UK’s glum Conservatives try to shift mood with promise of tax cuts as polling day nears

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Britain’s Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader, Rishi Sunak, delivers a speech to launch the Conservatives’ general election manifesto in Silverstone, England, on June 11 in the build-up to the UK general election on July 4. (AP)

LONDON, June 11, (AP): Rishi Sunak doesn’t know whether he’ll still be Britain’s prime minister the day after next month’s election. There’s nothing unusual about that.
What is unusual is that he’s been forced to deny rumors he could quit even before polling day, amid alarm inside the governing Conservative Party over Sunak’s lackluster campaign.
Sunak gets a chance – maybe one of his last – to change the narrative on Tuesday when he releases the Conservatives’ manifesto, a handbook of policies that forms each UK party’s blueprint for power.
Despite gloomy polls and bruising headlines, Sunak insists the election is not a “foregone conclusion” and says resigning has not crossed his mind.
“People are going to say what they’re going to say,” he told reporters on Monday. “The reality is I’m not going to stop going, I’m not going to stop fighting for people’s votes, I’m not going to stop fighting for the future of our country.”
The Conservative manifesto is a chance for Sunak to repeat his claim that a government led by Labour’s Keir Starmer would raise taxes, while a Conservative one would lower them.
Sunak said before the official launch that the manifesto would include financial help for first-time homebuyers and a cut to employees’ income tax. Evoking the party’s most iconic leader, Sunak said the Tories were “the party of Margaret Thatcher … a party, unlike Labour, that believes in sound money.”
The Labour Party points out that the tax burden has risen to its highest level in decades during 14 years of Tory rule. Labour campaign chairman Pat McFadden called the Conservative manifesto a “desperate series of unfunded commitments” and “the most expensive panic attack in history.”

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