Intense debate on tax and defense during BBC election discussion.

Tory Minister Penny Mordaunt and Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner repeatedly clashed over defense and tax in a heated seven-party BBC election debate. Ms. Mordaunt reiterated the controversial claim that Labour intended to raise taxes by £2,000 per household, which Ms. Rayner denounced as “a lie.” The UK statistics watchdog criticized the Conservatives’ use of the £2,000 figure, stating it risked “misleading” people.

Immigration also became a contentious issue during the 90-minute debate, with Reform UK’s Nigel Farage facing criticism from the SNP, Lib Dems, Greens, and Plaid Cymru. This debate allowed smaller parties to gain attention following Monday’s head-to-head between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer, which was similarly dominated by tax claims. The debate occurred after Rishi Sunak had to apologize for leaving D-Day 80th anniversary events early, considered the biggest blunder of the campaign so far.

Penny Mordaunt immediately faced criticism over the Prime Minister’s decision, which she called “completely wrong.” Ms. Mordaunt, a Navy reservist, agreed that Mr. Sunak was right to apologize to veterans and the public but cautioned against politicizing the issue. Unlike other Conservatives, she did not take the opportunity to commend Mr. Sunak’s record on veterans and defense.

Lib Dem Deputy Leader Daisy Cooper described Mr. Sunak’s actions as “politically shameful,” while Mr. Farage labeled his early departure a “complete and utter disgrace” from an “unpatriotic prime minister.” Ms. Mordaunt also attacked Labour’s defense policies.

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