LIVE: Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer go head to head in TV debate at Nottingham Trent University

As all of the United Kingdom prepares for the General Election, tonight everyone’s eyes are on NTU. At 8:15, the prime minister candidates of the two leading parties will partake in a TV debate in the Arkwright & Newton building, discussing their manifestos and plans for Britain.

Find all live updates on the debate on Platform Magazine:

Live updates from Nottingham Trent University

21:30: Closing Statements

Rishi Sunak: He understands why people are frustrated with the party and him. It is not a byelection but a choice with profound consequences for the people and the country. He asks if you can afford to pay more tax and says if you are not certain about Labour, do not surrender to them.

Sir Keir Starmer: If you want your NHS back, you have to vote for them. If you want to grow economy, you have to vote for it. If you want more police on streets and teachers in school, you have to vote for it. If you want to end 14 years of chaos and rebuild the country, then take that power. Vote change, vote Labour.

21:23: Universities in the UK are churning out students year by year. Many people are worried about finding a job and are leaving the country. What would you do to make young people stay?

Keir Starmer wants to build more houses to ensure the dream of house ownership for young people, which would mean tough decisions about planning and building a low mortgage scheme to enable young people to own homes. He says should be in the race of jobs for the future and prioritise house building. he questions where the money for Sunak’s plans will come from and says he is already talking to partners who will help build 1.5 million houses.

Rishi Sunak says he wants to reintroduce a new form of help to buy and abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers to save young people thousands of pounds.

21:15: How can we mend our broken trading relationship with Europe?

Rishi Sunak says the community is built on small business owners. After the referendum, the focus should be on making the best of the opportunities we have now. He wants to cut taxes on small business rates and abolish National Insurance for small business owners. He wants to improve the relationship with Europe and says the price for a better trading deal with Europe will be the free movement of people and thus accepting more migrants. He reiterates he will not return to the EU.

Keir Starmer questions where National Insurance money is coming from: Pensioners or the NHS. He says he wants to arrange a better deal for trade relations with Europe as well as on research and development and security and defense. He does not intend on returning to the EU, but have better deals with them.

21:06: How can I ensure that by voting for any of you two men you will put women first?

Keir Starmer highlights strong women in his party and that leadership is done by a team. He wants to serve as a team with “wonderful women” in his party. He will treat all human beings with dignity and respect. He says he is proud of his party’s record of acts on women’s rights and wants to use the opportunity of leadership to bring people together so the country is less divided.

Rishi Sunak mentions his twi daughters and that he wants them to grow up in a safe country and have the health they need as well as providing 30 hours of free childcare. He wants the sky to be the limit for his daughters. He will change the law so the Equality act says sex means gender to protect female services. He states this is the only way to respect females’ spaces.

21:00: Are you two really the best we have got to be the next Prime Minister of our great country?

Sunak says he can understand the frustration and acknowledges not everything has gone as planned, however highlights his win during his 18 months in office. He says the people’s choice is about the future and asks to allow him to finish the job he started. According to him, Labour has no plan for the coming years.

Keir Starmer highlights he has made all changes he set out to do: “Country first, party second”. He asks for the opportunity to change the country for the better and says nothing will change under Rishi Sunak. Hope has been beaten out of people after the Conservatives in power and he wants to restore people’s hope, not by making grand promises that cannot be delivered but by returning politics to service.

20:55: How will you help councils after Nottingham City Council has effectively gone bankrupt?

Keir Starmers says everyone is concerned about basic services. He wants a multi-year funding plan so they can make better use of their money and make sure essential public services are properly funded.

Rishi Sunak states he recently announced £500m extra funding for councils and will continue tp work with councils in the future. He says Labour-led Nottingham is a glimpse of what could happen in the future if Keir Starmer came to be Prime Minister.

20:47: Rishi Sunak says he will use cuts from the Welfare Bill to cut taxes, cut National Insurance by £900 this year, introduce a tax cut for pensioners, abolish stamp duty, expand child benefits, and abolish National Insurance for self-employed people. He says under Keir Starmer taxes will go up by thousands of pounds. He says under Labour state pension will be subject to retirement tax.

Keir Starmer wants fiscal rules for economical stability. He says we know what happens when unfunded tax cuts are made, and great damage has been done to the economy. According to him, Rishi is repeating the problem that arose under Liz Truss. He says Liz Truss broke the country and caused huge economic damage. “The Prime Minister is making promises he cannot keep because he does not know where his funding is coming from.”

20:45: Keir Starmer says gangs must be taken down as a large priority, whereas Rishi Sunak responds Labour defended free movement and therefore opposed his measures to clamp down on criminals.

20:39: Answering to the question as to why the island’s borders cannot be closed, Sir Keir Starmer says the boats are a national security issue. Sunak states flights will go to Rwanda and says he does not want Britain’s borders to be surrendered to Labour.

Keir Starmer questions why the plan has not been working so far. He states that under the Conservatives’ scheme only a very small amount of migrants could be sent back on planes.

20:35: Keir Starmer aims to add 40.000 extra NHS appointments every week so people can come back into economy, which, according to him, is the thing that has been missing the last 14 years.

Rishi Sunak answers that most people are not on the NHS waiting list. He wants to be stricter about eligibility criteria and says everyone who can work should work. He demands cut in welfare bill as growth is unsustainable. According to Sunak, Labour will cause higher taxes and higher welfare. “Do not surrender our welfare system to the Labour Party and Keir Starmer”, he says.

20:31: Rishi Sunak believes he can save money on the welfare bill by cutting benefits of people who are able to work but refuse jobs they are offered after 12 months.

Keir Starmer: “If you listened to people in the audience and the country more often, you might not be so out of touch”

Keir Starmer says people with disabilities want to get into work but are worried about whether they can return to work. He wants people to be supported back into work so they can enter the working world again. He says tackling the NHS waiting list is a large priority.

20:26: Noise from a protest occurring outside of the university are to be heard in the debate.

20:20: Sir Keir Starmer says the money the Conservatives are relying on to release the pressure on the economy has already been spent and questions where it will be coming from. He thinks the cost of living crisis will continue under a Conservative Government.

Rishi Sunak responds that Labour’s plans will cost hundreds of millions of pounds (This is a reference to a Labour statement which said decarbonising will cost hundreds of millions of pounds). Keir Starmer wants investors to come alongside so in Partnership with the government money can be risen.

20:17: Rishi Sunak states two candidates have been suspended after investigations due to the betting scandal. Sir Keir Starmer says he is determined to make politics return to public service rather than having financial motives in mind. He also criticises the delay in response from the current Prime Minister.

19:50: Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer, prime minister candidates of the Conservative and Labour Party respectively, have just arrived at the venue.

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