Good morning and welcome to our general election coverage, with a taste of the rest of the news. Today you can expect plenty of fallout from Labour’s manifesto launch in the build-up to tonight’s BBC Question Time special, which will feature the Labour, Lib Dem and SNP leaders, as well as the PM. You can stay up to date during the day with our live politics coverage but for now let’s jump into this morning’s main stories.
What’s going on?
Boris Johnson will take his campaign to Nottinghamshire where he’s expected to reveal a plan for a 3% higher stamp duty rate for non-UK residents as part of a push to help people on to the housing ladder and, it would seem, link property price inflation to foreign purchasers. The increased rate will apply to individuals, companies and expats wanting to move home.
It is probably not a coincidence that it follows Labour’s huge manifesto pledge to invest in social housing. Jeremy Corbyn will be selling his “manifesto of hope” in the Midlands and hoping for a positive reception for the party’s plans to spend big on housing, health, pensions and infrastructure. He will also be pushing for anyone not registered to vote to ensure they sign up before next Tuesday’s deadline. According to Corbyn some 9 million voters are not on the roll.
Some business experts were taken aback at the scale of Labour’s plans, which dwarfed the substantial increase in the size of the state envisaged in the party’s 2017 manifesto. Others criticised the “command and control” policies at the heart of the manifesto, which they said would suppress innovation and smother growth. The Guardian’s economics correspondent, Richard Partington, says the manifesto comes with risks but the price may be worth paying. And John Crace writes that with the polls offering little in the way of hope, Corbyn has gone for broke, showing he functions best when he’s on the ropes.
It will all make for lively debate when Corbyn, Johnson, Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon appear on a special edition of BBC Question Time tonight. The PM is yet to confirm if he will appear next week on the first ever leaders’ debate focusing on the climate crisis.
At a glance
The day ahead
The PM will campaign in Nottinghamshire, Corbyn will be in the Midlands.
Jo Swinson will campaign in Glasgow after announcing that a Lib Dem government would commit to building 300,000 new homes a year.
Scottish Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Brexit Party are all scheduled to launch their policies.
A BBC Question Time special with the four major party leaders will air at 7pm.
Best of the rest
> A short time ago a jury in New Zealand found a 27-year-old man guilty of murdering the British backpacker Grace Millane. The 21-year-old was killed by strangulation and her body buried in a suitcase in bushland outside Auckland. She had gone on a Tinder date with the killer. Her parents sat through the three-week trial in Auckland’s high court and sobbed at the verdict as it was given early this morning UK time.
> British-born Fiona Hill has sternly rebuked Republicans for pushing the discredited and “fictional narrative” that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 presidential election. The former White House expert on Russia told the Trump impeachment inquiry: “Our nation is being torn apart. Truth is questioned. Our highly professional and expert career foreign service is being undermined.
“Right now, Russia’s security services and their proxies have geared up to repeat their interference in the 2020 election. We are running out of time to stop them. In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests.”
> We are only just getting used to a new Queen and already they are talking about the next one. Imelda Staunton is being tipped to replace Olivia Colman in seasons five and six of The Crown.
Colman still has this season, and then season four, to go. Staunton received a best actress Oscar nomination for her lead role in the 2004 drama Vera Drake, and is also known for playing Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films.
Today in Focus podcast: Why Windrush isn’t over
Hubert Howard, a prominent Windrush victim, died recently without receiving compensation or a personal apology. Amelia Gentleman discusses his case. Plus: Polly Toynbee on the boldest Labour manifesto for a generation.
Lunchtime read: Be wary of peer pressure
Peer-to-peer investment platforms offer higher rates than banks and building societies for those ready to take risks – and those risks can be high, writes Patrick Collinson.
José Mourinho has promised to eat, sleep and breathe Tottenham, wearing their tracksuit by day and club pyjamas by night, as he insisted he was stronger for his 11 months away from the dugout. Kyle Edmund rediscovered his best tennis to tame the combative Mikhail Kukushkin in straight sets and set Great Britain on their way into the Davis Cup quarter-finals, against Germany on Friday.
Russia’s efforts to lift its suspension from international track and field before next year’s Olympics suffered a damaging blow when its top athletics officials were charged with trying to obstruct a doping investigation into a high jumper. The RFL chief executive, Ralph Rimmer, has said Wayne Bennett could be given a new contract to lead England into the 2021 World Cup despite Great Britain’s recent disastrous tour of the southern hemisphere. And Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph has denied reports he used a racial slur prior to a brawl sparked by his confrontation with Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett.
Elon Musk has unveiled the much-hyped electric pickup truck that he hopes will help his company Tesla ramp up the fight against Detroit’s dominant carmakers. “We need sustainable energy now. If we don’t have a pickup truck we can’t solve it. The top-three selling vehicles in America are pickup trucks. To solve sustainable energy we have to have a pickup truck,” he said. Global stocks rose overnight on more optimism about US-China relations and the FTSE100 is expected to follow suit with a modest rise of 0.4%. The pound is up slightly to $1.292 and €1.167.
The traditional tabloids show their colours today, with the Daily Mail bellowing about Jeremy Corbyn’s “Marxist manifesto” and “£83bn tax robbery” while the Express says the Labor leader would execute an “£80bn raid on your wallets”. The Mirror, though, says Corbyn is “on your side”.
The Telegraph’s front leads with Isis children being returned to Britain – its headline on Corbyn’s “£83bn tax blitz on the middle classes” gets a much smaller point size. The FT goes wordy as it so often does: “Corbyn’s tax and spend manifesto stirs spectre of 1970s for business”. The Guardian says it is “Labour’s most radical manifesto for decades” – the i calls it “Corbyn’s blueprint for power”.
“Water off a duke’s back” is the treatment given to Prince Andrew in the Metro as he is pictured smiling and waving from behind the wheel of his Bentley. The Sun calls him “The Grin Reaper” and claims that he was snapped on his way to tells his top aide that she was being sacked on the orders of the Queen over that disastrous BBC interview.
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