It’s day two of the election campaign and we hope you’re still brimful of energy for political news. I’m Kate Lyons and will be bringing you the day’s political news early in the morning, before I hand the blog over. As usual, you can get in touch via Twitter or email.
The parties have started unveiling their plans and promises as leaders travel the country, laying out their stalls for election.
Boris Johnson has announced a plan for half-price visas and preferential immigration processes for doctors and nurses wanting to work in the UK. The new NHS visa would cost just £464 and would operate under a fast-track process, with applicants guaranteed a decision within two weeks.
Labour has unveiled its plans to improve equality in the workplace, pledging to introduce maternity pay for a full year after the birth of a child and give workers the rights to choose hours that suit them, putting the onus on employers to explain why they cannot offer flexible working hours. The announcement comes as the shock of Tom Watson’s resignation as deputy leader of the Labour party continues to ripple through the party. Watson’s allies have called his decision a “big loss” for the centre, with one saying “it leaves some of us feeling abandoned. Tom was our shield.” The race to replace him has already begun, with Dawn Butler, the women’s and equalities shadow minister, the first to announce she will be throwing her hat in the ring for the job. Rajeev Syal has written this guide to the runners and riders for the job.
But both parties have been warned by the Institute of Fiscal Studies about their ambitious spending promises, saying that the public spending bidding war Labour and the Conservatives are engaged in may return infrastructure investment back to 1970s levels, but may also be undeliverable.
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