Corbyn set to rally MPs tonight as new poll hands Tories 18-point lead

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Jeremy Corbyn will address Labour MPs tonight as the party prepares for a final push in two by-elections on the back of poor poll ratings.

The leader will speak to MPs and peers as the parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) holds its first meeting after the half-term recess.

Corbyn is expected to call on MPs to continue their campaigning up to the last moment in Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent Central, where Labour is embroiled in a close fight with the Tories and UKIP respectively.

As voters in Stoke woke up to a surprise visit from Theresa May – who dropped into the world-renowned Bridgewater ceramics factory with her local candidate – Corbyn received a fresh blow when a new poll handed the Tories an 18-point lead over Labour, one its largest on record.

May’s party is on 44 per cent nationally, up two percentage points, according to the Guardian/ICM survey.

Labour is on 26 per cent, down one, while UKIP rose one to 13 per and the Lib Dems fell two to eight per cent.

Earlier today Corbyn’s officials denied claims he had paid for a huge poll to be carried out which would inform his opinion on whether he remains as leader until 2020.

Aides said the Mirror report of a “secret” 10,000-strong survey was “entirely untrue”. The newspaper stands by the story.

In Copeland the local Labour candidate, Gillian Troughton, told LabourList there are just three days left to “save” local NHS services.

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