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What to expect on the General Election campaign trail on Friday

General Election 2024 written on a sign with Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben in the background- GettyImages

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Here is your guide to the main developments in the General Election campaign on Friday:

– Damage limitation mode

Rishi Sunak is ramping up his warnings about handing Labour “a blank cheque” at the election, claiming Sir Keir Starmer’s party will “change every rule they can” to ensure they stay in government once they gain power.

It comes as the Prime Minister’s faltering campaign is embroiled in a betting scandal, with a string of figures with links to the Tory party or No 10 caught up in allegations about gambling on the date of the July 4 contest.

Mr Sunak will speak at the launch of the Welsh Conservative manifesto in Kinmel Bay, where he will also say the Labour administration in Cardiff Bay is a “blueprint” for how the party would govern from Westminster.

– Starmer wooing Scots

Sir Keir Starmer is heading north of the border to pledge that Labour’s industrial strategy would deliver 69,000 jobs in Scotland.

Visiting a business alongside Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, who published his party’s manifesto earlier this week, Sir Keir will vow to “turn the page on an era of economic turmoil under the Tories and the SNP”.

Sir Keir will be looking to cement Labour’s resurgence in Scotland, which has put the party neck-and-neck with the SNP in recent polls on Westminster voting intention.

Also in Scotland, Deputy First Minister Kate Forbes will call on the UK’s next prime minister to cut the rate of VAT during a campaign visit in Glasgow on Friday.

– Relight my fire

Elsewhere on Labour’s campaign trail, deputy leader Angela Rayner will visit a manufacturing centre in the Midlands, where she will promise to “relight the fire of our regions” with 10-year budgets for research and development (R&D) institutions.

Such organisations have helped trace the ancestry of dogs to ancient wolves, developed the DragonFire laser weapon, and started work on a lung cancer vaccine.

The Tories have also courted R&D institutions in their manifesto, which pledges £22 billion for R&D each year and a promise to “maintain our R&D tax reliefs”.

– Like pulling teeth

The Liberal Democrats are calling for urgent reform to end the “appalling situation” in NHS dentistry.

The party has announced a dental rescue plan, worth £750 million each year, which aims to give more patients access to care, ensure free check-ups for children and to prevent the “exodus” of NHS dentists.

Sir Ed Davey, who is expected to hit the campaign trail in Yorkshire and Norfolk, said “the Conservative Government has pushed dentistry to the brink”.

The Tories said the “huge unfunded spending commitment” was “just another an empty promise”.

– Reform leader grilling

Nigel Farage is expected to be in Clacton, the Essex seat he is trying to win.

The Reform UK leader will later be grilled by BBC journalist Nick Robinson in a high-profile Panorama interview, airing at 7pm.

– TUV’s manifesto moment

The Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) party in Northern Ireland will launch its manifesto on Friday, following the muddling of an electoral pact with Reform by its leader Mr Farage.

Reform UK had struck a deal with the TUV back in March, but Mr Farage has since said he will personally endorse two candidates for rival party the DUP.

This includes Ian Paisley who is standing against TUV leader Jim Allister in the North Antrim constituency.

This article was written by Sophie Wingate from The Independent and was legally licensed through the DiveMarketplace by Industry Dive. Please direct all licensing questions to