Let’s face it: In the last few weeks, there’s been an election-related news story every half hour, and at least half of them are either very dull or completely irrelevant. So, I’ve put everything you need to know in one handy blog post. For ease, I’ve organised the stories by party and topic.
- Theresa May’s been campaigning on a ‘don’t vote for the calamity that is Jeremy Corbyn’ platform (I’m paraphrasing!). Her most frequently used line these last couple of weeks has been ‘strong and stable leadership’, and that’s the pitch that the Tories are putting to voters.
- Zac Goldsmith (former failed London Mayor candidate and MP) will stand for the Tories in the election. He was MP for Richmond Park until he quit the party and stood as an independent in a by-election a few months ago in protest to the Conservative’s policy of supporting a third runway at Heathrow. He was beaten by the Lib Dems and he faces another tough contest next month. Will it be three defeats in a little over a year for Goldsmith?
- The Times reported that the PM wants to side-line Boris Johnson in the election campaign to make sure he doesn’t say anything controversial. A day later he was under fire for calling Jeremy Corbyn a ‘mutton-headed old mugwump’.
- Meanwhile, ex-Chancellor George Osborne is standing down as an MP, as is ex-Communities Secretary (and the owner of the best chin in Parliament) Sir Eric Pickles.
- In an attempt to win over voters Team Corbyn has unveiled a whole host of policies including proposals for an extra 10,000 police officers on the streets, building 0.5 million homes in 5 years and ruling out tax rises for 95% of earners.
- Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott gave an interview this week on the first of those policies. To say it went horrifically would be an understatement – you can watch it above.
- Tony Blair hinted that he believes that it’s worth voting for a non-Labour candidate who opposes a hard Brexit in areas where Labour can’t win. He hinted this as publicly endorsing a non-Labour candidate would have got him expelled from his party.
- Ed Miliband’s been being generally sassy, and also mowed someone’s lawn.
- (Now former) Labour MP Simon Danczuk has been banned from standing again over claims he sent sexually explicit messages to a 17-year old girl. His ex-wife Karen attempted to stand in a different seat but didn’t win the local party’s nomination.
- The Lib Dems have announced that they will raise income tax by 1p with the money raised (around £6 bn) funding the NHS and social care.
- Tim Farron asked someone to smell his spaniel.
- Several veteran ex-Lib Dem MPs including Vince Cable and Ed Davey have announced that they will attempt to regain the seats that they lost in the last General Election. Farron later said that he wants to become Leader of the Opposition after the election, which would require a swing from Labour to the Lib Dems of over 100 seats.
- The leader also came under fire for refusing to say that gay sex wasn’t a sin, although he later supposedly clarified his view on this.
- Leader Paul Nuttall will stand in Boston and Skegness on 8th June, although Nigel Farage won’t be standing anywhere.
- The party unveiled an ‘integration agenda’ which includes plans to ban the burka and begin routine checks on girls deemed at risk of FGM.
- Neither Theresa May nor Jeremy Corbyn will participate in any debates in the run-up to the election, although apparently ITV will still hold a debate for the 5 other main parties.
- Women’s Equality Party leader Sophie Walker will stand against so-called ‘men’s rights’ activist Philip Davies, who attempted to block a domestic violence law a few months ago.
- More in another post perhaps, but this week local elections were held in thousands of council seats throughout the UK. The Tories were the big winners, gaining over 500 councillors, while Labour lost over 300, the Lib Dems lost 40, and UKIP lost almost 150 – every single councillor it had before the election.