Election 2017: Jeremy Corbyn reveals plans for his first day as UK Prime Minister

Polls suggest Conservative lead over Labour may have been slashed to as little as a single point

Katie Forster@katieforster
Tuesday 06 June 2017 09:07
General Election round-up: June 5

Jeremy Corbyn has revealed his plans for his first day as Prime Minister should Labour win the General Election.

The Labour leader said if elected on Thursday, he would confront Donald Trump about climate change and ask him to retract his “unacceptable” remarks about Sadiq Khan after Saturday’s terror attack in London.

On his first day in power he would also immediately guarantee the rights of EU nationals living in Britain and call Angela Merkel to kick-start Brexit talks, he said – adding he would smooth relations with the German chancellor by inviting her to an Arsenal match.

It comes after Mr Corbyn told The Independent only "winning the election" will be a good result for Labour and indicated he may delay Mr Trump's state visit as one of his first acts in office.

He said he was "very concerned" about the speed in which the US President was invited to visit the UK, compared to Barack Obama, who was extended the honour over 800 days into his administration.

In an interview with The Guardian, Mr Corbyn said he would call an emergency budget to quickly implement key Labour policies, such as raising the minimum wage to £10 an hour and scrapping university tuition fees.

The Conservative lead over Labour may have been slashed to as little as a single percentage point, according to a new opinion poll that suggests the election race is neck and neck.

The Survation poll for ITV's Good Morning Britain put the Tories on 41.5 per cent with Labour on 40.4 per cent – a result that if replicated later this week would put the Conservatives' majority in Parliament in jeopardy.

However, opinion polls by other leading polling firms have given wider leads for the Conservatives in recent days, ranging as high as 11 and 12 points.

The latest poll was conducted on Friday and Saturday, before an attack in London by Islamist militants killed seven people and injured 48.

Mr Corbyn has called on Theresa May to resign as Prime Minister over her record on cuts to police numbers as the political row over the incident intensified.

The Labour leader said that if he won the election, he would challenge Saudi Arabia over its funding for terrorist groups.

Mr Corbyn also told the newspaper he would contact Ms Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron on his first morning in Downing Street to discuss Brexit.

Labour have promised it will fight for the UK to remain in the single market and Mr Corbyn said a win would give him the go-ahead to negotiate tariff-free trade with the EU.

He said he would “discuss football and Brexit” with Ms Merkel on Friday, expressing his admiration for the German model of fan-owned football clubs. “Then I’ll invite her to come and watch Arsenal,” he added.

Sir Kier Starmer, who will take the lead in face-to-face Brexit talks with the EU's top negotiator if Labour wins the election, has also said he would refuse a key Brussels demand for the European Court of Justice to be final guarantor for EU citizens rights after Brexit, but could accept the body having an ongoing role for trade disputes.

“There is nothing wrong with being tough, we would be tough, but we’ve also got to get the right deal. Aggravating and agitating isn’t necessary and has got us off to a very bad start,“ Sir Kier told The Independent.

“What we want here is tough, but 21st-century professional negotiation that is flexible and smart.”

Mr Corbyn's first conversation with the US President could prove more prickly. He said he would ask Mr Trump to “kindly reconsider” his comments towards Mayor of London Mr Khan in the aftermath of the attack on the capital.

The President accused Mr Khan of offering a “pathetic excuse” for defending his assurances to Londoners there was no reason to be alarmed after the deadly attacks to due an increased police presence in the capital.

“It is not acceptable to make those sort of remarks about someone who has been elected to be mayor of our biggest city,” said Mr Corbyn.

corbyn-gateshead.jpg, by Katie Forster

The Labour leader also called Mr Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement “very sad” and said he would try and persuade the President to reconsider.

In the previous Survation poll for ITV, published a week ago, the Conservatives had a lead of six points.

But a separate Survation poll, published on Saturday for the Mail on Sunday, also gave the Conservatives a one-point lead.

Three weeks ago, a series of surveys showed Ms May was on course for a landslide parliamentary majority which she called to secure a strong mandate for Brexit talks.

But her campaign began to struggle after she proposed a plan to make elderly people pay for more of their social care, a so-called “dementia tax,” even though she moved quickly to say there would be a limit on the amount of costs that people would face.

It remains unclear whether Saturday's terror attack will have an impact on the election.

Fifty per cent of respondents in the poll thought Ms May would make a better prime minister than Jeremy Corbyn, but his credibility as a potential leader of the country has risen to 36 per cent from 15 per cent in early May.

The Labour leader delivers a speech at a rally in Gateshead yesterday

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