BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) – Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will unveil his opposition party’s election manifesto on Thursday, setting out how in government he wants to transform Britain with “the most radical and ambitious plan” in decades.
Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn holds his party’s general election manifesto at its launch in Birmingham, Britain November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble
Voters faces a stark choice at the Dec. 12 election: Corbyn’s plan for a socialist Britain, including widespread nationalisation and free public services, or Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s drive to deliver Brexit within months and build a “dynamic market economy”.
Speaking in the central English city of Birmingham, Corbyn will press his message that only Labour can challenge the status quo, fighting for ordinary people against “bankers, billionaires and the establishment”.
Lagging in the polls, Corbyn will hope his message of change will drown out criticism of his Brexit stance, which even some in his party say lacks the clarity of Johnson’s vow to “get Brexit done”.
He will also hope to avoid comparisons with Labour’s most infamous attempt to sell Britons a socialist future – a 1983 manifesto described later by a then Labour lawmaker as “the longest suicide note in history”, which led to heavy defeat.
Both parties have promised to end economic austerity and spend more money on public services ahead of the election, which will determine how, when and even whether Britain’s departure from the European Union happens.
Trying to combat criticism from Johnson’s Conservative Party over Labour’s spending plans, Corbyn will say how he plans to pay for his manifesto, which includes scrapping university fees, reducing the working week and nationalising utilities.
“This is a manifesto of hope.