Election battle begins – but cowardly PM refuses to face Jeremy Corbyn in televised debates
JEREMY CORBYN welcomed yesterday’s announcement of a snap general election on June 8, saying it was an opportunity for a Labour government to put the interests of the majority of people first.
The political party with the largest membership in Europe has 50 days to campaign for a win.
Prime Minister Theresa May made her announcement without the usual prior briefing to journalists. It represents a remarkable U-turn in the light of her previous insistence that she had no intention of holding a general election before the scheduled 2020 poll.
She claimed that divisions at Westminster risked hampering the Brexit negotiations and that she wanted “unity.” The government has a majority of just 17 MPs. Ms May admitted that she needs a stronger position in the Commons to secure her plans for Britain’s future outside the EU.
“I have concluded that the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election and seek your support for the decisions I must take,” she said.
Mr Corbyn said in a statement: “I welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first.
“Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and damaging cuts to our schools and NHS.
“In the last couple of weeks, Labour has set out policies that offer a clear and credible choice for the country.
“We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain.”
No 10 said that Ms May won’t be going up against Mr Corbyn in TV debates.
A spokesman said: “Our answer is no. The choice at this election is already clear.”
A pugnacious Mr Corbyn said: “If this general election is about leadership, as Theresa May said this morning, she should not be dodging head-to-head TV debates.”
Campaigners need to get out on the streets as soon as possible to talk to voters about voting Labour to prevent more cuts to services, the NHS, education and welfare, grassroots activist group Momentum said.
A spokesman said: “Over the last week, Jeremy Corbyn has announced commonsense policies to rebalance our economy in favour of the majority, which polls show are extremely popular with the public.
“We now need to mobilise and communicate these policies to as many voters as possible so we can get Labour into government to build a society that works for the many, not the few.”