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Jeremy Corbyn welcomes Theresa May's announcement of an early election

The Labour leader said his party would offer an alternative

Jon Stone
Political Correspondent
Tuesday 18 April 2017 12:04 BST
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (PA)

Jeremy Corbyn has welcomed Theresa May's call for an early election, arguing that Labour will offer the country "an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy".

The Labour leader indicated that he would move his party to back the Government in a parliamentary vote on whether an election should be called. The PM is expected to hold the vote tomorrow in the House of Commons.

The Prime Minister needs a two-thirds majority under the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 in order to trigger an election before 2020, when the next one is scheduled. Without Labour's support such a vote would be impossible to pass.

“I welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to give the British people the chance to vote for a government that will put the interests of the majority first," Mr Corbyn said in a statement.

“Labour will be offering the country an effective alternative to a government that has failed to rebuild the economy, delivered falling living standards and damaging cuts to our schools and NHS.

“In the last couple of weeks, Labour has set out policies that offer a clear and credible choice for the country. We look forward to showing how Labour will stand up for the people of Britain.”

Labour is currently 21 points behind the Conservatives in the most recent polls, a result that would see dozens of the party's MPs lose their seats.

One MP, Tom Blenkinsop, has already said he will not stand in the coming election because he fears a wipe-out.

Tim Farron, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, has also already said he would support the move for an early election.

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