LONDON May 16 Britain's opposition Labour Party
will launch what it calls a "radical and responsible" manifesto
on Tuesday, signalling a shift to the left to try to capitalise
on voters' concerns over education and health before next
After a draft manifesto was leaked last week, Labour is
expected to promise to renationalise rail and mail services,
take some of the energy sector into public hands and hike taxes
on Britain's highest earners and introduce a levy on financial
transactions to fund spending if the party wins the June 8 poll.
With the party lagging in the polls, critics say the move
leftwards stirs memories of a manifesto from 1983, described at
the time by one Labour lawmaker as "the longest suicide note in
history" for helping the Conservatives to victory, and some
question how the party can pay for their pledges.
Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader, said his party would reverse
what he called "a Britain run for the rich, the elite and the
vested interests" under Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May.
"Our manifesto spells out how – with a programme that is
radical and responsible," he said in a statement.
"It's a programme that will reverse our national priorities
to put the interests of the many first. It will change our
country while managing within our means."
The governing Conservatives, which have a runaway lead in
opinion polls before the election, called the manifesto "a
shambles", again attacking veteran peace campaigner, Corbyn.
"His economic ideas are nonsensical, his views on national
security indefensible – and he'd make a total mess of the Brexit
negotiations," said chief secretary to the finance ministry,
"It's ordinary working people who will pay for the chaos of
Corbyn. Jeremy Corbyn has made so many unfunded spending
commitments it is clear that Labour would have to raise taxes
dramatically because his sums don't add up."
By moving to the left, Labour has cleared the way for May to
put her stamp on the centre ground of British politics and
appeal for traditional supporters of the opposition party who
backed leaving the European Union.
But Labour officials hope that by targeting measures to
boost spending on Britain's much-loved National Health Service
-- the issue voters care most about according to a recent poll
-- and in schools it can revive its fortunes.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Michael Holden)