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General election news – live: Boris Johnson campaign hit after ‘secret plan to sell off NHS’ revealed, as PM’s most senior adviser warns about hung parliament

Follow all the latest developments

Adam Forrest,Ashley Cowburn
Wednesday 27 November 2019 18:00 GMT
Election 2019: How manifestos compare and contrast

Jeremy Corbyn has released an uncensored version of government documents which he claims shows the NHS is “on the table” in any post-Brexit trade deal with the US. “This is not only a plot against our NHS, it’s a plot against our country,” said the Labour leader.

It comes as a record number of people registered to vote on the final day applications were open, with 660,000 signing up in the huge last-minute spike. Around 450,000 of them were under the age of 35 – the demographic most likely to vote Labour at the general election.

Nicola Sturgeon, meanwhile, has warned “there is worse to come” if the Tories win the election as she launched the SNP manifesto today. She claimed her party can stop the Conservatives “selling off Scotland’s NHS” under any future trade deal with the US.


Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the election campaign, with only 15 days left until we go to the polls.

Adam Forrest27 November 2019 08:18

Corbyn refuses to apologise for his handling of antisemitism

It’s the story making most of today’s front pages: Jeremy Corbyn refused four times to apologise for his handling of antisemitism in live interview with Andrew Neil on the BBC.

​Corbyn rejected the Chief Rabbi’s accusation that Labour’s claims to be dealing with the problem were “a mendacious fiction”. He said the rabbi was wrong, telling Neil: “No, he’s not right. Because he would have to produce the evidence to say that’s mendacious.”

In a difficult encounter, Corbyn also admitted Labour might have to borrow some of the £58bn needed to compensate “waspi” women who missed out on money because changes to the pension age. 

More details here:

Adam Forrest27 November 2019 08:24

Labour spokesman: ‘Of course we’re sorry’

Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon said “of course we’re sorry for the hurt caused” as he was pressed over the Labour’s handling of antisemitism.

Burgon, the Labour candidate for Leeds East, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Jeremy has apologised on a number of occasions and said that he’s sorry for the very real hurt felt by people in the Jewish community. So, on a number of occasions last summer for example, he has made those statements and it’s right that he did.”

Pressed to apologise: “Well, look, of course we're sorry for the hurt caused.”

He added: “Jeremy’s already said that the Labour Party’s processes were wrong, they weren't swift enough, they weren't hard enough, that's been proved and that's right.

“Of course we’re sorry, but the point I was making as well, and that Jeremy was making last night, is that a Labour government will be taking action to rebuild trust with the Jewish community and protect all communities.”

Adam Forrest27 November 2019 08:25

Record number register to vote after huge last minute spike

A record number of people registered to vote on the final day applications were open, with a huge last-minute spike taking the number of people who registered on Tuesday to just over 659,000.

The previous record for a single day was ahead of the 2017 election when just over 622,000 registered.

Most significantly, perhaps, around 450,000 of those people were under the age of 35 – the demographic most likely to vote Labour. Could this be the youthquake Jeremy Corbyn is looking for?

Adam Forrest27 November 2019 08:28

Almost £200,000 spent on traffic cones for Brexit day

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed the cost of the government’s Operation Brock – a plan put in place on the motorway in Kent coast used by heavy goods vehicles.

According to the Politics Home website, the amount spend putting out traffic cones on the M20 on 28 October, three days before the UK was set to exit the EU, was £107,000.

The government spent another £88,000 “deactivating” it the next day.

Adam Forrest27 November 2019 08:49

Minister wants Tory Islamophobia review ‘by end of this year’

The housing minister Robert Jenrick insisted the Tories “will take the steps that are required” following a proposed inquiry into party discrimination. He said he wanted to see it in place by the end of 2019

Asked about criticism by the Muslim Council of Britain over the party’s handling of Islamophobia, he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We want to be a party that has no tolerance whatsoever of racism, prejudice or discrimination of any kind.

“I want to see by the end of this year, as the Prime Minister’s promised, a thorough review of prejudice and racism and discrimination within the party.

“This will be a very thorough investigation led by independent individuals and the findings of it will be put into the public domain. So yes, I hope it will lay out the facts with regard to the Conservative Party’s record on discrimination of any kind and we will take the steps that are required.”

Adam Forrest27 November 2019 08:52

The 25 key seats where tactical voting could make a second referendum happen

Campaigners for a second Brexit referendum have released a list of 25 key election seats where tactical voting could block a Conservative majority and pave the way for the matter to be put back to the people.

The new Vote for a Final Say group is recommending that pro-referendum voters back Labour candidates in 17 constituencies, Liberal Democrats in seven and the Scottish National Party in one.

Our political editor has all the details:

Adam Forrest27 November 2019 09:02

'He lied to the Queen’: Lib Dems target Boris Johnson with new posters

The Liberal Democrats have gone on the attack on Boris Johnson personally, with new general election posters accusing the prime minister of lying to the Queen and parliament – and being in league with Donald Trump and Nigel Farage on Brexit.

The posters, which focus on the question of trust, will be displayed in target seats which Jo Swinson’s party believes it can win from the Conservatives to deny Johnson the overall majority he craves.

Adam Forrest27 November 2019 09:19

Corbyn to discuss NHS, while Johnson talks mobile phone reception

So what’s on the schedule for Wednesday? Jeremy Corbyn will hope to get his campaign back on track when he makes a statement on the NHS during a speech in London. The Labour leader will later travel to the south-west for a rally about climate change.

Boris Johnson will also be campaigning in the south west, where he will promise to tackle the scourge of poor mobile phone reception in rural areas through a deal under which phone companies will share masts and infrastructure.

As for the Liberal Democrats, former top Tory Lord Heseltine will join Chuka Umunna and Sam Gyimah for a press conference about Brexit in London.

Nicola Sturgeon, meanwhile, will launch the SNP’s general election manifesto in Glasgow. She’s expected to say that “a vote for the SNP is a vote to escape Brexit” and stop Johnson getting a majority.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage will visit Doncaster to speak alongside some of his outfit’s local candidates.

Adam Forrest27 November 2019 09:43

Corbyn vs Neil: Redefining the interview genre

Our sketch writer Tom Peck has dissected Jeremy Corbyn’s “difficult” interview with Andrew Neil.

He thinks it contained so many horrors, “it can only really be compared to a montage that has now been quite rightly taken off YouTube, featuring all the horrific injuries suffered by various contestants on Channel 4’s ill-considered extreme sports celebrity show The Jump.”

Read more here:

Adam Forrest27 November 2019 09:49

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