What to expect on the General Election campaign trail on Wednesday

Here’s your guide to the main developments in the General Election campaign on Wednesday:

– Tories apprenticeships promise

Rishi Sunak has vowed to replace “rip-off” university degrees with 100,000 more apprenticeships a year by the end of the next parliament.

The Prime Minister, who will be campaigning in the South West on Wednesday, said his party is “offering our young people the employment opportunities and financial security they need to thrive”.

The Tories want to shut down ‘rip-off’ university courses with low future earnings potential (Joe Giddens/PA)

But Labour said the policy is “laughable” after the Tories “presided over a halving of apprenticeships for young people”, while the Liberal Democrats described it as “more muddled, ill-thought-through bluster from a party that has decimated our education sector and our economy”.

– Labour plans to resuscitate NHS

Sir Keir Starmer and shadow health secretary Wes Streeting will detail plans to cut NHS waiting lists on a visit to the West Midlands, warning that the current 7.54 million treatment backlog could soar to 10 million if the Tories stay in power.

Labour would create an extra 40,000 appointments, scans and operations each week during evenings and weekends and double the numbers of scanners.

Sir Keir Starmer
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and shadow health secretary Wes Streeting (Jacob King/PA)

But the Conservatives said it was “more ‘copy and paste’ politics from Labour” and highlighted their own long-term workforce plan and £3.4 billion plan to upgrade NHS technology.

– Yellow Hammer 1 heads to Wales

The Lib Dem battle bus tour will take Sir Ed Davey to Wales to launch the party’s election campaign there.

Alongside Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds, he will set out a rescue plan for farmers including £1 billion in extra funding.

General Election campaign 2024
Liberal Democrat Leader Sir Ed Davey falls into the water while paddleboarding on Lake Windermere (Peter Byrne/PA)

The Lib Dems won no seats in Wales at the 2019 election, but hope to oust Tory MPs in Brecon, Radnor and Cwm Tawe.

– SNP tells Labour to nationalise rail services

Scotland’s First Minister John Swinney will urge Labour to fully nationalise Network Rail as he officially opens the Levenmouth rail link, Fife, on Wednesday.

The Scottish Government has brought ScotRail into public ownership and the SNP leader said Sir Keir should “follow the SNP’s lead”.

But shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray described it as an “embarrassing blunder” from the SNP leader as Labour “has a real plan to nationalise and modernise rail across the UK”.

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