Labour will launch another attack on Rishi Sunak today, accusing him of raising taxes for working people while his family benefited from a loophole.
Despite a mounting backlash against the ‘gutter politics’ of their recent advert campaign, the Opposition is digging in by publishing a poster criticising the Conservatives on tax policy.
Labour sparked fury last week when it shared an image on Twitter which suggested Mr Sunak does not believe adults convicted of sexually assaulting children should go to prison.
It was condemned across the political spectrum – with a host of senior figures in Labour urging the party to take it down. However Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told the Mail that he stands by ‘every word’.
It has since sparked accusations of hypocrisy as it emerged that Sir Keir attended 21 meetings to help draft sentencing guidelines that can see convicted paedophiles avoid prison – before Mr Sunak became an MP.
Labour will launch another attack on Rishi Sunak today, accusing him of raising taxes for working people while his family benefited from a loophole. Pictured: Rishi Sunak and wife, Akshata Murthy
Labour sparked fury last week when it suggested Mr Sunak doesn’t believe adults convicted of sexually assaulting children or those possessing a gun with intent to harm should go to prison
On Friday, Labour posted another attack ad – this time suggesting Mr Sunak believes adults convicted of possessing a gun with intent to harm should not go to prison.
The following day, Labour shared another ad which suggested the Prime Minister does not believe thieves should be punished.
Today the party will share a fourth, similar attack ad, with a picture of the PM smiling.
Alongside, it asks: ‘Do you think it’s right to raise taxes for working people when your family benefited from a tax loophole? Rishi Sunak does.’ The poster claims the Tories have ‘raised taxes 24 times since 2019, leaving the British people facing the highest tax burden in 70 years’.
It also criticises the Government for not closing the ‘non-dom tax loophole’. It adds: ‘A Labour government would freeze your council tax this year, paid for by a proper windfall tax on oil and gas giants.’
Mr Sunak faced a backlash last year over his wife Akshata Murty’s former non-dom status. Ms Murty, whose father is a billionaire entrepreneur, gave up the non-dom tax status after the row and said she would start paying British taxes on all her worldwide income.
A Tory source hit back at the latest poster last night. They said: ‘This is the height of hypocrisy from a party which has already made £90billion of unfunded spending commitments and whose leader stands to benefit from a bespoke, tax-unregistered pension scheme unavailable to others.
‘Rishi Sunak has a plan to halve inflation, grow the economy and reduce debt. Sir Keir only has a plan to play politics on Twitter.’
Pictured: Labour Party leader Keir Starmer at The Annexe Community Centre on April 3, 2023 in Hartlepool, England
Sir Keir has also sent a memo to his shadow cabinet colleagues urging them to ‘continue to focus relentlessly on exposing the failures of 13 years of this divided and weak Conservative Government and demonstrate how we would deliver for working people across the country’.
Sir Keir hails the ‘excellent progress’ made so far on ‘exposing the Government’s failures on crime’ despite the widespread condemnation.
The memo states that Labour will now shift its focus to the cost of living crisis ahead of the local elections next month. Sir Keir writes: ‘We know that a Labour government would focus on tackling the cost of living, make better choices, and get the economy growing. It is our duty to continue to take our message out to the British people. I make no apologies at all for doing that.’
It came as damning documents unearthed by the Mail reveal that Sir Keir attended 21 out of 23 meetings before new sentencing guidelines for sex offenders were enforced.
He was involved in crafting guidelines that recommend judges can dish out community orders for a string of child sex offences including sexually assaulting a child under 13.
The new poster will read: ‘Do you think it’s right to raise taxes for working people when your family benefited from a tax loophole? Rishi Sunak does.’ Pictured: Rishi Sunak at the offices of the National Society
Sir Keir did not publicly object once as he and legal experts discussed allowing some sex offenders to walk free at monthly meetings of the Sentencing Council – the quango which advises judges and magistrates how to punish criminals.
Sir Keir, who was director of public prosecutions from 2008 to 2013, met with fellow members of the Sentencing Council 21 times from April 2011 as they crafted a ‘definitive guideline’ on sexual offences.
This came into force in April 2014 and offered a community order as a possible sentence for 20 of the 52 crimes they looked at – including eight child sex offences.
A Tory source told the Mail last night: ‘This is yet another example of Keir Starmer playing politics and offering absolutely nothing. He helped write the guidelines for sentencing child sex offenders and is now blaming others for his appalling failures at the CPS. He should do the decent thing and apologise to the victims and families he failed so badly.’
A Labour spokesman said: ‘The role of the Sentencing Council is to provide consistency in sentencing not to make up sentences.’