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UK’s Rishi Sunak announces election pledges, looking to bounce back from D-Day gaffe

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak attends a Conservative party rally, after he called for a general election, in London, Britain, May 22, 2024. 

Isabel Infantes | Reuters

LONDON — British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak released his Conservative Party’s official election manifesto on Tuesday, announcing help for first-time home buyers and promising more tax cuts.

The pledges come as the Conservatives look set for a drubbing to the rival Labour party at the July 4 General Election, while Sunak has personally come under fire several times during the campaign.

Sunak apologized for leaving D-Day commemorations in France early last week and has also been accused of misleading the British electorate with a claim that Labour would raise taxes by £2,000 ($2,547) per working household.

On Tuesday, he pledged to cut another 2 pence off National Insurance — a British tax on workers’ income — and reiterated his plan to bring back national service, which would oblige 18-year-olds to complete a 12-month community program or a year-long period of military training.

He also said that the Conservatives would look to halve migration then “reduce it every single year,” also promising “Help to Buy” program for first-time property buyers amid the U.K.’s housing crisis.

Sunak and Labour leader Keir Starmer are both forefronting economic growth, the cost of living and taxes in their campaign messaging. A Labour win would mark its first parliamentary majority in 14 years. Polls have for some time been pointing toward a Labour victory in a General Election after the Conservatives’ ratings tanked following a series of scandals under former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s tenure.

UK election result will be 'historic,' political lecturer says

-CNBC’s Jenni Reid contributed to this article.

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