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Labour manifesto unanimously agreed – Jeremy Corbyn

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said the party’s manifesto has been “unanimously agreed” and will be published “in the next few days”.

A draft version was leaked which included policies on nationalising railways and renewing Trident weapons.

Mr Corbyn said that had been “amended” and he believed its policies would be “very popular” with voters.

About 80 Labour figures including the shadow cabinet and national executive committee met to finalise the policies.

Mr Corbyn did not take questions on the party’s final manifesto, saying they would have to wait until its official launch.

But he said: “We have just unanimously agreed the contents of [the manifesto], we have amended a draft document that was put forward in the most informed, interesting, sensible discussion and debate in our party.

“Our manifesto will be an offer, and I believe the policies in it are very popular, an offer that will transform the lives of many people in our society.”

He also announced an inquiry into the leak of a draft version, which included plans to nationalise parts of the energy industry and scrap tuition fees, which emerged earlier. The inquiry would report back after the general election on 8 June.

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said she had been told the changes agreed at the meeting were “tinkering only”.

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According to the draft version, Labour would:

  • Spend an extra £8bn on social care over the next Parliament
  • Refuse to make “false promises” on immigration
  • Stress that any leader should be “extremely cautious” about using Trident nuclear weapons, which leader Jeremy Corbyn opposes
  • Strengthen trade union rights – including increased unionisation across the workforce and repealing last year’s Trade Union Act
  • Scrap the public sector pay cap and reintroduce national pay bargaining
  • Ban so-called “zero hours” contracts
  • Increase income tax for the highest-earning 5% to raise an extra £6bn for the NHS
  • Build at least 100,000 council and housing association houses a year
  • Reserve 4,000 homes for rough sleepers

On energy, Labour would have at least one publicly-owned supplier in every region of the country, with the government controlling the transmission and distribution grids.

First it would introduce an “immediate emergency price cap” of £1,000 a year.

Media captionWatch: Is the manifesto leak worth singing about?

The draft manifesto also promises to ban fracking and cut the voting age to 16.

The document restates the existing policy to renew Trident but commits a Labour government to a defence review which would allow opponents to question the position on the nuclear weapons system.

It also says Labour would “negotiate transitional arrangements to avoid a cliff-edge for the UK economy” if no Brexit deal was reached during talks with the EU.

Analysis by BBC political correspondent Iain Watson

The draft document is seen by some senior Labour figures as the most left-wing manifesto since the party was led by Michael Foot in 1983.

It certainly appears to be the most detailed in a generation with a 20-point plan for workers’ rights alone.

Many individual policies are likely to be popular – not every privatisation is seen as having been a success and polling suggests the commitments to renationalise the railways and cap energy prices are not as controversial as critics would claim.

But opponents and sceptical voters will await further detail behind the assertion that everything has been costed.

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Privately, many Labour MPs believe Jeremy Corbyn will get the manifesto he wants but in return he must take full responsibility if voters find it less appealing than he does.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said he did not know who was behind the leak, which he called “disappointing” saying “every policy will have a costing and a funding source identified”.

Speaking to Channel 4 News, Prime Minister Theresa May said the “shambolic” way the document emerged “shows the sort of chaos that we would see from a Labour government”.

She added: “If you take their manifesto overall, actually, what they are suggesting is taking us back to the past.

“What I’m interested in is dealing with the challenges that we face today but making a better future for this country.”

Media captionThe moment a BBC cameraman was ‘run over by Corbyn car’

In other general election news, the Conservatives are pledging to continue meeting the Nato target of spending 2% of GDP on defence and to extend by two years a pledge to increase the defence budget by at least 0.5% above inflation annually.

Labour is also promising to meet the 2% Nato pledge.

The SNP’s Tommy Sheppard said: “The very fact that this draft manifesto has been leaked shows how divided and chaotic the Labour Party are – most of their MPs do not even support these policies.”

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale was unable to attend Thursday’s meeting on Labour’s manifesto as it clashed with First Minister’s Questions in the Scottish Parliament.

Meanwhile, a Welsh Labour spokesman said: “Reports of leaked manifestos relate to an old, draft version of a UK document.

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“It is not Welsh Labour’s manifesto and contains many England-only proposals. Welsh Labour will be publishing its own distinct manifesto.”

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said: “It doesn’t matter whether it was leaked or not leaked, the Labour manifesto ceased to be relevant in any way, shape or form the moment Jeremy Corbyn and his party held hands with UKIP and Theresa May and voted for the triggering of Article 50.”


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