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If Anyone Has Proved Themselves Strong And Stable In This Campaign, It's Jeremy Corbyn

07/06/2017 16:53
Dan Kitwood via Getty Images

Just a few months ago, if you'd asked me what I thought of Theresa May, I would have said that - while I disagreed with her politics - I admired her character. I considered her stolid, strong and principled, with a basic sense of decency not always found in front-line politics.

Well what a difference seven weeks make. Since calling the election, she has been well and truly shown up as tetchy and thin-skinned about criticism, weak and unstable under pressure, cowardly when faced with a challenge, and deceitful when it suits her political ends.

But more than anything, I believe she has been exposed as a hypocrite.

She is happy to trade on her faith one minute, then tell blatant lies about Jeremy Corbyn the next. She viciously attacks Diane Abbott over getting her numbers wrong in an interview, then brazenly and repeatedly refuses to offer any costings of her own.

And worst, most sickening of all, she stands outside 10 Downing Street and tells the British public that 'enough is enough' on terrorism, then goes back inside to call her Jihadist-funding friends in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and see what business deals she can strike with them next.

It is hard to imagine a bigger contrast from Jeremy Corbyn.

A man who has taken more criticism and pressure than any of us could stand, but has stood up to it all. A man who has embraced every challenge in this campaign with enthusiasm and courage. A man who refuses to engage in personal abuse or deceit, no matter how politically convenient it would be.

A man who for three decades has stuck by the principles that brought him into politics, and has done so with an integrity, honesty and steadfastness that shames Theresa May. If anyone has proved themselves strong and stable during this campaign, it is him.

So, in these final hours of campaigning, I would just say to all those undecided voters, please take a look at what we're promising on schools, hospitals, social care, early years, pensioner incomes, homes, wages, benefits, transport, energy and the environment, and how we will pay for it.

But if you still have doubts because of your concerns over terrorism and security, over Brexit and the economy, and over the future leadership of this country, just please ask yourself these questions:

- Do you want a Labour leader who will put 10,000 more police on the streets to work in our communities and help us fight terrorism, or a Tory prime minister who has already cut 20,000 police officers, wanted to cut more, and refuses to admit it was a mistake?

- Do you want a Labour leader who will get the best deal for Britain in Europe and will not leave the table until he gets it, or a Tory prime minister who is gearing up to fail and plunge the economy into chaos, and will then claim that is what you voted for?

- And do you want a Labour leader who has held to his principles and stuck to his true character for thirty years in politics, no matter what people threw at him, or a Tory prime minister who could not even keep up the pretence of being 'strong and stable' for seven weeks, once the pressure was on?

It's your choice, but whatever you do, I hope you'll come out and vote. I believe this election is the chance to be part of a historic change for our country, and the stakes are too high for you not to have your say.

Emily Thornberry is shadow foreign secretary and the Labour candidate for Islington South

This blog first appeared on Emily's Facebook page, and can be read here

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