Labour will offer real change – not Johnson’s pale imitation, says Corbyn

Sienna Rodgers

Jeremy Corbyn is set to make the case for a Labour government with a promise to deliver a transformative programme that is “the real thing” offering “real change” – rather than Boris Johnson’s “pale imitation” of it.

In a major pre-election speech in Northampton on Thursday, the Labour leader will decry the “farce” of the Queen’s Speech taking place next week – an event that he describes as a “cynical stunt” ahead of a likely early general election.

“On Monday, we will be treated to the farce of Boris Johnson’s Conservative government, amid full pomp and ceremony, setting out an agenda to parliament that it has no intention or means of delivering,” Corbyn is expected to say.

“This government isn’t going to put any legislation before parliament. It has a majority of minus 45, a 100% record of defeat in the Commons and is seeking a general election which will end the parliamentary session the Queen is about to open.

“Holding a Queen’s Speech before an election is a cynical stunt. Johnson is using the Queen to deliver a pre-election party political broadcast for the Conservative Party.”

Corbyn will also seek to defend Labour’s refusal to support an immediate snap election by pointing to a lack of trust. He will explain that this is the core reason for which the opposition party has rejected opportunities to vote for an election in the Commons.

“It wasn’t long ago that Johnson was pretending not to want an election. Now he is pretending that it’s Labour that doesn’t want one,” the Labour leader will tell voters in Northampton.

“So let me address this directly: Prime Minister, we can’t trust you not to break the law because you’ve got form. We can’t trust you not to use the period of an election campaign to drive our country off a no deal cliff edge that will crash our economy destroy jobs and industries cause shortages of medicine and food and endanger peace in Northern Ireland.

“So it’s simple: obey the law, take no deal off the table and then let’s have the election. We’re ready and champing at the bit. There’s only one reason it hasn’t happened yet: we can’t trust you.”

Sending an optimistic message about both Labour’s electoral chances and next policy programme, Corbyn is going to argue that his party will deliver real change – unlike the Prime Minister.

“We might be just weeks away from the first Queen’s Speech of a Labour government,” Corbyn will say in his address, which will be used to lay out the party’s main priorities. The top offers include a £10-an-hour minimum wage, ban on fracking and end to tuition fees.

Labour’s newer policies following the annual party conference – free personal care at the point of use and prescriptions, as well as a “final say” referendum on Brexit – will also be promoted in the speech.

Corbyn will add: “And in that Queen’s Speech, Labour will put forward the most radical, hopeful, people-focused programme in modern times: a once-in-a-generation chance to rebuild and transform our country. This is the real thing, not the pale imitation offered by Johnson and his Conservative Party.”

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