Monday 20 November 2017

Corbyn manifesto will 'help ordinary people'

Jeremy Corbyn at the launch of the Labour Party manifesto. Photo: PA
Jeremy Corbyn at the launch of the Labour Party manifesto. Photo: PA

Elizabeth Piper in London

Promising renationalisation of some services, measures to curb corporate excess and an end to healthcare cuts, Britain's Labour Party made its case yesterday for voters to back its move to the left and throw out the Conservatives at next month's election.

Unveiling what leader Jeremy Corbyn called "a blueprint of what Britain could be", Labour said it was the only party that would make leaving the EU "work for ordinary people" but would not support a second independence vote for Scotland.

Labour wants to fight Prime Minister Theresa May on domestic policies, particularly healthcare, at the June 8 election, which, if the polls giving the Conservatives a runaway lead are right, could reshape the political landscape for years to come.

Critics say the manifesto evokes the party's 1983 offering, described then by a Labour lawmaker as "the longest suicide note in history" for helping the Conservatives win, and the ruling party questioned its funding plans.

Mr Corbyn said his manifesto, which also included scrapping university tuition fees and ending cuts to the National Health Service, was costed and accused the Conservatives of stepping back in time by backing fox hunting and new selective schools.

"This manifesto is the first draft of a better future for the people of our country.

"A blueprint of what Britain could be and a pledge of the difference a Labour government can and will make," he told supporters at a university in Bradford.

"Our country will only work for the many not the few if opportunity is in the hands of the many.

"So our manifesto is a plan for everyone to have a fair chance to get on in life, because our country will only succeed when everyone succeeds."

The Conservatives said Mr Corbyn's numbers did not add up and that "every single working family in this country would pay for his chaos with higher taxes".

"It's clear that proposal after proposal in this manifesto will mean more borrowing and debt: from promises on benefits, to promises on prison guards, to promises on nationalising the water network," chief secretary to the finance ministry, David Gauke, said in a statement.

Irish Independent

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