General Election 2017 briefing: Everything you need to know about Wednesday's campaigning

Laura Hughes

Campaigning kicks of this morning after one of Jeremy Corbyn's key union allies wrote off Labour’s chances of winning the election.

Len McCluskey, the Unite boss, said holding on to 200 seats - a loss of 29 seats and its worst result since 1935 - would constitute “a successful campaign”.

 He said the task for the party is "immense" ahead of June's vote. Adding: "I don't see Labour winning". 

A spokesman for Jeremy Corbyn said that Labour was determined to win the campaign.

It came as the Labour leader was accused of planning to “bankrupt Britain” with a manifesto that would ramp up debt by £250 billion and stage the biggest tax raid the country has ever seen.

Yesterday Mr Corbyn announced plans for £48.6 billion of extra annual spending commitments paid for by high earners and businesses that would saddle the country with its biggest tax burden since 1950.

UK General Election 2017 polling

His manifesto pledges were immediately picked apart by one of the country’s leading economists, who suggested the tax plans might only raise £20bn, leaving a £28.6bn annual shortfall.

Mr Corbyn, who revealed he would nationalise the UK’s water companies, in addition to the railways, Royal Mail and National Grid, admitted he could not give any figures for how much his 1970s-style nationalisation project would cost.

While Labour's manifesto plans continue to be pored over by the public, press and political rivals today, the Liberal Democrats will be putting forward their plans for the country as Tim Farron launches the party's manifesto in London.

Countdown to the General Election

The Lib Dems have already trailed key pledges to woo the next generation of voters, including restoring housing benefit for young people, reducing the voting age from 18 to 16, and allowing tenants to use rent payments to buy their own homes.

Meanwhile, John McDonnell will be campaigning for Labour in the Midlands - home of key marginal seats - and the Conservatives are hosting a press conference in London.

The official launch of Labour's manifesto on Tuesday- a week after a draft copy was leaked - descended into farce yesterday as Mr Corbyn appeared to invent a new policy on the hoof and his shadow chancellor gave an incorrect figure for the size of the deficit.

Mr McDonnell was asked about his plans to add £250 billion to Britain’s £1.5 trillion national debt in a BBC radio interview yesterday. Asked how big the budget deficit is, he said: “£68 to £70 billion.” The actual figure is £52 billion.

Labour now lead the Conservatives in just two regions

Top Stories

More than four out of 10 Scottish Labour candidates 'oppose Jeremy Corbyn: Labour’s General Election candidates in Scotland are split almost down the middle on Jeremy Corbyn, according to a report published as Kezia Dugdale praised his “radical” high-tax manifesto.

BBC presenter appears to accidentally grope passer-by on the breast in shocking video: Ben Brown appeared to accidentally grope a pedestrian on live television. He caused confusion on social media as people wondered what exactly was going on in the shocking video.

Theresa May reveals she is a Harry Potter fan - and that she has read all the books: The Prime Minister told youngsters in Birmingham that she had read all of JK Rowling's wizard adventures.

John McDonnell accused of Googling the deficit: When asked what the national deficit was, the Shadow Chancellor said it was £70bn, the figure given on Wikipedia.​

The Campaign Diary 

  • John McDonnell campaigns for Labour in the Midlands
  • Theresa May and Philip Hammond hold a press conference in London at 10:15am  
  • Time Farron, the Lib Dem leader, launches his manifesto in London at 18:30 

Quote of the Day

Mr Corbyn defended his leadership style: "Being strong and standing up doesn't necessarily mean shouting". 

He was later spotted on the campaign trail using a megaphone to get his message across. 

Tweet of the Day

Marginal Seat Briefing 

St Ives

The Conservative Derek Thomas beat the Lib Dem Andrew George to the seat by  just under 2,500 votes in 2015.

It will be tough for the Lib Dems to win back, as the seat is estimated to have voted 55 per cent Leave.

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