What to expect on the General Election campaign trail on Monday

Newly-launched battle buses from the Tories and Labour will join the Liberal Democrats’ Yellow Hammer 1 out on the road, as the election campaign enters its second full week.

Here is your guide to the main developments in the General Election campaign on Monday:

– Tories: Sex is a fact of biology

The Tories are using a culture issue to try to gain an advantage over Labour on Monday.

The Prime Minister will be campaigning in the South East, as he announces the “current confusion around definitions of sex and gender” cannot be allowed to persist.

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Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch said public bodies are actiing out of ‘far of being accused of transphobia’ (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

The party claims it will make it simpler for service providers for women and girls, such as those running sessions for domestic abuse victims, to prevent biological males from taking part.

Despite claims in The Times that minister for women and equalities Kemi Badenoch will make a speech later on Monday, she told LBC radio this is not the case.

In her first major intervention of the campaign, Ms Badenoch claimed a change in the law is necessary because public bodies are acting out of “fear of being accused of transphobia”.

The proposal would be a reserved matter, which means it would apply to the UK, and is likely to stir a reaction from candidates across parties in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

– Labour takes up arms 

The Labour leader is expected to meet forces veterans and a group of his party’s candidates when he campaigns in the North West of England on Monday.

Sir Keir Starmer will reaffirm his commitment to a “nuclear deterrent triple lock” as well as his ambition to increase defence spending to 2.5% of gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of the size of the economy.

Sir Keir Starmer visit to Oxfordshire
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer speaks to military personnel (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Veteran left-winger and former Corbyn ally Diane Abbott announced on Sunday evening that she would be standing as the Labour candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, an announcement Sir Keir will be hoping will put the debate on her status in the party to bed.

But, with the full candidate list still to be announced and accusations of favouritism towards the Starmerites still abounding, it remains to be seen if Sir Keir will be able to keep on message, or if candidate controversy will continue to dog his campaign.

– Lib Dems return like ducks to water

The Liberal Democrats are expected to engage in some nautical campaigning, without leader Sir Ed Davey, who grabbed headlines with his activities last week.

The party has announced its plans to protect rivers and coastlines with protected marine areas and new Blue Flag status for rivers.

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Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey falls into the water (Peter Byrne/PA)

Deputy leader Daisy Cooper will be on a boat in Oxfordshire and may be wanting to avoid falling in unlike her leader Sir Ed, who has enjoyed his plunges in the water.

– SNP talks it out

SNP leader John Swinney will seek to maintain momentum after a fiery campaign launch in Glasgow on Sunday, as he faces off against the other Scottish party leaders in a TV debate on STV.

Mr Swinney, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton will discuss key issues ahead of the General Election.

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Scottish National Party leader John Swinney (Jane Barlow/PA)

– On the buses

The three main parties all have their election “battle buses” up and running now after Labour and the Tories launched theirs this weekend.

The Tory Mercedes-Benz Tourismo features the party’s General Election slogan – “Clear plan, bold action, secure future”.

Once the transport for Oxford United, before the football team’s promotion to the EFL Championship, the vehicle is also ultra low emission zone (Ulez) compliant.

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Supporters at the launch event for Labour’s campaign bus (Lucy North/PA)

The Liberal Democrats’ yellow coach has been rolling on the roads throughout the first full week of General Election campaigning.

Party leader Sir Ed Davey unveiled Yellow Hammer 1 in Whittlesford, near Cambridge – a Van Hool emblazoned with the words “Liberal Democrats for a fair deal”.

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