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Jeremy Corbyn rules out holding second Brexit referendum

20 April 2017, 06:43 | Todd Saunders

The Labour leader has also promised greater access to leisure, arts and sports across the country, and to expand the publicly controlled bus network.

"We understand that, in the immediate run-up to an election, signalling a willingness to work with other parties might be hard but we hope you'll agree that the times we are living in require leaders to be courageous and visionary, to actively build a more positive politics", the pair said in an open letter to the Labour and Lib Dem leaders.

Polling over the Easter weekend suggested voters favoured most of the policies Labour announced over the past few weeks, but many were still not persuaded to back the party over the Conservatives.

Theresa May's Conservative party holds a large lead over Labour in the polls ahead of the vote on June 8, but Mr Corbyn was bullish in today's speech. 23% of respondents said they plan to vote Labour.

A man passing by commented: "I hope you become Prime Minister" - prompting a smile and thanks from Mr Corbyn.

In a further sign that the party will target those on higher incomes, shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said that Labour could tax those earning more than £70,000 to pay for public services.

As she was questioned on whether Mr Corbyn was a suitable Prime Minister, she said: "I don't think that this election is about changing the Government".

"We will not let the elite extract wealth from the pockets of ordinary working people any longer".

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May - who had earlier told the BBC that she opposed the headline - said it was right to have debate and scrutiny in Parliament. Under that law, general elections are supposed to be held on a regular five-year schedule, with the next vote due in 2020.

Dr Ben Williams, a tutor in Politics and Political Theory, argues that Prime Minister Theresa May and the Tories, with opinion polls hinting at a 21-point lead over Labour, "ultimately appear to be acting in a ruthless and opportunistic manner".

This is further ahead of Labour than at any point in nearly a decade, and during Mr Corbyn's leadership.

Corbyn said he did not want an election about Brexit - an issue that has exacerbated tensions in his deeply divided party - but about what kind of country Britain should be.

Corbyn said: "I don't play by their rules, and if a Labour government is elected on the 8th of June I won't play by their rules either".

"Had the election been in 2020, we would have been coming up to the most crucial part of the negotiations at the end of the negotiations in what would be starting to be the run-up to a general election", she said.

Mr Corbyn also hit out at "the wealth extractors", including Southern Rail and former BHS owner Sir Philip Green, and said he would not "doff his cap" to "powerful people".

"I want a Labour government that isn't closing hospitals, that isn't underfunding schools..."

But Mr Corbyn told MPs Mrs May could not be trusted, after u-turning on her promise not to call an early election and accused her of running scared of TV debates during the campaign.

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