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Live Reporting

Edited by Aoife Walsh and Sean Seddon

All times stated are UK

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  1. We're pausing our coverage for now

    Aoife Walsh

    Live reporter

    It's been another frenetic day on the election campaign trail, which kicked off with Labour and Plaid Cymru each launching their manifestos.

    Speaking in Cardiff, Rhun ap Iorwerth, Plaid's leader, called for "fair" funding for Wales. If you'd like to learn more detail about the party's plans, I recommend reading BBC Wales political editor Gareth Lewis' in-depth analysis of 11 key pledges here.

    We then pivoted to Labour's manifesto launch in Manchester. Party leader Sir Keir Starmer unveiled his party's raft of pledges – many of which we had already heard about before today – that he claimed are fully costed and would bring Britain "stability, not more chaos.”

    BBC political reporter Paul Seddon gives more details about Labour's plans here.

    Then, not long after Starmer stepped off stage, we brought you lines from the BBC's Joe Pike, who questioned Tory candidate Craig Williams after reports he placed a bet on a July election three days before Rishi Sunak announced a date. You can watch that moment here.

    After a wave of analysis and reaction from the day's events, we geared up for a seven-way election debate on ITV.

    We saw party representatives clash on issues such as tax, the NHS, immigration, pensions, housing, public services. You can find our summary of the key lines here.

    And with that, we're pausing our coverage. Thank you for joining us – we'll see you in the morning.

  2. Analysis

    Labour felt like the party in the limelight and under scrutiny

    Damian Grammaticas

    Political correspondent, reporting from the spin room

    What I found striking in the ebb and flow of this debate was how it felt like Labour were actually the incumbents being forced to defend their record, not the party that has been in opposition for 14 years.

    Time and again many of the other parties attacked Labour’s policies. When each participant had a chance to ask one question of one other debater, most chose to ask Angela Rayner.

    The other parties gave the impression - sometimes even explicitly stated - they expect Labour will win, and so were keen to try to take them down.

    There is also another dynamic at play: Nigel Farage's entrance into the race and the fact one opinion poll tonight show his Reform party beating the Conservatives.

    That has emboldened Farage, and undermined the Conservatives further.

    Penny Mordaunt was laughed at by the audience when she spoke of Rishi Sunak’s record.

    Despite the threat from Reform, Mordaunt did not seek to land punches on Farage for the most part, choosing to join the criticism of Labour.

    In her most notable attempt to attack Farage, Mordaunt called him a “Labour enabler" - to which he immediately retorted “we are now ahead of you in the national polls, a vote for you is actually now a vote for Labour".

    Labour felt like the party in the limelight, and the Conservatives the ones under threat and struggling to speak with authority.

  3. Key talking points from the ITV debate

    Missed the show? Here's a summary of what we heard during the debate tonight.

    • Penny Mordaunt accused Labour of having a £38.5bn black hole in their plans, and claimed the party would tax pensions and property if they won power
    • Angela Rayner said "we can't afford five more years of the Tories" and said Labour would grow the economy
    • Nigel Farage warned of a "population explosion" and said his party are primed to be the new opposition force in Parliament
    • Rhun ap Iorwerth accused Farage of having gone on a "dog whistle tour" of the UK and called for investment in Wales and public services
    • Carla Denyer said "the Tories are toast" but Labour could be offering the “same broken politics dressed up with a red rosette”
    • Stephen Flynn blamed Conservative policies and Brexit for poverty in the UK
    • Daisy Cooper said public services are “completely broken" and set out her party's NHS and social care plans
  4. Analysis

    Don’t be foxed by the billions

    Andy Verity

    BBC Economics correspondent

    In tonight’s debate, political leaders kept referring to "billions". A billion is one thousand million – a lot of money. But this year, the total amount the government expects to spend is £1,226 billion.

    So if a proposal amounts to, say, £1bn, that’s less than 0.1% of the total total government spending. Even if it’s £10bn it’s still less than 1% of total government spending.

    So when Labour’s manifesto promises to raise £5bn and spend £9bn , that’s an extra £4bn – less than 0.2% of the overall economy. Could that really produce the extra growth they’re claiming will transform the country?

    The Conservatives' plan to spend £16bn and raise £16bn. The Lib Dems' promises amount to more – to spend about £27bn. But they’re also planning to raise £27bn.

    In both cases, it means no transfer of money from government to households and firms – and therefore no stimulus to help the economy grow.

  5. BBC Verify

    Callum May

    Did 4.3m people come to the UK since 2019?

    During the debate, Reform's Nigel Farage said the Tories' 2019 manifesto promised that "immigration would massively reduce, and that net 4.3 million people have come into the country since that time".

    Although he used an imprecise term, net migration in the UK is 2.0 million since the end of 2019, when the manifesto was published.

    If, for argument's sake, you want to include all of the year 2019 as well then total net migration is 2.19 million.

    As a reminder, net migration is the number of people coming to the UK long-term, minus the number leaving long-term.

    Farage might have been referring to immigration – people coming in. The number of long term arrivals since the start of 2019 is 4.8 million people. But, of course, many of them have since left.

  6. BBC Verify

    Ben King

    Will Labour tax healthcare workers' pensions?

    Back to the ITV debate for a moment, where earlier we heard Penny Mordaunt say: "What won't get waiting lists down is taxing healthcare workers' pensions, which is what Labour would do."

    She is likely referring to the limit on how much people can save in their pensions before they start having to pay big tax penalties - but she is misrepresenting Labour's plans.

    The limit had been blamed for encouraging a number of senior doctors - among others - to retire early when their pension pots were full. Jeremy Hunt scrapped it last year.

    Labour had planned to bring it back in, but this week Rachel Reeves ruled it out and it wasn't in the Labour manifesto.

  7. Labour's private schools plans come under scrutiny in Edinburgh

    Calum Watson

    BBC Scotland News

    Labour’s plans for VAT on private schools come under scrutiny at the BBC’s Question Time in Edinburgh, where 25% of pupils are privately educated.

    Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross – who went to a state school – thinks private schools will struggle and it will end up putting pressure on the state sector.

    Private school-educated Anas Sarwar, for Scottish Labour, says it’s a “balanced decision” which allows more money to be invested in state schools, which desperately need more funding.

    Kate Forbes for the SNP thinks its tinkering around the edges and going for a “soft target” – but won’t say if her party opposes it. That will be made clear when the SNP manifesto is published, she says.

    An audience member who is a teacher in the state sector worries it will affect parents who scrimp and save to send their children to private schools rather than the very wealthy who send their children to the likes of Eton or Harrow.

  8. Scottish panellists pressed on green energy at Question Time debate

    Calum Watson

    BBC Scotland News

    In Edinburgh, the Question Time panel was also questioned about the implications for jobs of the “just transition” towards green energy.

    The SNP’s Kate Forbes was asked to clear up some confusion about her party’s position on granting new licences for North Sea oil and gas drilling.

    She starts by repeating the line that each application should judged on a “case by case basis” to see if they are “compatible” with climate change objectives.

    Pressed on what that means, she says her party is “in between” the Conservatives who have signalled support for many new licences and Labour who wouldn’t back any at all but would honour existing ones.

    Douglas Ross, for the Scottish Conservatives, says the SNP are ”trying to ride two horses”. We still have an demand to meet, he says, and it’s better to do that at home rather than importing it with a greater carbon footprint.

    Scottish Labour’s Anas Sarwar says there is scaremongering about jobs –there will be “no cliff edge” or “turning off the taps”. He also backs a debate on the merits of micro-nuclear energy generation.

  9. In Scotland, parties questioned by voters on spending plans

    Calum Watson

    BBC Scotland News

    While the seven-way debate was taking place, some of Scotland’s political leaders were being quizzed by audience members on the BBC’s Question Time.

    Are they being honest with voters with spending plans based on “fingers crossed” assumptions like increased productivity or cracking down on tax avoidance? they are asked.

    Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said they’d also raise money through growth – and promised there would be no austerity.

    For the SNP, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Kate Forbes says her opponents are not being honest - repeating her party’s claim that Labour would carry through £18bn of cuts planned by the Conservatives.

    Douglas Ross, the outgoing Scottish Conservative leader, says it’s perfectly feasible to recoup several billion by cracking down on tax avoidance

    Former SNP adviser Stephen Noon accuses the main parties of just tinkering with tax changes, rather than making radical changes needed to fix the structure of our public services.

  10. Debate ends with closing statements

    Each leader on the stage is invited to give a short closing statement. Here are the key points:

    • Denyer says “we all know the Tories are toast” and asks whether Labour are offering the “same broken politics dressed up with a red rosette”
    • Cooper says the UK is “crying out for change and it’s not hard to see why”, adding the party will tackle the NHS, social care and sewage
    • Rayner says the choice at this election is "more chaos" with the Conservatives or "change" with Labour, which offers "stability, investment and reform"
    • Mordaunt says Labour has a "track record of economic hardship" and the party will tax pensions and properties if they win power
    • Flynn says the SNP doesn’t accept “cosy Westminster consensus” and Scotland’s future needs to be in “Scotland’s hands”
    • Ap Iorwerth tells viewers it's "high time the Conservatives were kicked out of power" but Labour will have to be held to account
    • Farage says "Britain is broken" and he is ready to provide opposition in the Commons on things like immigration

    And with that, the credits roll and the latest big TV event of this election campaign comes to an end.

    Stick with us while we bring you some analysis.

  11. Final question puts trust in politics in the spotlight

    Seven party figures

    A member of the audience says the public feels disconnected from our politicians, and asks those on stage what change they could make to restore trust in politics.

    • Cooper says she believes in devolving power to local communities and a proportional voting system so every vote "actually counts"
    • Rayner says politicians who make the rules should play by the rules, adding "integrity and ethics" in politics is needed
    • Mordaunt says politicians need to be honest about their manifestos and points at every other candidate, saying they represent "higher taxes"
    • Ap Iorwerth says those standing for office should be truthful about the challenges the country faces
    • Denyer says we have an "unfair voting system" and the Greens would change it to a proportional system
    • Flynn says the Westminster system is failing and asks voters to "hold your politicians to high standards and vote for what you believe in"
    • Farage says both Labour and the Tories are "mushy" parties, calls the House of Lords an "abomination" and says the UK needs more referendums

    And with that, the debate draws to a close and we're moving on to the closing statements.

  12. BBC Verify

    Tamara Kovacevic

    Are there fewer GPs than at the last election?

    It is true that the Conservatives pledged 6,000 more doctors in general practice by 2024-25.

    Their pledge referred to England only, because Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland manage their own health systems.

    It is right to say that this pledge has not been met, at least in terms of fully qualified GPs.

    In December 2019, there were 34,519 full-time equivalent GPs in England - while in April 2024 (the latest available data) the number was 37,327, just over 2,800 higher.

    But this number includes GPs in training.

    If you look only at the number of fully qualified GPs, the number is down by 523 - from 28,129 in December 2019 to 27,606 in April 2024.

  13. Post update

    Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner, Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper, and Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt

    Cooper says the Tories have failed to fulfil pledges to recruit 6,000 more GPs, build 40 new hospitals, and meet cancer treatment targets. She asks Mordaunt how anyone can trust the party to protect the NHS.

    Mordaunt says her party has met many of their manifesto commitments from the 2019 election and succeeded in recruiting more public sector workers.

    "We have a particular issue with the NHS but we are increasing healthcare professionals," she says.

  14. Post update

    Ap Iorwerth asks Rayner whether Labour's policies would make child poverty worse, pointing to comments from Gordon Brown.

    Rayner calls child poverty is a “scourge” and says as someone who grew up in poverty, she knows it needs to be tackled.

    She says a strategic No 10 unit would look at child poverty and driving factors like housing, employment and low wages.

  15. Post update

    Farage Flynn Ap Iornwerth

    Flynn also turns to Rayner - who has been busy during this part of the debate - and asks about the conflict in Gaza.

    Would her party would end arms sales to Israel on day one of a Labour government?

    Rayner says a Labour government would review the legal advice and comply with international law.

  16. Post update

    Rayner asks Mordaunt if she would allow Nigel Farage into the Tory party, to some laughter from the audience.

    Mordaunt says people might think she has a lot in common with Farage, but accuses the Reform leader of helping Labour in this election.

    She tells Rayner that she's "standing against letting you in and letting you tax the hell out of people".

  17. Post update

    Farage directs his question to Mordaunt, asking anyone should believe the fifth Tory manifesto promising to cut net migration.

    Mordaunt replies “because of the record of this prime minister”, which prompts some laughter and Farage jokes “enough, that’s fine, I’m happy”.

    She points to visa applications falling by 30% and says the OBR forecast shows immigration will be halved by next summer.

    She describes Farage as a “Labour enabler”, referring to reform potentially taking votes off the Tories and helping Labour win seats.

    Farage says he doesn’t believe a word she’s said, and points to a poll earlier that showed Reform ahead of the Tories, meaning a “vote for you is actually now a vote for Labour”.

  18. Post update

    deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner, Liberal Democrat deputy leader Daisy Cooper, Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt, and co-leader of the Green Party Carla Denyer

    Denyer asks Rayner which of her “party’s U-turns” she is most proud of - the “ditching” of the £28bn climate investment plan, keeping the “cruel” two-child benefit cap, or “one of the others”.

    Rayner says Labour has a plan for government that is credible and can grow the economy.

  19. Leaders invited to quiz each other

    For the last part of the debate, the panellists are each being asked to ask a question of one of the other people on the stage.

    This is something a little bit different to what we've seen in these TV election events so far.

    Mordaunt wants to question Rayner, pressing her on whether she will rule out raising capital gains tax.

    Rayner says: "There is nothing in our manifesto that means we have to raise capital gains tax".

  20. Tensions rise over immigration as parties trade blows

    Damian Grammaticas

    Political correspondent, reporting from the spin room

    Video content

    Video caption: Parties split over legal migration numbers

    On the topic of immigration things descended into a bit more of a verbal brawl than a debate.

    We were back to the habit of participants interrupting, talking over each other. All a bit chaotic.

    Nigel Farage had already tried to turn earlier subjects, like the NHS and education, into issues about migration. Several times he used the phrase “population explosion”. It’s the theme he wants to focus on.

    Rhun ap Iorwerth took issue with Farage, pulling no punches, criticising him for having been on a “dog whistle tour” of the UK. Tensions in this debate rose noticeably, with the Green Party, the Lib Dems, the SNP all stepping in to praise the benefits of immigration.

    In the middle of it all Penny Mordaunt for the Conservatives targeted Labour not Farage. His Reform Party is a serious electoral threat to the Conservatives, particularly on this issue.

    But she seems keen to keep her focus on criticising Labour whatever the topic. Which leaves the Conservatives’ flank exposed to Reform.