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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Josh Salisbury

Kay Burley clashes with Michael Gove over claims of Labour 'forever government'

Cabinet minister Michael Gove was given a grilling on Thursday morning after claiming the Labour Party would “rig” themselves into “forever government”.

The Levelling Up secretary made the claim on Sky News, telling veteran broadcaster Kay Burley: “One lesson that some people may draw from the opinion polls is that if these opinion polls are correct, Labour will use that super-majority to rig the system.”

The polls appear to show a substantial lead for Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party - with one poll this week predicting the Conservatives could win just 53 seats.

But Mr Gove’s claim was challenged by Burley, who said: “You can’t criticise Labour for getting more votes, it’s down to you guys to get your message across.”

Mr Gove responded: “What’s to stop them giving votes to EU citizens, 16-year-olds, prisoners, and making sure they could be a forever government?”

While Labour plans to give the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds, the party has not outlined plans in its manifesto to give votes to all EU citizens or prisoners.

This too was challenged by Burley, who told the high-ranking Tory minister: “It’s a democracy. If they’ve been given a mandate, they’re not rigging the system.”

Elsewhere in the morning broadcast round, Mr Gove - who is standing down at the election - insisted there was still time for the Conservatives to run around their dire standing in the polls.

Postal voting has already begun in some areas, and there is only two weeks left to go until polling day on July 4.

He told Sky News: "There are opinion polls, as I've acknowledged and as we both know, that are not great, but it's not the 90th minute, we're not in 'Fergie time' yet.”

He added, in a reference to the Euros: "I'm a Scotland fan, so you wait until the final whistle.

"Sometimes it looks as though the odds are against you, but you keep on fighting."

The campaign faced another tumultuous day on Thursday amid claims that the Gambling Commission was looking into the party’s campaign chief over a bet on the election date.

The party’s director of campaigning Tony Lee is being looked into by the Gambling Commission, the BBC reported.

His wife, Laura Saunders, who is standing for election in Bristol, is also reportedly being looked into by the betting watchdog.

Asked about the betting claims, Mr Gove told broadcasters: “It is concerning if people use inside information in the way that's been alleged or reported."

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