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General election campaigning begins as MPs back June poll

03:52 Thu Apr 20, 2017

Jeremy Corbyn began Labour's election campaign in Croydon

Taken from/By: BBC News
Report by: BBC News

Campaigning is under way after the House of Commons backed Theresa May’s call for a general election on 8 June.

MPs voted by 522 votes to 13 – with Labour and Lib Dem helping secure the two-thirds majority needed to bring forward the election from 2020.

The prime minister urged voters to give her “the mandate to speak for Britain and to deliver for Britain”.

Jeremy Corbyn said a Labour government would stop Mrs May from using Brexit to make the UK an “offshore tax haven”.

Speaking in Croydon on his first campaign stop, the Labour leader said if elected, he would raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour and increase spending on the NHS, social care and council housing.
The BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg said sources suggested Mr Corbyn wanted to frame the election as being about the delivery of public services, and the kind of economy the UK will have after Brexit.

She said she understood that Mr Corbyn had ruled out “progressive alliances” with other parties, such as the Greens, as a way of thwarting Conservative attempts to increase their majority.

The Labour leader confirmed there would be no coalition deal between his party and the SNP.

In other election developments:

The PM says she will not take part in TV leaders’ debates George Osborne is to quit as an MP but Ken Clarke plans to stand again The Manchester Gorton by-election is set to be cancelled with the poll moved to 8 June Labour suggests people earning £70,000 a year could be asked to pay more tax Scottish party leaders make their opening pitches The Democratic and Ulster Unionist Parties are to hold talks about a pact

The next general election had been expected in 2020, but the Fixed Term Parliaments Act allows for one to be held earlier if it has the support of two-thirds of MPs. The Commons backed holding a poll in 50 days time by a majority of 509.

Defending the move, Mrs May told MPs there was a “window of opportunity” to hold a poll before Brexit negotiations began in earnest in June.

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