General Election: Party leaders hit the campaign trail

Party leaders are hitting the campaign since MPs backed holding a General Election on June 8.

Here are the latest updates:

  • Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap General Election in a surprise announcement on Tuesday
  • MPs backed the poll on Wednesday by 522 votes to 13
  • Ahead of the vote, George Osborne stepped down as an MP
  • Within hours, Mrs May and Mr Corbyn had addressed supporters, setting out their visions for the country
  • The PM has ruled out taking part in any TV election debates but may appear in a televised Q&A
  • Mrs May's press secretary and director of communications have already stepped down
  • Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage said he would not stand as an MP as he believes he is better placed to ensure a hard Brexit in Brussels

Live updates


May makes aid pledge but will look into how it is spent

The prime minister made the comments during a visit to a factory in her Maidenhead constituency. Credit: ITV News

Theresa May has said she will maintain Britain's commitment to foreign aid after speculation it might be dropped from the Tory election manifesto.

"The 0.7% commitment remains and will remain," the PM said. "What we need to do though is to look at how that money is spent and make sure that we are able to spend that money in the most effective way."

ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand noted the PM's pledge as another "continuity" policy but added her comments suggest the money may not necessarily be ring-fenced.

Microsoft founder and global philanthropist Bill Gates was among figures calling on the PM to commit to the aid spending, telling ITV News that dropping it would cost lives.

The prime minister made the comments during a visit to a toothpaste factory in her Maidenhead constituency.

In a speech at the factory, she said the election offered voters a choice between "strong and stable leadership" under the Conservatives or a "coalition of chaos led by Jeremy Corbyn".

Corbyn campaign targeting marginal seats

Mr Corbyn made an election visit to Swindon South Credit: PA

Labour's leader Jeremy Corbyn has set off on the campaign trail visiting marginal Tory seats.

A newly energised Mr Corbyn made a stop in Swindon, which has two seats - Swindon South and Swindon North - both key targets for Labour in the general election but where the party has yet to select its candidates.

Labour lost South Swindon to the Conservatives in 2010.

Later the Labour leader headed on to Bristol.

Farage 'better placed in Brussels' to ensure Brexit

Nigel Farage will not stand in the general election because he believes he is better placed in Brussels to ensure a hard Brexit than he would be in Westminster.

Explaining his decision not to run for election, the former Ukip leader told ITV News he would be able to more effectively shape Brexit as an MEP because the European parliament will have the power to veto a Brexit deal.

"I think I can influence Brexit far more in Europe than I could sitting in the Commons," he said.

Mr Farage has stood for election as an MP seven times in the past, but has yet to be elected to Westminster.

Commenting on the French elections, the first round of which takes place on Sunday, Mr Farage said he expected right-winger Marine Le Pen to get through to the second round and that she could even become president.

"After what we saw in 2016 with Brexit and Trump, I'd say to people don't rule it out," he said.


Labour won't back referendum on final Brexit deal

Jeremy Corbyn says the party will not back a fresh referendum. Credit: PA

Jeremy Corbyn has said that Labour will not offer to give voters a referendum on the final Brexit deal if they take power in the June 8 General Election.

A spokesman for the Labour leader said: "A second referendum is not our policy and it won't be in our manifesto".

It comes after shadow chancellor John McDonnell on Wednesday said the Government should "put the deal to Parliament and possibly to the country overall".

Mr Corbyn had dodged a question on the issue in his first keynote speech of the campaign.

Carwyn Jones: Tories want to 'walk all over' home nations

A big Tory majority election victory would see Theresa May's government "walk all over Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland", First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones has told ITV News.

He rejected the prime minister's justification for calling a snap election, saying: "This is not about trying to strengthen her hand with Europe. This is to centralise power in London."

Carwyn Jones said Theresa May's continuation of austerity policies was a choice not a necessity. Credit: PA

Mr Jones backed Jeremy Corbyn's Labour campaign pledge to end the era of austerity.

"Austerity is a political choice, it's not an economic necessity," he told Wales Correspondent Rupert Evelyn.

"We've had seven years of it now ... and it's getting worse and worse and worse. I think people want an alternative and we've got to deliver that alternative."

Load more updates Back to top

Latest ITV News reports