Labour said its manifesto would bring about “real change” to overhaul Britain’s “rigged” society as it pledged to boost wages, tackle climate change and re-nationalise key utilities.
Leader Jeremy Corbyn will reveal the full details of his election manifesto in Birmingham on Thursday, which is set to include promises of free broadband for all homes and businesses by 2030, more money for the health service and a fresh Brexit referendum.
The leader of the opposition 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.”
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.
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.
Jeremy Corbyn will accuse the “bankers, billionaires and the establishment” of trying to stop a radical Labour government being elected as he reveals a manifesto for “real change”.
Mr Corbyn is to tell supporters in Birmingham that the “manifesto of hope” for the December 12 election is full of policies “that the political establishment has blocked for a generation”.
The proposals are expected to include renationalisation plans for key utilities, following Labour’s pledge to take part of BT into public ownership to deliver free full-fibre broadband for all.
It will contain promises to significantly boost NHS spending, create a £10 minimum hourly wage for all and tackle climate change and create jobs in a “green industrial revolution”.
“This is a manifesto of hope. A manifesto that will bring real change. A manifesto full of popular policies that the political establishment has blocked for a generation. Those policies are fully costed, with no tax increases for 95% of taxpayers,” Mr Corbyn will say.
‘The billionaire-owned media make things up’
“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. 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.
“If the bankers, billionaires and the establishment thought we represented politics as usual, that we could be bought off, that nothing was really going to change, they wouldn’t attack us so ferociously. Why bother?
“But they know we mean what we say. They know we will deliver our plans, which is why they want to stop us being elected.”
Mr Corbyn will set out Labour’s stall as being the party “on your side”, as he criticises the Tories for apparently being backed by the donations of a third of Britain’s billionaires.
“But they don’t own us. They don’t own the Labour Party. The people own the Labour Party. That’s why the billionaires attack us. That’s why the billionaire-owned media makes things up about us,” he will say.
“So I accept the implacable opposition and hostility of the rich and powerful is inevitable.”
The Labour leadership will be hoping the plans can turn around their fortunes in the 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 poling 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% and Labour lagging behind on 31%.
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.
Boris Johnson made a tax cut promise while on the campaign trail on Wednesday, vowing to lift 2 million low-paid workers out of making National Insurance contributions altogether by raising the threshold from £8,628 per year to £9,500. Labour criticised the headline-grabbing move, estimating it would save low earners only £1.64 per week.
Tory’s ‘disturbing’ election bus ban
The party was dogged by further controversy on Wednesday, however, after it barred The Daily Mirror from boarding its election bus in Manchester.
The left-leaning newspaper said it was the first time since the creation of touring election battle buses in the 1970s that it had been denied access to a Tory leader on the campaign trail.
Ian Murray, executive director at the Society of Editors, said the Mirror’s exclusion was a “disturbing development” and “not acceptable nor compatible with the principle of media freedom”.
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.
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.
The senior figure 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’.”