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Lib Dem split as Chuka Umunna says party MIGHT do a Labor deal hours after Jo Swinson ruled it out – Daily Mail, Dailymail.co.uk

Lib Dem split as Chuka Umunna says party MIGHT do a Labor deal hours after Jo Swinson ruled it out – Daily Mail, Dailymail.co.uk


Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson vowed never to put Jeremy Corbyn into No 10 as she launched the Liberal Democrat election campaign yesterday.

The party’s leader said she was ‘absolutely categorically ruling out’ forming a coalition with Labor.

But a split soon emerged when new Lib Dem MP Chuka Umunna appeared to open the door to working with his old party .

He said after the launch there would be no coalition with other parties as ‘currently configured’.

But he was quickly slapped down by Miss Swinson’s spokesman, who said the Lib Dems would not work with Labor or the Tories, no matter who led them.

Meanwhile, Labor leader Mr Corbyn failed to expressly rule out the Lib Dem policy of revoking Article 50 to stop Brexit as the price for a coalition.

Leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrats party Jo Swinson (right) greets one of her party’s candidates Chuka Umunna after speaking at the launch of the party’s general election campaign today

She launched the Remainer party’s election campaign this morning with a dig at Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, painting them both as Brexiteers

Asked if he would do so, the Labor leader said: ‘We are campaigning to win this election with a majority Labor government. We are not campaigning to form a coalition with anyone. ‘

Miss Swinson said at her campaign launch:’ On so many grounds, Jeremy Corbyn is not fit for the job of Prime Minister. On the biggest issue of the day, he has prevaricated and will not give a straight answer.

‘Even now if you ask him whether he is Remain or Leave he will not tell you how he would vote .

‘His plans for the economy would take us back to the 1970 s. I believe he would be a threat to our national security. ‘ She said she was ‘absolutely certain’ she would do a better job as prime minister than Mr Corbyn or Boris Johnson.

Asked how she would bring the country together if she plans to disregard the 2016 Brexit vote, she said: ‘We are standing up for what we believe in, and being very honest and straightforward about that. ‘

She also claimed only a small shift in numbers would put the Lib Dems ahead in hundreds of seats.

But the party was yesterday accused of using misleading data to suggest it is ahead in certain areas.

Labor Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers a speech on Brexit in Harlow, Essex, today. He did not to expressly rule out the Lib Dem policy of revoking Article 50 to stop Brexit as the price for a coalition

The Liberal Democrats have vowed to put a £ 50 billion ‘Remain bonus’ into public services if they win the General Election

The Guardian said it had used information from a company called Flavible, which has come under fire for using national poll data to project local results.

Swinson set out her stall for Government today, vowing to ‘stopBrexitand build a brighter future ‘for Britain.

She launched the Remainer party’s election campaign this morning with a dig atBoris JohnsonandJeremy Corbyn, painting them both as Brexiteers.

And she praisedimmigrationto the UK, something which the Government is planning to overhaul if Mr Johns

The Liberal Democrats have vowed to put a £ 50 billion ‘Remain bonus’ into public services if they win the General Election.

At the launch event in central London this morning she said: ‘Any type of Brexit will damage our economy, will cost jobs and starve our public services of the resources that they need.

‘So we know that that Remain bonus will be £ 50 billion that we can spend on our public services, investing in our schools and in the welfare system to help the poorest in our society.

Addressing immigration, Ms Swinson said: ‘Immigration is good for our country. It helps our public services ‘

‘ So every vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote to stop Brexit and invest that £ (billion in our public services. ‘

She also said she was‘absolutely categorically ruling out’ Liberal Democrat votes putting Mr Corbyn into Number 10 .

‘On so many grounds, Jeremy Corbyn is not fit for the job of Prime Minister,’ she said.

Jo Swinson on …

Brexit:‘There isn’t a Brexit that commands a majority. We want to stop Brexit and if we get a majority Liberal Democrat government that is exactly what we’ll do. ‘

A £ 50 billion ‘Remain bonus’:‘ Any type of Brexit will damage our economy, will cost jobs and starve our public services of the resources that they need.

Boris Johnson:‘He is unfit to be prime minister. He lied to the Queen, he lied to Parliament and he lied to the country. ‘

On being in a coalition with Jeremy Corbyn: (‘Remainers cannot trust Jeremy Corbyn with their votes … his plans for the economy would take us back to the 1970 s. I believe he would be a threat to our national security. ‘

A TV debate with party leaders:‘My message is I hope to see you there, or if not: what are you afraid of?’

‘On the biggest issue of the day, he has prevaricated and will not give a straight answer.

‘Even now if you ask him whether he is Remain or Leave he will not tell you how he would vote.

‘ His plans for the economy would take us back to the 1970 s. I believe he would be a threat to our national security. ‘

The Lib Dems said scrapping Brexit will generate billions for public finances because they say remaining in the European Union will mean the economy will grow faster than under Brexit, and will lead to higher GDP.

The Lib Dems forecast that the economy will be 1.9 per cent larger in 2024 – 25 if Brexit is stopped than it would be under the Conservative government Brexit deal.

They say this means government receipts will be higher too, providing a £ 50 billion Remain bonus over the next five years.

The party said the £ 50 billion figure reflect the total extra current receipts over that period.

Paul Johnson, of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) think tank, said: ‘We could expect the economy to be bigger if we were to remain and this assumes a relatively modest effect if anything, although obviously subject to a huge amount of uncertainty ‘.

Former Tory MP and now Lib Dem Dr Sarah Wollaston (left) was among those at the launch, long with deputy leader Ed Davey (center)

Ex-Labor MP Chuka Umunna was sat with former party leader Sir Menzies Campbell

Addressing immigration, Ms Swinson said: ‘Immigration is good for our country. It helps our public services.

‘We all benefit from people coming here and contributing to our society.’

She attacked Boris Johnson, painting him as the Donald Trump candidate and ‘unfit to be prime minister’ after ‘he lied to the Queen. he lied to Parliament and he lied to the country ‘.

Nigel Farage comes out fighting: Brexit Party leader accuses Boris Johnson of seeking ‘a Remainer’s Brexit’

    Nigel Farage came out fighting today, taking a swing at Boris Johnson as he hit the campaign trail in a boxing ring.

    The Brexit Party leader accused the Prime Minister of chasing a ‘Remainer’s Brexit’ – a jab at the Brexit deal he agreed with Brussels.

    Mr Farage was in Bolsover at the start of a tour of Labor-voting Leave seats he believes his party can take from Jeremy Corbyn’s party.

    The Derbyshire seat of veteran firebrand Dennis Skinner voted 70 per cent to Leave in 2016.

    Addressing the crowd at Bolsover Boxing Club Mr Farage said Mr Johnson’s deal would ‘effectively break up the United Kingdom’.

    ‘Ninty five per cent of what Boris Johnson is trying to sell as his great new deal is actually the bad old treaty, ‘he said, adding:’ Without the Brexit Party we will not get a genuine Brexit, and I am going to make sure this cause is best prepared for elections across the country. ‘

    But she also took aim at Jeremy Corbyn, with her party hoping to steal Remainer votes from Labor.

    ‘Remainers cannot trust Jeremy Corbyn with their votes,’ she said.

    ‘Just this morning he is in Harlow giving a speech about how he will’ ‘get Brexit done’ ‘. Spot the difference. ‘

    Ms Swinson, asked how she would bring the country together if she plans to disregard the vote of millions of people in the 2016 referendum, she said: ‘As Liberal Democrats we are standing up for what we believe in, and being very honest and straightforward about that.

    ‘I recognize there are differences of opinion on this issue, and I think people recognise and appreciate that we are consistent and we are firm in what we are standing for.’

    Ms Swinson added: ‘There isn’t a Brexit that commands a majority. We want to stop Brexit and if we get a majority Liberal Democrat government that is exactly what we’ll do.

    ‘And we have led the campaign for a People’s Vote, which would put a specific Brexit deal to the public and say these are the details, this is what had been negotiated, do you want to go ahead with that specific Brexit deal, and I believe in the circumstances people would vote to remain because I don’t think there is a majority (for) specific Brexit deal. ‘

    Paul Scully, deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, said a vote for the Lib Dems’ means either another failing, gridlocked Parliament or Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister’, adding: ‘Either way, that’s years more dither, delay and two more referendums.

    Jeremy Corbyn accuses Boris Johnson of ‘Thatcherism on steroids’ and promises to ‘get Brexit sorted in six months’ – but refuses to rule out revoking Article 50 to form coalition with Lib Dems as he rants about US food laced with ‘rat hair’

    Jeremy Corbyn has accused Boris Johnson of trying to ‘hijack’ the UK’s departure from the European Union to unleash ‘Thatcherism on steroids’ as he claimed Labor would resolve Brexit in six months.

    Setting out Labor’s Brexit policy in a speech in the swing seat of Harlow in Essex this morning, Mr Corbyn claimed Mr Johnson wanted to ‘sell out’ the NHS in a post-Brexit trade deal with the US and ‘strip away’ the rights of workers – accusations fiercely denied by the Tories.

    He tried to seize control of Mr Johnson’s Brexit message of ‘get Brexit done’ as he said a Labor government would ‘get Brexit sorted’ by the middle of next year.

    However, he failed to rule out the possibility of revoking Article 50 as the potential price of forming a coalition with the Liberal Democrats if there is a hung Parliament.

    Labor is campaigning in the run up to the election on December 12 on a platform of staying neutral on Brexit.

    If Mr Corbyn becomes PM he would then negotiate a new divorce deal with the EU before facilitating a second referendum.

    That referendum would pitch Mr Corbyn’s Brexit deal against Remain and Labor would decide which way to campaign in the weeks leading up to the national ballot.

    Mr Corbyn also used the speech to sound the alarm about what he believes are the risks of doing a trade deal with the US as he claimed it would likely lead to lower food standards which could mean maggots and rat hairs in produce.

    Jeremy Corbyn, pictured in Harlow today, accused Boris Johnson of trying to ‘hijack’ Brexit

    Mr Corbyn tried to get Labor’s election campaign into gear today as he set out the party’s Brexit policy. He is flanked by Labor’s Harlow candidate Laura McAlpine and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer

    Mr Corbyn appeared to be in good spirits as he chatted with Ms McAlpine before his speech this morning

    The key lines from Jeremy Corbyn’s Brexit speech

    On the NHS: ‘Boris Johnson’s Conservatives want to hijack Brexit to sell out the NHS and sell out working people by stripping away their rights. ‘

    On post-Brexit food standards:’ They’ll slash food standards to match the US, where what are called ‘acceptable levels’ of rat hairs in paprika, and maggots in orange juice are allowed and they’ll put chlorinated chicken on our supermarket shelves.’

    On Thatcherism: ‘What Boris Johnson’s Conservatives want is to hijack Brexit to unleash Thatcherism on steroids.’

    On a second referendum: ‘A Labor government will get Brexit sorted within six months by giving you, the British people, the final say. ‘

    On failing to pick a side on Brexit: ‘People sometimes accuse me of trying to talk to both sides at once in the Brexit debate; to people who voted leave and remain. You know what? They’re right. Why would I only want to talk to half the country? ‘

    Speaking in Harlow, Mr Corbyn said: ‘This threat to our NHS isn’t a mistake. It’s not happening by accident. The threat is there because Boris Johnson’s Conservatives want to hijack Brexit to sell out the NHS and sell out working people by stripping away their rights.

    ‘Given the chance, they’ll run down our rights at work our entitlements to holidays, breaks and leave.

    ‘Given the chance, they’ll slash food standards to US levels where’ acceptable levels’ of rat hairs in paprika and maggots in orange juice are allowed and they’ll put chlorinated chicken on our supermarket shelves.

    ‘And given the chance, they’ll water down the rules on air pollution and our environment that keep us safe.’

    Mr Corbyn claimed Mr Johnson wants there to be a ‘race to the bottom in standards and protections’ so that the UK can move to a ‘deregulated American model of how to run the economy’.

    He added: ‘What Boris Johnson’s Conservatives want is to hijack Brexit to unleash Thatcherism on steroids on our society.

    ‘ The Thatcher government attack on the working people of our country left scars that have never healed and communities that have never recovered. ‘

    Mr Corbyn said the Tories’ know they can’t win support for what they’re planning to do in the name of Thatcherism so they’re trying to do it under the banner of Brexit instead ‘.

    Mr Corbyn’s references to Mrs Thatcher are likely to have been designed to shore up Labor support in Leave-voting working-class areas of the country where the former Tory PM is remembered with anger.

    Leave-voting seats which are currently held by Labor are key to both main parties’ hopes of winning a majority on December 12 with Mr Johnson expected to aggressively pursue them .

    Mr Johnson last night challenged Mr Corbyn to set out Labor’s Brexit policy in detail a letter sent to the Labor leader.

    Today Mr Corbyn insisted that a second referendum on Brexit would not be a ‘re-run of 2016 ‘.

    Mr Corbyn said the December 12 election represented a ‘once in a generation chance’ to change the UK

    The Labor leader’s attack on Mrs Thatcher is likely to have been designed to shore up support in the party’s Leave-voting working class heartlands where the former Tory PM is still reviled

    Jo Swinson, pictured launching the Lib Dem election campaign in London today, has categorically ruled out propping up a government led by Mr Corbyn

    Jeremy Corbyn claims UK food standards will drop under Tories because of ‘sell out’ trade deal with the US

    Jeremy Corbyn today claimed US food is laced with ‘rat hair and maggots’ as he accused Boris Johnson of plotting a ‘sell out’ trade deal with Donald Trump.

    In a dramatic escalation of his rhetoric, the Labor leader said Mr Johnson is trying to ‘ hijack ‘Brexit so he can lower standards.

    The veteran left-winger said the Tories are preparing to unleash’ Thatcherism on steroids’, opening up the NHS to US pharmaceutical companies and stripping workers of their rights .

    ‘Given the chance, they’ll run down our rights at work, our entitlements to holidays, breaks and leave,’ he said.

    ‘Given the chance , they’ll slash food standards to US levels where ‘acceptable levels’ of rat hairs in paprika and maggots in orange juice are allowed and they’ll put chlorinated chicken on our supermarket shelves.

    ‘ And given the chance, they’ll water down the rules on air pollution and our environment that keep us safe. They want a race to the bottom in standards and protections. ‘

    The jibe is a reference to the difference in approach between US and EU food standards.

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has guidelines on ‘maximum levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods for human use that present no health hazard’.

    Mr Corbyn told activists in Harlow: ‘A Labor government will get Brexit sorted within six months by giving you, the British people, the final say. And despite what some commentators want you to believe, Labor’s plan for Brexit is clear and simple.

    ‘It’s time to take the decision out of the hands of politicians and trust the people to decide.

    ‘It won’t be a rerun of 2016. This time the choice will be between leaving with a sensible deal or remaining in the European Union. That’s the policy. It really isn’t complicated. ‘

    The Labor leader said the Brexit deal he secured would take ‘no longer than three months’ to finalize.

    That Labor deal would be ‘based on terms we’ve already discussed with the EU, including a new customs union, a close single market relationship and absolute guarantees of rights and protections’.

    Mr Corbyn pitched Labor’s policy as a win for both Leave voters and Remainers as he said: ‘So if you want to leave the EU without trashing our economy or selling out our NHS, you’ll be able to vote for it. If you want to remain in the EU, you’ll be able to vote for that.

    ‘Either way, only a Labor government will put the final decision in your hands.’

    He added: ‘To finally get this sorted and move forward we need the people to sign on the dotted line.’

    Mr Corbyn has repeatedly been accused of trying to sit on the fence on Brexit as he has refused to back Leave or Remain.

    He tried to embrace the criticism today as he said: ‘People sometimes accuse me of trying to talk to both sides at once in the Brexit debate; to people who voted leave and remain.

    ‘You know what? They’re right. Why would I only want to talk to half the country? ‘

    The Tories believe Labor’s proposed softer Brexit deal would have to include a commitment to keeping freedom of movement – something which could be poorly received in some Labor-held Leave-voting constituencies.

    Mr Corbyn was asked after his speech in Harlow if freedom of movement would continue under his plans but he dodged the question.

    Nigel Farage today took the election fight to Bolsover – a Labor-held Leave voting seat – where the Brexit Party is hoping to perform strongly

    Mr Corbyn accused Boris Johnson, pictured at Tory HQ yesterday, of wanting to ‘sell out’ the NHS in a post-Brexit trade deal with the US

    The Conservative Party has pledged to end freedom of movement once the UK has left the EU. Mr Johnson wants to introduce an Australian-style points-based immigration system instead.

    Mr Corbyn was asked after his speech if he would accept revoking Article 50 as the price of forming a coalition government with the Lib Dems if December 12 resulted in a hung Parliament.

    He failed to rule out such a possibility as he said: ‘All I can say is we are campaigning to win this election with a majority Labor government. We are not campaigning to form a coalition with anybody. ‘

    The Lib Dems have said that if they win a majority at the election then they would cancel Brexit on day one of a government led by Jo Swinson.

    Ms Swinson today said she is ‘absolutely categorically ruling out’ Liberal Democrat votes ever putting Mr Corbyn into Number 10.

    The Conservatives have consistently denied the NHS would be ‘on the table’ in trade talks with the US.

    Donald Trump also made clear the health service would not be part of any agreement in an LBC interview last week, in which he also warned that Mr Corbyn would be ‘so bad’ for the UK.

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