Campaign highlights: CBI chief weighs in on debate and Labour pledges pay hike

Sunday proved to be a quiet day on the election trail, with many leading figures turning to TV appearances to get their party message across.

CBI chief Carolyn Fairbairn set out what UK businesses want to see from government following the election, while Jeremy Corbyn stood firm on SNP calls for a second referendum on Scottish independence.

Here are some of the highlights of Sunday’s campaign trail:

– A senior business leader has expressed concerns about both Labour and Tory policies

Confederation of British Industry director-general Dame Carolyn Fairbairn said Labour’s policies could “crack the foundations of our economy”, while Tory immigration plans risk creating a skills shortage.

She said December’s election is an “extraordinary” one for business, hailing 2020 as the most important year in a generation due to recent uncertainty over Brexit.

– Labour has promised a pay rise of up to £6,000 to minimum wage workers

The party has vowed to give workers who earn the national minimum wage at least £9,000 more by 2024 than the Tories.

Workers who currently earn a minimum wage job would get an immediate pay rise of between £3,444 and £5,986 under the party’s plans.

– The Liberal Democrats have committed £6 billion per year to the welfare system

The party’s proposals will prioritise tackling child poverty by abolishing the two-child limit for Universal Credit and ending the benefits cap.

A Lib Dem government would also plan to invest in boosting the Local Housing Allowance by linking it to average rents in each area.

– Boris Johnson said his Brexit deal has the backing of all Tory candidates

The Prime Minister said that all Conservative parliamentary candidates have vowed to vote for his Brexit deal if he wins a majority at the General Election.

In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, he said this pledge means that voters can be “100%” certain that a Tory government will “unblock” Parliament and deliver Brexit.

– Jeremy Corbyn has ruled out Scottish independence vote before 2021

Nicola Sturgeon and Jeremy Corbyn are on a collision course over a second Scottish referendum (PA)
Nicola Sturgeon and Jeremy Corbyn are on a collision course over a second Scottish referendum (PA)

The Labour leader said he would “certainly not” consider having a ballot on Scotland leaving the UK within his first year of government.

He ruled out a referendum before the next Holyrood election in 2021, and said: “Up until then, certainly not.”

Tweet of the day

On Twitter, a sobering video shared by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn shone a sombre light on the NHS.

The clip features Jayne Rae, a terminal cancer patient and Labour campaigner who emotionally shared her experience of a trip to a hospital ward this week.

Picture of the day

The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford said Scotland’s desire for independence is “unstoppable” and must not be blocked by the next prime minister.

But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn ruled out holding another independence referendum before the Holyrood elections in 2021, despite SNP demands for a vote next year.

SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford greets Jeremy Corbyn on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show
SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford greets Jeremy Corbyn on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show

Nevertheless, there was little hostility when the pair met on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

Video of the latest polling positions for the major parties

Here is a round-up of the average polling for the major UK parties over the past seven days.

What’s next?

  • Leaders of the main parties in England are expected to campaign in London.

  • Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson will also visit a business in the home counties.

  • SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford will be in London as SNP court action to be included in the ITV election debate begins.

  • Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie will be campaigning in Glasgow.

  • Scottish Conservative candidate Shona Haslam will visit a nursery in Edinburgh.