Sunak says 'damn right' he can win election, while Starmer promises to 'kick Tories out'

As Sunak and Starmer move into day two of their election campaigns the battle over energy bills causes the latest clash, as Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen reports

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says "damn right" he can win the election, and he's "up for the fight" with Labour, who are 20 points ahead in the polls.

The PM and Sir Keir Starmer have embarked on tours of the UK, marking the beginning of the campaign trail after Mr Sunak announced a surprise election on Wednesday.

After spending the morning in Northern Ireland, Mr Sunak admitted he has "difficult days", but said he's "pumped up" for the campaign.

"I am pretty confident that over the next six weeks we will have a really good conversation as a country about the future that we want," he said.

While on the campaign trail in Scotland, Sir Keir insisted his party can "kick the Tories out" of power.

He said Labour can “bring about the change we desperately need”, with plans to “rebuild” the economy and “get it functioning, working for everyone”.

Asked whether he would bring former PM Boris Johnson back for the campaign, Mr Sunak didn't rule it out, saying he would welcome "all Conservatives" joining the campaign, and that he's "spoken to Boris in the past."

Both leaders have been focusing on how they can bring down energy bills, after Ofgem announced the average household energy bill will drop by around 7% from July 1 when the latest change to the regulator’s price cap takes effect.

Household energy bills will fall again in July but remain around 40% higher than pre-gas crisis levels.

Despite the decrease, Labour pointed out it would still be £400 more than in 2021.

Have you heard our new podcast Talking Politics? Every week Tom, Robert and Anushka dig into the biggest issues dominating the political agenda…

Sir Keir used a visit to Scotland to promote his plan for a publicly-owned green electricity generator, which he said would cut bills and boost energy security.

The Labour leader said “after 14 years of Tory chaos” people “are desperate for change”.

“Families are picking up the tab of 14 years of Tory energy failure and are expected to remain a staggering £400 a year worse off under the new price cap,” he added.

Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho set out plans for consumer-friendly changes and accused Labour of not being “honest about the costs” that their plans for net zero power would involve.

Ofgem are currently reviewing changes to standing charges, which are fixed daily charges that cover the cost of supply connections.

Ms Coutinho said the government are looking at standing charges because people feel they're "too high", and to make sure there's "better competition in the market."

The energy secretary said Labour’s drive to decarbonise the electricity system by 2030 would “take us back to square one by making voters pay more for net zero”.

She said shifting away from North Sea oil and gas would put 200,000 jobs at risk.

Her own energy policies include maintaining the Ofgem cap throughout the next Parliament to help keep bills down.

Meanwhile, Sir Ed Davey said the Liberal Democrats would cut energy bills by investing in home insulation and boosting renewables.

"Energy bills remain far higher than five years ago, on top of sky-high mortgages and rents and prices in the shops," Sir Ed said.

“Families and pensioners are feeling worse off after years of Conservative chaos.

“Liberal Democrats would slash energy bills by investing in insulating people’s homes and boosting renewables - the cheapest, cleanest and most popular form of energy.”

On Wednesday, Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley told the Energy Security and Net Zero Committee that prices “are still significantly higher than they were before, and when we look further out our best estimate is that prices are going to stay high and volatile over time”.

Ofgem is currently reviewing the price cap and looking at how it is calculated.

This includes mulling over changes to standing charges, which are fixed daily charges that cover the cost of supply connections.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…