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Starmer Expresses Family Concerns About Premiership as Sunak Defends Record Amid Public Discontent

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Starmer expresses concerns for his family's well-being should he become Prime Minister, while Sunak empathizes with the public's grievances. The Labour leader also addressed inquiries about his fiscal strategies, emphasizing his reluctance to heavily rely on taxation to address the nation's issues, unlike some former leaders. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister faced scrutiny regarding unfulfilled commitments.

Political journalist @Journoamrogers

Wednesday, June 12, 2024, 10:

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Sir Keir Starmer has disclosed that his biggest concern about assuming the role of prime minister is the effect it might have on his kids.

In a discussion with Beth Rigby on Sky News' "Battle For Number 10" in Grimsby, the leader of the Labour Party expressed that his greatest concern wasn't the major decisions he faced, but rather the impact his role might have on his teenage children.

He mentioned that his children, a boy almost 16 and a girl 13, were going through challenging phases, suggesting that things might have been simpler if they were either younger or older.

In the midst of the interview, Rishi Sunak stood by his achievements in office while addressing inquiries from Rigby about the "broken promises" he allegedly made upon assuming the role of prime minister in January 2023.

The premier specifically addressed inquiries regarding the tax load, NHS queue lengths, and immigration, acknowledging that immigration levels were "excessive."

He acknowledged the public's "annoyance" but countered that the nation has endured "two unprecedented shocks" – initially the COVID pandemic and subsequently Russia's attack on Ukraine.

Live updates: Starmer faces questions about voter trust issues

"He contended that while there is a desire for positive transformation, real change requires a solid strategy and the courage to take decisive actions."

Stay informed on the most recent developments in the UK and globally by tuning into Sky News.

The prime minister expressed great enthusiasm about his daughters participating in national service when responding to an inquiry from William, a student in Grimsby. "I believe it will be a transformative experience for our nation," he commented.

Regarding the topic of migration, he faced questions about the reactions of Brexit supporters in Grimsby—where 70% voted to exit the EU—upon discovering that the total net migration over the past three years amounted to 1.9 million individuals.

He acknowledged that the figures were excessively elevated, yet he maintained that he had initiated their reduction after assuming the role of prime minister.

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When questioned about the credibility of his promises on reducing migration, considering the unfulfilled pledges of former Prime Ministers David Cameron and Theresa May, he responded, "I completely understand people's cynicism about this." He then noted that there has been a 10% decrease in migration numbers and a 25% reduction in the visas issued this year.

"What constantly worries me and disrupts my sleep are concerns about my kids."

Sir Keir, who is forecasted by polls to be the nation's upcoming prime minister, expressed his enthusiasm for the opportunity to transform the country while also sharing his concerns for his teenage children.

"He expressed concern, saying, 'These are truly challenging times. My main worry is the effect this will have on them.'"

He explained that he had kept them out of public appearances and photo shoots to safeguard their privacy and allow them to lead independent lives.

"I embrace the opportunity to make significant changes to our nation; big decisions don't intimidate me," he conveyed to Rigby.

"The one thing that truly scares me, the sole reason I lose sleep, is concern for my kids' well-being."

'I'm looking to take a new approach'

Before Mr. Sunak appeared, Sir Keir emphasized his departure from former Labour leadership approaches by stating his reluctance to use tax increases as a solution for the nation's financial issues.

He stated that his main goal was to expand the economy and emphasized his desire to take a new approach.

Amid ongoing inquiries about his approach to taxation, Sir Keir asserted that there would be "no requirement" to increase taxes for "working individuals" in the upcoming party manifesto set to be released on Thursday.

"Sir Keir acknowledged that former Labour leaders have consistently relied on increasing taxes and boosting expenditure."

"The declaration set for release tomorrow will outline strategies for generating wealth."

"It's not common to hear a Labour leader admit this, but to me, it's absolutely crucial."

Addressing the possibility of any tax increases in the upcoming parliament, Sir Keir reiterated, "Our manifesto does not plan for any tax hikes, and there will be no increases in income tax, national insurance, or VAT for working individuals."

Facing the crowd, Rigby chimed in: "Let me translate that for you. When a politician mentions 'no plans,' it often implies 'it's possible.'"

Discover further details on Sky News regarding the implications of data on significant electoral concerns and the critique of Reeves' claims about the Conservative manifesto and mortgages as being highly conjectural.

Embarrassing situations

Following his interaction with Rigby, Sir Keir then addressed queries from the crowd concerning his strategies for addressing child poverty, improving housing, and reforming the NHS.

One individual from the audience inquired if he had become more like a "political robot" since his time at the helm of the Crown Prosecotion Service (CPS).

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Following a brief moment of silence, Sir Keir responded, "A recurring motivation throughout my life has been the desire to serve the public. It’s what drove me to pursue a career in politics."

Mr. Sunak was met with both laughter and boos from those present when questioned about the five commitments he had promised upon succeeding Boris Johnson as prime minister.

He was met with laughter when he claimed that inflation "was always intended to decrease eventually," and the crowd showed their annoyance when he attributed the failure to reduce NHS waiting lists — which currently number at 7.54 million — to industrial strikes.

When questioned on whether he could share something personal to endear himself to the listeners once more, he responded, "It appears that many believe I lead a very wholesome life, regularly hitting the gym and discussing my fasting routines. However, the truth is, my eating habits are quite poor. I consume a great deal of sugar, which really isn't healthy at all."

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