Jeremy Corbyn has branded Theresa May’s description of him being “alone and naked” in the impending Brexit talks as “totally inappropriate” language to use in the election campaign.
It comes after the Prime Minister made the bizarre reference at a campaign rally in Wolverhampton on Tuesday, adding: “With his position on Brexit, he will find himself alone and naked in the negotiating chamber of the European Union.
Ms May added: “I know that’s an image that doesn't bear thinking about but actually this is very serious”.
The metaphor was originally used by Labour politician Aneurin Bevan in 1957 as a warning to unilateralists in his own party that stripping Britain of nuclear weapons would send a future foreign secretary “naked into the conference chamber”.
But when asked about the Prime Minister’s comments, Mr Corbyn responded: “On the attitude the Prime Minister takes towards the Brexit negotiations and I certainly wouldn't use language like that myself. I think it’s totally inappropriate to describe anyone as naked, even me.
“We will approach the negotiations, as I’ve said, in a very serious way, primarily to gain tariff-free access to the European Union. But we’re not approaching negotiations by threatening Europe.“
But her comments were criticised as “demeaning”, “weird” and “awkward”, with political commentators accusing her of being overly personal.
Speaking at an event in London on Wednesday, the Labour leader added the future of the NHS and English schools are “at stake” in the general election in eight days’ time.
The Labour leader turned Theresa May's election slogan against her, claiming that after seven years of Conservative-led administrations, the state of health, social care and education were “anything but strong and stable”.
Five more years of Tory government would be “disastrous” for public services, while Labour would be willing to ask the richest to pay “a little bit more” to fund them, he said.