Thursday, 23 November, 2017

May, Corbyn clash over Brexit plans with UK vote a week away

Mike Hodges | 03 June, 2017, 03:40

Prime Minister Theresa May has repeatedly claimed that a vote for Mr Corbyn in next week's General Election would result in a "coalition of chaos" with Labour propped up by MPs from parties like the Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party or Greens. "If we are the largest party we go ahead - no deals - with our manifesto, our Budget and our Queen's Speech".

Corbyn, a 68-year-old peace campaigner, has been pulling in big crowds at rallies across the country despite warnings from opponents in his own party that he is leading Labour to the worst defeat in its history.

The prospect of a hung parliament has been forced to the forefront of the election debate by a series of YouGov polls suggesting Labour is within three points of overhauling Theresa May's Conservatives, who started the campaign with an opinion poll advantage of as much as 25 points. They can traditionally rely on the support of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, who in 2015 won eight seats.

The Liberal Democrats, which held nine of the 650 parliamentary seats before the election was called, are now polling between 7 and 10 percent support.

The figures show the Conservatives on 42 points but Labour are close behind on 39.

Labour has ruled out pacts and coalitions if the party needs to run a minority government after next week's general election.

In a speech that attempted to portray Theresa May's campaign and manifesto as "weak and wobbly", Corbyn accused Boris Johnson of lying to the public during the European Union referendum a year ago.

Housing minister Gavin Barwell told the Daily Mail that Labour plans to reverse Conservative increases in the inheritance tax threshold would hit 1.2 million homes worth between £650,000 and £850,000 in what he termed a "punishing" tax hike. It has also promised to consult parliament more closely throughout the negotiations.

Despite having repeatedly said that she meant to follow the UK's Fixed Term Parliament that would have seen the next general election held in 2020, May had called a snap poll in order to win a strong mandate for negotiations over Britain's exit from the European Union (EU).

"Meanwhile, Labour's support still relies a great deal on younger people, who in the past have proven less likely to vote".

As the Evening Standard reported on Thursday, "more voters in [London] say they think Labour's leader would make a better Prime Minister than Mrs May".

Labour said its plan to set up a National Investment Bank that will leverage enough private finance to invest 250 billion pounds ($322 billion) in infrastructure over 10 years, coupled with a network of regional development banks, will help create the new jobs.

Labour leader Corbyn elicited applause from the audience as he asked Ms. Rudd if she had ever been to a food bank.

In a leisure centre carpark on the outskirts of Reading, some 60km from London, more than 1,000 people gathered in the middle of a working day, leaving behind their desk jobs and even climbing trees to catch a glimpse of Mr Corbyn.

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