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UK local elections 2022 – live: Tories may lose ‘hundreds’ of seats, says elections guru

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Boris Johnson ‘out of touch’ over cost of living crisis, says Keir Starmer

The Conservatives are on course to lose “hundreds” of seats, an elections guru warning ahead of polls opening across the UK today.

In an article for The IndependentSir John Curtice Warning that the Conservatives were on course to suffer major losses in the first big test of public opinion since the Partygate scandal hit headlines.

Meanwhile, the leader of one grassroots Tory group told The Independent that anger about the No 10 parties, topped up by fears over rising living costs, pointed to the party’s supporters staying at home on Thursday.

“People most affected by lockdown – those who missed weddings and funerals – still consider it a scandalous disgrace, and now they are feeling the impact of higher taxes and energy costs as well,” said John Strafford, head of the Campaign for Conservative Democracy.

It follows claims from Angela Rayner that Tory election candidates are ashamed to be linked with the prime minister, by running as “local Conservatives” and pleading with voters not to “punish” them for the Partygate scandal.

“It speaks volumes that Boris Johnson’s own Conservative candidates are ashamed to be associated with him and trying to pull the wool over voters’ eyes,” Labor’s representative leader said.

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Voters head to polling stations across UK

Voters are preparing to head to the polling booths across UK to elect their new local leaders.

The elections are also seen as a referendum on the Partygate saga in Downing Street involving prime minister Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak, as well as the rising cost of living in the country.

Co-Chairman of the Conservative Party, Oliver Dowden arrives for a Cabinet meeting at Downing Street in London in Britain, 26 April 2022

(EPA)

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Oliver Dowden, the Tory Party chairman, however, emphasized the impact of the local choices that the electorate are making. “The elections today are about one thing: who do you want running your council,” he said in a statement.



The choice couldn’t be starker – between Conservatives who keep council tax down and offer good services, or the opposition who waste money on political games and vanity projects.

Oliver Dowden

Namita Singh5 May 2022 05:41

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Sinn Fein headed for historic win in Northern Ireland

Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein is likely to become the largest group in the 90-seat Northern Ireland Assembly, projected opinion polls.

That would give Sinn Fein the post of first minister in the Belfast government for the first time.

It would be a feat for a long party linked to the Irish Republican Army, a paramilitary group that used bombs and bullets to try to take Northern Ireland out of the UK rule during the decades of violence.

Read more in this report:

Namita Singh5 May 2022 05:24

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Johnson suffers revolt from grassroots Tory over Partygate

The prime minister was also subjected to an attack by two of his former councillors, who released letters urging voters to back other parties, accusing the prime minister of “spreading lies” and “taking us for fools”.

Our deputies political editor Rob Merrick has more.

Namita Singh5 May 2022 05:13

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Brexit to blame for ‘crazy’ chicken prices, says poultry industry

Brexit pressures are largely to blame for the soaring price of chicken, the British Poultry Council (BPC) has said, rejecting Boris Johnson‘s claim it is down to global energy prices.

The prime minister said soaring supermarket prices were mainly due to international fuel supply problems on Tuesday, adding: “The cost of chickens is crazy.”

But the BPC fired back at Mr Johnson on Wednesday by blaming post-Brexit trade barriers and skill shortages for the spike in production costs.

“It is not ‘mainly fuel’ that’s the problem, as PM said in his Good Morning Britain interview. It is everything. Input costs like water, labor, energy and feed are all up,” said a BPC spokesperson on Twitter.

Namita Singh5 May 2022 05:05

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Local elections 2022: When to expect the results

Millions of voter will head to the polls across the UK in a matter of hours, with local elections being held across England, Scotland and Wales.

In England, there are over 4,300 seats being contested – including all London boroughs – while all of Scotland’s 32 councils and 22 Welsh councils are up forgrabs.

They will coincide with Northern Ireland‘s assembly election, with voters deciding on 90 members, representing 18 constituencies, to send to Stormont.

Results will begin trickling in from the early hours of Friday morning, reports our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn.

Namita Singh5 May 2022 04:56

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Labor to make gains in key battleground, new predictions suggest

Labor is expected to make gains in key election battlegrounds in northern England but likely at a slower pace across its former heartlands, new predictions suggest.

According to a survey by YouGov, “they will make healthy seat gains [today] but council wins may be harder to come by.”

The soaring cost of amenities and Whitehall’s lockdown-busting parties are expected to be the issues at the forefront of voters’ minds as they head to the polls.

But how will they impact the outcome? My colleague Emily Atkinson explains in this report:

Namita Singh5 May 2022 04:31

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UK and Japan set to agree ‘landmark’ new defense agreement

Boris Johnson will host the Japanese prime minister in London on Thursday as the two are set to agree a “landmark” new defense agreement.

Fumio Kishida’s first official visit at the invitation of the government is due to be marked with a guard of honor and an RAF flypast over central London.

Downing Street said the leaders are expected to agree in principle a “landmark” reciprocal access agreement (RAA), which would allow Japanese and British forces to deploy together to carry out training, joint exercises and disaster relief activities.

Emily Atkinson5 May 2022 03:30

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Watch: George Eustice says Tories have done ‘what we can’ for cost of living crisis

George Eustice says Tories have done ‘what we can’ for cost of living crisis

Emily Atkinson5 May 2022 02:30

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The latest round of local elections predictions are in…

The cost of living crisis and the Partygate scandal are expected to be the issues at the forefront of voters’ minds as they head to the polls in the morning – but how might they impact tomorrow’s outcome?

At it stands, Labor currently controls 67 councils to the Conservatives’ 46.

But according to most recent YouGov projections, as presented by Sky News’ deputy political editor Sam CoatsLabor are on track to make potentially significant gains in London.

In the capital, Labor swing predictions include Wandsworth, Westminster and Barnet – areas described by the broadcaster’s Sophy Ridge as the “Conservative jewels.”

But the picture outside London looks much less promising for Labor, with little sign of progress at all in Labor’s former heartlands in the north of England.

The full video is available to watch here:

Emily Atkinson5 May 2022 01:30

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I was told my body parts got me the job, female former minister says

A Conservative former minister has said she was told soon after being appointed to the role that she had “only been given that job because of certain body parts” she had.

Caroline Nokeschairwoman of the Women and Equalities Committee, said: “I can remember being told when I was a very new minister that I’d only been given that job because of certain body parts that I had – and that’s what people were saying to my face.

“Who knows what they were saying behind my back.”

Jane Dalton has the story:

Emily Atkinson5 May 2022 00:30

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