General Election 2024: Sunak ‘to double down on National Service plan’ as Tories and Labour focus on security | Politics News

Rishi Sunak is anticipated to persist in advocating his contentious proposals to reinstate National Service by encouraging companies to favor job candidates who have served in the military. The prime minister stated that all 18-year-olds would be required to engage in a form of “compulsory” National Service if the Conservatives secure re-election on 4 July.
Despite mounting objections to the proposals – which the Conservatives estimate would cost £2.5bn annually by the decade’s end – the Financial Times reports the prime minister is prepared to reinforce his stance. Mr. Sunak mentioned that one method to “maximize the benefits of National Service” would be to inspire employers to “consider those who finish the military placement during job applications,” the paper reports. Critics from across the political spectrum have dismissed the plan as unfeasible, while prominent military figures remain doubtful regarding its implementation.
Nevertheless, Mr. Sunak will hope his promise could aid his effort to close a significant gap in the polls between the Conservatives and Labour as campaigning enters the first complete week.

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Security will also be the primary focus for Labour, with Sir Keir Starmer anticipated to assert in a keynote address that “economic security, border security, and national security” will be the “foundation” of the party manifesto. “The very essence of any effective government is economic security, border security, and national security,” the Labour leader is expected to state. “This is the cornerstone, the foundation on which our manifesto and initial steps will be built.”
Read more: Which nations have National Service and how does it function? National Service promise ridiculed as ‘highly cynical’ by defense insider

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Acknowledging that some voters may be uncertain about Labour’s credibility regarding national security, he is expected to say: “Regardless of the polls, I understand there are many individuals who remain undecided on their voting choice for this election. They are tired of the failures, chaos, and division of the Conservatives but still have concerns about us. Has Labour transformed sufficiently? Do I trust them with my finances, our borders, and our security?”My response is yes you can – because I have reshaped this party. Permanently. This has been my unwavering mission since the beginning.”

Sir Keir Starmer during a visit to Tapa Military Base in Estonia, where British armed forces are deployed as part of NATO commitments. Pic: PA

Voters can rely on Labour for security issues, Starmer asserts. Pic: PA

According to The Times, Labour plans to gather MI5, the police, and government departments to conduct a 100-day assessment of all threats facing Britain, including those from Russia and Iran, should it triumph in the election. Campaigning for the election is forecasted to intensify in the upcoming week. Sir Ed Davey will be heading north of the border to kick off the Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign with Scottish leader Alex Cole-Hamilton.

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