blocked out four hours for the trip in the hope of being able to grill the housing secretary on Tory policy, the party’s campaign and the rapidly unfolding election betting scandal.

    Read the full story from The Independent.

  • Caroline Lucas brands tory ad 'disgusting'

    Caroline Lucas has branded the new Conservative ad 'disgusting', as it aims to take on Reform over immigration.

  • New poll shows Reform level with Tories

    A new poll from The i shows Reform on level pegging with the Conservatives. However an average of all polls that were carried out wholly or partly during the seven days to June 20 puts Labour on 41%, 20 points ahead of the Conservatives on 21%, followed by Reform on 16%, the Lib Dems on 11% and the Greens on 5%.

  • Vote Priti, get Boris? The Tories in defeat are dreaming of better times

    Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) has an exchange with Britain's Home Secretary Priti Patel (R) in the audience as Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid speaks on the second day of the annual Conservative Party conference at the Manchester Central convention complex in Manchester, north-west England on September 30, 2019. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office has denied allegations he made unwanted sexual advances towards two women 20 years ago. Journalist Charlotte Edwardes wrote in a column for The Sunday Times that Johnson put his hand on her thigh at a dinner party thrown by the magazine he was editing at the time. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
    Boris Johnson and Priti Patel at the 2019 Tory conference. (AFP via Getty Images)

    Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator, writes in The Telegraph about Priti Patel and how the Tory leadership could look in the next parliament...

    The former home secretary is understood to be on manoeuvres and is expected to stand with one main pledge: to resign after a year. She could be sold to the membership as a feisty, lightning-rod character likely to win airtime and compete with Nigel Farage (who could have GB News as his main platform).

    But already, Ms Patel is being seen as ruse for another agenda: the return of Boris Johnson. “She would let him back in the first by-election that comes along,” says one Cabinet member.

    Read more from The Telegraph here

  • Another blow for Sunak as ex-Tory minister says he's voting Labour

    Former MP for Kingswood Chris Skidmore. (PA)
    Former MP for Kingswood Chris Skidmore. (PA)

    Rishi Sunak’s woes have deepened as former Tory minister Chris Skidmore became the most senior figure yet to switch his support to Labour.

    Ex-net zero tsar Skidmore resigned as an MP in January in protest at the government’s plans to boost oil and gas drilling in the North Sea.

    Ahead of the Question Time debate tonight, he said he will vote Labour for the first time because of Sunak’s decision to “side with climate deniers and to deliberately politicise the energy transition”.

    Writing in the Guardian, he said: “For the first time, I cannot vote for a party that has boasted of new oil and gas licences in its manifesto or that now argues that net zero is a burden and not a benefit.

    “Instead, like many others who know that we have neither choice nor any more time, and need to tackle the climate crisis now, I have decided that the Labour Party is best placed to achieve economic growth and the green industrial revolution.

    “Net zero is one of its five key priorities, and for this reason I will be voting Labour at this election.”

  • Quiz: Who should I vote for in the general election?

    Whose policies appeal to you the most? Take The Telegraph's quiz to find out...

  • York set for major election TV debate tonight

    Leaders of the four main political parties will be in York today for a special edition of BBC’s Question Time.

    As reported by The Press two weeks ago, Question Time is set to visit the city for a two-hour programme in which the leaders of the four main parties will answer questions from a studio audience.

    The location, previously secret, has been announced as the University of York.

    Read the full story from The York Press.

  • 'Strong possibility' some private schools will have to close under Labour, says headteacher

    The headteacher of an independent school has predicted there will be school closures under Labour's plans.

Your guide to voting

The manifestos

The leaders