May avoids making tax pledge on Yorkshire visit

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THERESA MAY has given a further signal she is ready to drop David Cameron's tax-lock pledge in the Conservatives' General Election manifesto during a campaign stop in Yorkshire.

Mrs May declined to promise match Labour's promise not to raise personal national insurance contributions if she wins the election as she addressed Conservative MPs and candidates at a rally at York Barbican.

Theresa May at the Barbican today

Theresa May at the Barbican today

The tax-lock, the pledge not to raise income tax, National Insurance, or VAT, was a centre-piece of the Conservatives' 2015 campaign but they are widely expected to water down the commitment this time.

Mrs May said: "It is not our intention to increase the level of tax but I am not going to make any tax commitments that I am not absolutely sure that we can keep.

"Our instinct is to reduce taxes on working families."

The Conservatives today unveiled a manifesto promise to cap the standard variable tariff paid by energy customers in a move they claimed could save 17m consumers around £100 a year.

But Mrs May faced questions over her support for intervening in the energy market when then Labour leader Ed Miliband was attacked by the Conservatives for proposing an energy price freeze before the last election.

She said: "Ed Miliband suggested a freeze on energy prices so people paying above the odds would have continued to pay over the odds.

"Crucially prices would not have gone down. Under our cap prices will be able to go down."

As media organisations across the country campaign against fake news, Mrs May expressed support for the work of local media in informing their communties.

She said: "I think we all recognise that is important when people are looking for and reading the news what we want them to see is an accurate reflection of the news and accurate reporting.

"A lot of people put great store by their local newspapers with trained journalists actually out there reporting what is happening faithfully in their local area."

Mrs May described a free press as one of the "important pillars of our democracy"