General election: Corbyn talks free broadband as Johnson launches campaign bus – live news – The Guardian,

General election: Corbyn talks free broadband as Johnson launches campaign bus – live news – The Guardian,

The Johnson interview is over now.

Here a first reaction from Sky’sRob Powell:

Rob Powell(@ robpowellnews)

😬 Eeek that was a bit painful … Boris Johnson clearly doesn’t want to talk about his private life 🧐 But he needs to come up with a convincing answer to the question of why his background, upbringing and personal qualities make him a good fit to be PM#BBCBreakfast

November 15, 2019


Johnsonsays he wants every child in this country to have the most amazing opportunities, and that in order to achieve that, Brexit needs to get done. Munchetty says she wants to get a “feel” for who he is. She asks him about his family life, which seems to be an uncomfortable question for the PM.

He responds by saying again that he wants every child to unleash their full potential. Why is he relatable though ?, he is asked. Munchetty plays a clip of him using a mop in a very awkward way. Has he ever used a mop before, she asks. She says he is very different from most people in this country, that he is privileged.

Johnsonis now asked whether he has done enough for the flood victims. He says you can never do enough for someone who has suffered in a flooding. Of course there’s always more you can do, he says, but he will make sure that the insurers don’t “weasel out of their obligations” to the flood victims. His government has put far more into flood defense than previousLaborgovernments, he says, £ 2.6bn.


They move on to migration. Is net migration going to rise and fall under a Conservative government?Johnsonsays “it’s a great thing” that there are “more EU nationals in the UK than ever before”. Once we come out of the EU, in January, we will take control of our borders, the PM says. When pressed for particular target numbers, Johnson says he doesn’t want to play the numbers game. He says the problem is uncontrolled immigration, and that this is whatLaborwants to pursue. He brings up an Australian-style point-based immigration system again. Is a brain surgeon or a porter getting more points? His analysts haven’t decided yet, the PM says.

Munchettyis now quizzing the PM on the NHS. Johnson tells a story of how he had to go to Hillingdon hospital last year because of a piece of glass in his foot. He says staff asked for more funding, and that the way to fund the NHS is to have a strong, robust economy. He says a Conservative government will rebuild Hillingdon hospital.

What about record A&E waiting times? Munchetty say £ 20. 5bn is the figure for increased NHS funding the Tories have pledged. Johnson retorts that the correct number is £ 34 bn, but seems startled. The PM is quizzed on GP numbers. 272 is the actual increase of GPs achieved last year, Munchetty says , not 5, 000 asJeremy Huntpromised as health secretary. Johnson saysLaborwrecked the economy when they were in power.


(Boris Johhnson interviewed on BBC Breadfast

Boris Johnsonis now on the BBC Breakfast sofa.

PresenterNaga Munchettysays she wants to get clarity from party leaders in these interviews.

She kicks off by challenging the PM’s “Let’s get Brexit done” campaign slogan. Brexit won’t be “done” anytime soon, she says, there will be a transition period, and a second phase of negotiation on the future relationship.

Boris Johnsonresponds saying it was parliament that caused the delay, and repeats his standard catalog of Brexit-related soundbites, taking back control etc. He says if he gets a majority he will try to “get Brexit done by January”, adding he thinks Brexit can “turbo-charge” a one-nation agenda.


One problem forCorbynandMcDonnelltoday will be that BT says that a full-fiber rollout will cost £ 40 bn – double theLaborestimate .

This from Neil McRae, the chief network architect at BT:

Neil J. McRae(@ neilmcrae)

Labor plans broadband communism!

November 14, 2019


Chris Leslie,who defected from theLaborparty to join what is now the Independent Group for Change, tweeted this yesterday evening, for those who missed it.

Chris Leslie(@ ChrisLeslieMP)

Why so coy @ uklabour? Why not throw in free SkyTV? Free iphones? Netflix and x-boxes all round?

The more fantastical their ‘promises’, the less credible they become.

(November) , 2019

Chris Leslie(@ ChrisLeslieMP)

Oh and £ 20 bn could provide over 150, 000 homes for the homeless. But mass nationalization for ideological reasons is apparently a higher priority …

(November) , 2019


Let’s look at some reactions to Labor’spledge to roll out free broadband to every household and businessover the next 11 years.

This from Labor’sDavid Lammy:

David Lammy(@ DavidLammy)

Free broadband for all is a visionary policy. Let’s bring the UK up to speed by making businesses, workers and services more connected. / MrSjdKp9gd

(November) , 2019

And this from the Lib Dems’Sam Gyimah:

Sam Gyimah ***(@ SamGyimah)

It might be a Christmas election, but this is getting silly. Another day, another unaffordable item on the wish list. Wasting billions of taxpayer funds to nationalize BT, won’t solve the connectivity issues faced by so many of our rural communities.

(November) , 2019

(Labor) ************ (peer) Andrew Adonis:

Andrew Adonis(@ Andrew_Adonis)

BT has been terrible at providing super fast broadband. ‘Openreach’ doesn’t reach swathes of the country & too often inaccessible & unaffordable when it does

Like public control of failing rail, this will turn a failing private oligarch into an accountable public service

(November) , 2019

This from Sky’sRowland Manthorpe:

Rowland Manthorpe(@ rowlsmanthorpe)

A few thoughts on Labor’s plan to nationalize parts of BT

1. Wow.

2. Every poll and focus group I’ve seen would suggest this policy is going to be extremely popular. Not just the free broadband but the tech company tax – people are really angry about that issue

(November) , 2019


Jedidajah Otte

(Jedidajah Otte)

Hello, I’m taking over from my colleague Kate Lyons.

The headlines suggest it won’t be a boring day in politics. Labor’s ambitious free-broadband-for-all pledge via a part-nationalization of BT by 2030 is already prompting juicy reactions on Twitter.

Jeremy Corbyn

andJohn McDonnellwill present further details of this £ 20 bn taxpayer-funded project at a campaign event in Lancashire, and people will be falling over themselves to grill them thoroughly.

The event is due to start at 11 am, followed by a Q&A. But first McDonnell will be on BBC Radio 4’s Today program and on Sky News at 8. 30 am.

Boris Johnson, who has pledged £ 5bn to roll out full-fiber broadband to every home by 2025, will be on BBC Breakfast at 8am and BBC Radio 5 Live at 9am.

Let’s go!

Updated (at 2. 54 am EST

A reminder of whatBoris Johnsonwas up to yesterday as he visited the West Monkton CEVC Primary School in Taunton, Somerset.

PA Media(@ PA)

Boris Johnson has insisted the wheels are “staying very firmly on the bus” as his election campaign arrived in the South Westpic.twitter. com / XUc 53 snKmU

November 14, 2019

Aamna Mohdin

In the latest instalment of the Guardian’s People and Power series,Aamna Mohdinhas written about the way aresidents’ Facebook group could swing the seat of Canterbury.

Local newspaper editors once controlled the information that circled around a town or small city during an election. But in Canterbury in 2019, that power has fallen into the lap of the 32 – year-old administrator of a (Facebook) ************ (group.)

Edd Withers set up the Canterbury Residents Group on Facebook five years ago in an attempt to bridge the divide between the city’s large student population and its older residents. In a sign of the changing media environment that could shape this election, what started as a community project to bring generations together has turned into a lively and often chaotic rolling political conversation about all manner of issues affecting the city.

Of the nearly 100 Canterbury residents who contacted the Guardian about the tight race in their constituency, Withers’ Facebook group was mentioned more than a dozen times. While one resident described it as “a good starting point to find the ‘real’ residents and the issues they are passionate about”, another said they left the group “because of the extreme views and bullying behavior”.


Thedrama around deals between parties continues to roil.Nigel Faragehas attacked the Conservative party after it was claimed that senior Brexit party figures – including Ann Widdecombe – had been offered post-election roles or peerages as part of an attempt to get him to stand down more candidates at the general election.

Farage said it showed “the system is corrupt and broken”.

Nigel Farage(@ Nigel_Farage)

Even Boris Johnson’s Chief Strategic Adviser Sir Edward Lister is calling our candidates and offering them jobs if they withdraw. The system is corrupt and broken.# ChangePoliticsForGood

(November) , 2019

Updated (at 3.) am EST

Kate Lyons

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the day’s political news. I’m Kate Lyons and will be with you on the liveblog for the first hour or so of the day, before I hand over to my excellent colleagues. As usual, you can get in touch with your questions, thoughts, witticisms etc onTwitteror email ([email protected]).

It’s a big day for promises as both Labor and theConservativesroll out big-spending, crowd-pleasing election pledges.

The Conservatives are offering a package to revitalize neglected towns whileLaboris promising free full-fiber broadband for homes and businesses.

Boris Johnson says a Tory government would spend hundreds of millions of poundsreviving dying high streets and struggling communities. It includes discounts on business rates, rate relief for pubs, money to reopen train stations and a £ 150 m fund to help groups trying to take over and run pubs and post offices threatened with closure. Labor has criticized the proposal, saying the Conservatives are the ones responsible for destroying high streets and towns through “a decade of vicious cuts to the services that people on our communities rely on”.

Meanwhile, Labor ispromising free full-fiber broadband for every home and businessby partly nationalizing BT. Jeremy Corbyn will outline the plan during a speech in Lancaster, saying: “What was once a luxury is now an essential utility.” The plan, estimated to cost about £ 20 bn, will be funded partly by high taxes on internet companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google. The Conservatives have criticized the policy, saying it was a “fantasy plan to effectively nationalize broadband [that] would cost hardworking taxpayers tens of billions”.

As for what will happen today:

  • Jeremy Corbyn will be announcing his broadband plan in a speech on digital infrastructure in Lancaster this morning.
  • Boris Johnson will launch his campaign bus in Oldham at lunchtime.
  • The Lib Dems go to Leeds where Ed Davey will be giving a speech in the afternoon on economics.
  • And there is a big question mark hanging over the Brexit party’s campaign events. There is meant to be a launch in Dudley for their candidate but it’s unclear if that will go ahead – given the candidate has pulled out of the seat.

Join us for the ride!


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