UK

Jeremy Corbyn Pulls Out Of Labour Election Poster Launch After Draft Manifesto Leak

Journalists accused him of 'avoiding tricky questions from hacks'.

11/05/2017 09:27 BST | Updated 11/05/2017 11:47 BST

Jeremy Corbyn has pulled out of his first poster launch of the General Election campaign, after a draft copy of Labour’s manifesto was leaked to the media last night. 

Corbyn had been due to attend the unveiling of a new banner on the South Bank in central London at 9am this morning. 

But just hours before, a Labour spokeswoman said he would be replaced at the presentation by election organisers Andrew Gwynne and Ian Lavery.

“Jeremy is preparing for the Clause V meeting,” the spokeswoman added, where a host of party figures will sign off on the final manifesto ahead of its official release.

Ian Lavery told press: “He [Corbyn] was meant to be here but.. he’s dealing with internal matters within the party.”  

Some journalists speculated that Corbyn had dodged the poster launch to “avoid awkward questions” about the draft manifesto leak.

The Mirror’s Political Editor, Jack Blanchard, said Corbyn would “not face the media at all” this morning, “while his lieutenants are out cleaning up the mess”. 

Andrew Gwynne, who did the media rounds in the aftermath of last night’s leak, was instead praised for doing an “incredibly difficult job”.

Labour’s official manifesto will be published next week, along with the Conservatives. 

But the draft leaked to two newspapers was described by the Telegraph as wanting to take “Britain back to the 1970s”, while the Labour-supporting Mirror said it was the “most left-wing election manifesto in a generation”.

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