POLITICS
30/10/2019 23:33 GMT | Updated 31/10/2019 09:41 GMT

Jeremy Corbyn To Declare War On 'Elite' Britons At Labour Election Launch

Labour leader will name the likes of Ineos boss Jim Ratcliffe, the Duke of Westminster and hedge funder Crispin Odey and ask voters "whose side are you on?"

Jeremy Corbyn will on Thursday declare war on “tax dodgers, bad bosses, big polluters, and billionaire-owned media” as he launches Labour’s general election campaign.

The Labour leader will ask voters “whose side as you on?” as he attempts to pitch Boris Johnson and the Tories as the party of the “elite”.

Corbyn will name representatives of what he calls a “rigged system”, including Jim Ratcliffe, whose firm Ineos sponsors the biggest British pro-cycling team; landowner heir the Duke of Westminster; hedge funder Crispin Odey; Sports Direct chief Mike Ashley and media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

It is thought to be the first time Corbyn has named the likes of Ratcliffe, who he will accuse of profiting from pollution, the Duke of Westminster, who inherited billions of pounds, and Odey who has been accused of making money from the Brexit crisis.

The opposition leader will claim Boris Johnson’s “born-to-rule Conservatives” stand for these “privileged few” and warn that “real change is coming”.

“You know whose side Labour’s on.”

In a London speech, Corbyn will say: “Whose side are you on? The dodgy landlords, like the Duke of Westminster, Britain’s youngest billionaire, who tried to evict whole blocks of families, to make way for luxury apartments? Or the millions of tenants in Britain who struggle to pay their rent each month?

“Whose side are you on? The bad bosses like Mike Ashley, the billionaire who won’t pay his staff properly and is running Newcastle United into the ground? Or his exploited workforce, like the woman who was reportedly forced to give birth in a warehouse toilet because she was terrified of missing her shift?

“Whose side are you on? The big polluters like Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man who makes his money by polluting the environment? Or the children growing up in our cities with reduced lung capacity because of choking pollution?

“Whose side are you on? The greedy bankers like Crispin Odey, who makes millions betting against our country and on other people’s misery and donated huge sums to Johnson and the Conservative party? Or are you on the side of working people, the people who create the wealth that’s then squirrelled away in tax havens? 

“And whose side are you on? The billionaire media barons like Rupert Murdoch, whose empire pumps out propaganda to support a rigged system. Or the overwhelming majority who want to live in a decent, fair, diverse and prosperous society?

“You know whose side Labour’s on.”

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Corbyn will also attempt to dismiss concerns about Labour’s dire polling figures and the prospect of a cold, dark winter election disrupting the party’s influential ground campaign of door-knocking activists.

 “We have people,” he will say. 

“Hundreds of thousands of people in every part of our country, who will make this the biggest people-powered campaign in history.

“When Labour wins, the nurse wins, the pensioner wins, the student wins, the office worker wins, the engineer wins. We all win. 

“Boris Johnson thought he was being smart holding this election in a dark and cold December. He thinks you won’t go out to vote. He thinks you won’t go out to campaign.

“Well I say this: Labour will be out there in every city, town and village with the biggest and most confident campaign that our country has ever seen bringing a message of hope and change to every community. Even if the rivers freeze over, we’re going out to bring about real change for the many not the few.”

The prime minister meanwhile will visit a school, hospital and police unit to highlight the Tories’ priorities in government, insisting Corbyn will in 2020 put the UK through “the toxic, tedious torpor” of referendums on EU membership and Scottish independence if he wins the election.

Ahead of the his visits, Johnson said: “The public wants and expects the Government to give them hope and to improve their opportunities.

“This is exactly what my government has been doing for the past 99 days and exactly what my government will continue to do if the public choose the Conservatives in this election.

“I want next year to be a great year for our country – with more investment in frontline NHS services, the recruitment of thousands more police officers to reduce violent crime and investment in every one of our primary and secondary schools across the country.”