UK General Election 2024: Sunak to Push Ahead with National Service Plan Amidst Criticism
UK General Election 2024: Sunak to Push Ahead with National Service Plan Amidst Criticism

LONDON: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to reinforce his controversial proposal to reintroduce National Service, urging employers to give preference to job applicants with military experience.

Sunak announced that if the Conservatives are re-elected on 4 July, all 18-year-olds will be required to participate in a form of "mandatory" National Service. Despite facing increasing criticism, which estimates the cost of the program to be £2.5bn annually by the end of the decade, the Financial Times reported that Sunak plans to persist with his stance.

According to the paper, Sunak emphasized that one way to "maximize the benefits of National Service" would be to encourage employers to "consider applicants who have completed military service placements" during their job applications.

Critics from various political factions have dismissed the plan as impractical, while senior military figures have expressed skepticism about its feasibility.

However, Sunak hopes that this pledge will bolster his efforts to close the widening gap in the polls between the Tories and Labour, as the election campaign enters its first full week.

Meanwhile, Labour is set to focus on security issues, with Sir Keir Starmer expected to emphasize "economic security, border security, and national security" as the core pillars of the party's manifesto in a key speech.

"The foundation of any effective government is economic security, border security, and national security," Starmer is expected to assert. "These are the building blocks upon which our manifesto and our initial actions will be based."

Acknowledging that some voters may be uncertain about Labour's stance on national security, Starmer is anticipated to address these concerns directly.

"Despite what the polls indicate, there are many undecided voters in this election," he is expected to say. "They are tired of the failures, chaos, and division of the Tories, but they still have reservations about us."

"Has Labour transformed enough? Can I trust them with my money, our borders, and our security?" Starmer will rhetorically ask. "My answer is yes, you can - because I have transformed this party. Permanently. This has been my mission from day one."

Labour has also promised to conduct a comprehensive 100-day review of all threats facing Britain, including those from Russia and Iran, by bringing together MI5, police, and various Whitehall departments if it wins the election.

Campaigning is set to intensify in the upcoming week, with Sir Ed Davey launching the Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign alongside Scottish leader Alex Cole-Hamilton in Scotland.

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