UK: Labour Party launches election campaign

10th May 2017
UK: Labour Party launches election campaign

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

 

LONDON (AA): U.K. opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn used his Labour Party’s general election campaign launch on Tuesday to accuse the ruling Conservatives of “holding the country back”.

Corbyn was speaking in Manchester where former Labour cabinet minister Andy Burnham was recently elected as the city’s first metro mayor — a departure from poor local election results suffered by the party across England, Scotland and Wales last week.

“There is no doubt this country is being held back,” Corbyn said in his address to party members.

“If your children are not getting the education they deserve, because the class sizes are too high, then your children are being held back,” he said. “If you’re a young couple, anyone trying to get a home, and can’t make a home because rent and house prices are too high, then you’re being held back.”

Corbyn also took aim at Prime Minister Theresa May for her role as a government minister in the previous Conservative administration.

“Does she think people will forget how the Conservatives have actually treated working people? This prime minister sat alongside David Cameron in government for six years,” Corbyn said.

– Labour losses

Corbyn said he was aware of last week’s poor results for Labour. His party lost more than 300 council seats as May’s Conservatives made inroads into traditional Labour heartlands.

“We know from last week’s local elections how big the challenge is,” Corbyn said. “People are uncertain and divided; who can blame them?”

However, Corbyn told BuzzFeed.com earlier he would not resign, even if Labour saw equally poor results in the June 8 general election.

Corbyn also said Labour was “under attack” because it was willing to stand up against political and economic elites.

– Brexit

As for Brexit, Corbyn said the issue had been “settled” and the country should now focus on a successful exit from the EU.

“This election isn’t about Brexit itself. That issue has been settled. The question now is what sort of Brexit do we want — and what sort of country do we want Britain to be after Brexit?

“Labour wants a jobs-first Brexit, a Brexit that safeguards the future of Britain’s vital industries, a Brexit that paves the way to a genuinely fairer society and an upgraded economy.”

Voters in the U.K. will go to the polls on June 8 to elect lawmakers to form a new government to lead the country’s historic Brexit negotiations with the EU.

Latest opinion polls suggest the Conservative Party has a clear lead before any other party with four weeks remaining.

[Archive Photo: Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photographer: Kate Green/AA]

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