Labour spending plans to create £58bn hole in public finances, claim Tories

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Len McCluskey has said he does not expect Jeremy Corbyn to win the general election and believes that retaining around 200 seats would make a successful campaign. Winning 200 seats would be Labour’s worst result since 1935.

His comments were dismissed by Labour’s elections co-ordinator Andrew Gwynne, who said: “This is absolute rubbish from the Tories and yet another wholly cynical ploy to try and avoid scrutiny of their own spending plans”.

However the Conservatives said that if Labour’s nationalisation programme – which was not costed in the manifesto – and other investment spending was taken into account, borrowing would hit nearly £58 billion by 2021-22, the final year of the next parliament.

In what its leader Jeremy Corbyn called “a blueprint of what Britain could be”, Labour promised to renationalize rail and mail services and water utilities and take some of the energy sector into public hands to better control prices. Polls have put the opposition between eight and 21 points behind the Tories.

The latest opinion polls have Labour around 30% or more with the Conservatives above 40%. A total of 326 seats are needed for a majority.

“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”.

“In terms of the imagery of Jeremy, that’s a huge task”, he told Politico. He’s got now just under four weeks to try to see if you can break through that image and it’s going to be a very, very hard task.

Last year, he said he was a “big-time” supporter and that Mr Corbyn and Bernie Sanders were “the only shining lights we have right now”.

“We are sending messages out to our members saying, this is a decent, honest man, who is on your side, what have you got to be afraid of, what have you go to lose?”

“Whether that breakthrough can happen, we’ll wait and see”.

“And it will be paid for by every single family in the country with higher taxes and more debt”.

We are also spending money on equipment to produce weekly Facebook broadcasts. “The truth is, wherever he goes … there are massive, massive crowds that turn out for him”.

Asked directly whether he had considered a threshold at which he would reconsider his backing, Mr McCluskey said: “No, we’re fighting for every seat”.

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