General Election 2019 briefing: what to expect from Labour's manifesto launch

Thursday, 21st November 2019, 9:23 am
Updated Thursday, 21st November 2019, 9:23 am

Jeremy Corbyn will reveal Labour's election manifesto today, and Jo Swinson on her 'big step' to get into No.10 - all this and more in today’s election briefing.

Labour has said that its manifesto, which will be revealed in Birmingham later today, will provide "real change" and overhaul Britain's "rigged" society.

The manifesto will have pledges to boost wages, tackle climate change and re-nationalise key utilities.

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Mr Corbyn called the fresh plans a "manifesto of hope" that were "fully costed", involving no tax increases for 95% of taxpayers.

He issued a warning to supporters that his vision for government would be met with opposition in the remaining three weeks leading up to the December 12 polling day.

"Over the next three weeks, the most powerful people in Britain and their supporters are going to tell you that everything in this manifesto is impossible," said Mr Corbyn.

"That it's too much for you. Because they don't want real change. Why would they? The system is working just fine for them. It's rigged in their favour."

HOUSING is on the political agenda with Labour committing to my campaign for 100,000 council houses a year in their manifesto. Only 2640 new council houses completed last year! Tories only committing to more home ownership @CHouseScandal

— George Clarke (@MrGeorgeClarke) November 21, 2019

The manifesto will contain intentions to significantly boost NHS spending, create a £10 minimum hourly wage for all, and tackle climate change by creating jobs in a "green industrial revolution".

A spree of social house building - the largest since the 1960s - will also feature, with a £75 billion plan, paid for through borrowing, to construct 150,000 homes a year.

Labour's position on Brexit

On Brexit, the party will keep to the position decided at its autumn conference of renegotiating an exit deal with the European Union by March, and then putting those terms to a public vote within another three months, with Remain as an option.

Conservative manifesto

The Conservative manifesto will be announced next week, but some hints have been made as to what it will contain.

Boris Johnson made a tax cut promise while on the campaign trail on Wednesday, vowing to lift two million low-paid workers out of making National Insurance contributions altogether, by raising the threshold from £8,628 per year to £9,500.

That Boris Johnson tax cut for higher-rate earners that’s been dropped from the Tory manifesto?@TheScotsman reported that in June - the day after it was announced. Remember to pat yourself on the back now and again https://t.co/J8Or8aLUOB

— Paris Gourtsoyannis (@thistlejohn) November 20, 2019

Labour criticised the headline-grabbing move, estimating it would save low earners only £1.64 per week.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick will today divulge plans to build one million extra homes over the next five years. He will also outline measures to make it easier for renters to buy, while providing more security for the 4.5 million people in the private rented market.

Chancellor Sajid Javid has said a Conservative government would "guarantee" that people do not have to sell their homes to afford social care.

Speaking on Radio 4's Today Programme, Mr Javid said: "Well we all agree it's important, I think everyone agrees on that, but we don't all agree on what's the best way to provide social care for the long term, and that's key, long term, that people can rely on."

Meanwhile, Home Secretary Priti Patel is set to announce plans for the Tories to consult on doubling the jail sentence for those found guilty of attacking police and other emergency service workers, extending their time behind bars from one year to two.

The party was dogged by further controversy on Wednesday, however, after it barred The Daily Mirror from boarding its election bus in Manchester.

The decision follows stinging criticism of the Conservative Campaign Headquarters' (CCHQ) for re-branding its Twitter account to look like a fact-checking operation during the leadership debate on ITV.

Micheal Gove came under fire for defending the fact-check move, in an interview with Channel Four.

Lib Dems 'big step'

The Greens and the Liberal Democrats have already publicised their plans for government this week, with Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson declaring that her pro-EU party was not a "one-trick pony" after announcing a wide range of incentives, including plans to provide childcare for all pre-school children over the age of nine months.

But, in what appeared to be an acknowledgement of the squeeze the Lib Dems have experienced in the polls, Ms Swinson acknowledged it would be a "big step" for her to get to Number 10 following months of insisting she was a credible contender for prime minister.

Sir Ed Davey, the party's Treasury spokesman, went so far as to open the door to supporting a minority Tory administration.

He told the BBC's Andrew Neil programme that the Lib Dems could strike a deal if Mr Johnson signed up to holding a new referendum on Europe.

He said: "We will challenge him and we will work with others to say 'if you want to do what you said, Mr Johnson (to deliver Brexit)... if you want to do what you said, work for a 'people's vote'."

Latest polls

The latest Telegraph/Savanta ComRes poll gives the Conservatives a double-figure lead of 11 points over Labour - the largest Tory lead seen by the polling company since before the 2017 snap election.

The results of the research, completed before Tuesday's head-to-head leaders debate between Boris Johnson and Mr Corbyn, has the Conservatives on 42 per cent and Labour lagging behind on 31 per cent.

The polling boost comes as the Tories look to drip-feed policy announcements in the run-up to the party's own manifesto launch next week.

Hot take:

"Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard was left 'ashen faced' at a proposal for a windfall tax on the North Sea oil industry that has an '85% chance' of being included in the party’s manifesto when it is unveiled today, according to reports.

"The Financial Times reported that a plan for an offshore oil industry windfall tax was likely to feature in the document. The newspaper reported that Mr Leonard’s 'face was ashen when this came up' at a meeting of the party’s national executive on Saturday. The Unite branch representing oil workers is the union’s largest in Scotland. Scottish Labour did not comment."

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Richard Leonard left ‘ashen faced’ at oil windfall tax within ‘most radical’ Lab...