Corbyn urges young voters to stop 'Brexit for few'

Jason Farrell, Senior Political Correspondent

Jeremy Corbyn has made a direct plea to young people to "step up" and register to vote.

The Labour leader believes that more than two million young people who are missing from the electoral register could be key to his success.

Mr Corbyn argued that young people are being "held back" by the Conservatives and he urged them to overcome "apathy and resignation" and make sure they cast their vote.

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He said: "Over 2.4 million young people are missing from the UK's electoral register. Barely 40% of 18 to 24-year-olds turn out to vote.

"The Conservatives are more than happy with this state of affairs. Apathy and resignation will secure them seats on election day."

Young people certainly helped Mr Corbyn gain the leadership of his party and he clearly sees them as playing a crucial role in this election if they can overcome their historic tendency to stay away from the ballot box.

Labour's anti-austerity stance and desire to ban tuition fees could also encourage young voters to back the party.

However, 75% of all 18 to 24-year-olds who voted in the referendum wanted to remain in the EU, meaning many could be attracted to the Liberal Democrats, who are pitching themselves as the anti-Brexit party.

During a speech in east London, Mr Corbyn questioned the Conservatives' intentions over Brexit. He cast scepticism over Theresa May's plan for a trade deal with the US and accused the Conservatives of preparing to deliver a deal which will only benefit the wealthy.

He warned that "a Brexit for the few is now brewing, one where any money saved is handed out as tax cuts to the super-rich and their corporations, where new trade deals with the US and elsewhere are used to drive down our working conditions, and environmental and food standards".

Responding to extracts of the speech, Conservative Party chairman Patrick McLoughlin said: "At this election there is a very clear choice on the ballot paper.

"Do you want Theresa May to protect Britain's interests through Brexit and beyond - or the weak, floundering and nonsensical Jeremy Corbyn who doesn't even have the confidence of three quarters of his own MPs?"

Meanwhile, in an interview with the i newspaper, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said he wants to be the leader of the opposition. He described Jeremy Corbyn as "a perfectly nice man" but "demonstrably the worst leader in British political history in terms of effectiveness".

He added: "Britain needs a decent strong opposition and I'm asking the British people to give that job to me."

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