Corbyn Pledges North 'Investment Blitz' And Attacks 'Shameful' Boris Johnson Over Tax Cuts Plan

Labour leader will use Durham Miners' Gala speech to try to gain control of the news agenda amid anti-Semitism crisis.

Jeremy Corbyn will pledge billions for the north and launch an attack on “shameful” Boris Johnson in a speech at the Durham Miners’ Gala.

The Labour leader will take to the stage, alongside allies such as Unite boss Len McCluskey and the shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, and vow a “record investment blitz” before hitting out at Johnson’s pledge to cut taxes for high earners.

Corbyn’s headline-grabbing pledge to the 100,000-strong crowd in Durham city on Saturday will be seen as a bid to wrestle back control of the news agenda as rows over Brexit and anti-Semitism dog his party.

Chiefs have been at loggerheads after Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis once again resurfaced this week when a BBC Panorama investigation uncovered new allegations.

Writing in The Northern Echo ahead of his speech, Corbyn promised that a Labour government would create a “green industrial revolution” that will create 400,000 jobs across the North.

He also launched an attack on Tory leadership frontrunner Johnson for his pledge to cut taxes for higher earners, claiming the potential prime minister would widen the gap between north and south.

He writes: “This week with his shameful refusal to support our ambassador to the US, Johnson has shown that he won’t stand up to Trump and he won’t stand up for Britain.

“So how can he stand up for the North? Especially when he’s promising tax cuts for the richest that will increase still further the wealth gap with the south?

“And how can he deliver the infrastructure projects the North needs when his big ideas as London mayor - the ‘Boris Island’ airport and the Garden Bridge – ran up huge debts and were scrapped before a single brick was laid.”

Corbyn will also promise a £250bn national transformation fund will be based in the North.

It comes after shadow chancellor John McDonnell vowed he would move part of the Treasury to Manchester if the party win power at the next general election.

“As the miners were given shovels and axes to dig for coal, Labour will give the north the tools and support it needs so you can deliver your future,” he writes in the Echo.

The bitter row over anti-Semitism further intensified on Friday after deputy leader Tom Watson hit out at general secretary Jennie Formby in a letter to the party’s ruling National Executive Committee.

Watson asked for the party to publish its submission to a watchdog investigating anti-Semitism claims and raising allegations that she had deleted emails relating to cases, which Formby denies.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott responded by retweeting a series of critical remarks about the deputy leader, including one questioning his position.

Abbott shared one tweet from an NEC representative criticising Watson’s treatment of Formby.

“This is not behaviour befitting of the Office of Deputy Leader. You should consider your position?” Claudia Webbe’s tweet added.

Others defended Watson, including Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, who told HuffPost: “Every time Tom Watson sticks his neck out on anti-Semitism he is attacked by people who’ve done the grand sum of nothing to tackle the problem.”