Jeremy Corbyn has called for a snap general election during a meeting of anti-poverty charities in Glasgow. He said that people who have experienced “the brunt of nine years of austerity” must be allowed a new vote.
The Labour leader met with voluntary organisations and charities working to tackle poverty in south-west Glasgow on Saturday, where he criticised “Tory cuts” while pointing to double-digit yearly increases in food bank use and falling life expectancy in Scotland’s most populated city.
“People are suffering under austerity as a direct result of Tory cuts in Westminster passed down by the SNP in Holyrood,” he said. “The people who are bearing the brunt of nine years of austerity cannot wait years for a general election. They need a general election now.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn talking to students in Nottingham before a visit to Ilkeston, Derbyshire to discuss cuts to bus services. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
© Press Association Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn talking to students in Nottingham before a visit to Ilkeston, Derbyshire to discuss cuts to bus services. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
Corbyn paid tribute to the volunteers and charities that have stepped in to support people who are suffering, but said people should not have to rely on the voluntary sector. “It is a disgrace that people are living on the streets and forced to rely on food banks in one of the richest countries in the world,” he added.
“The SNP government has not just passed on Tory austerity, it has quadrupled it for local councils. And this week’s budget will mean another £230m in cuts that will hit local services the people of Scotland rely on.
“There is a clear choice between more austerity or a Labour government that will put an end to austerity and build a country for the many not the few.”
A third of children in south-west Glasgow live in poverty, statistics highlighted by Labour from the End Child Poverty coalition indicate. Life expectancy in the area is almost 74 years for men and 79 for women, markedly lower than the Scottish national averages of 77 and 81.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home in north London the morning after MPs gave their backing to proposals to replace the controversial Irish backstop in the Prime Minister’s withdrawal deal. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
© Press Association Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home in north London the morning after MPs gave their backing to proposals to replace the controversial Irish backstop in the Prime Minister’s withdrawal deal. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Figures published in December showed that life expectancy had fallen in Scotland for the first time in 35 years, and across the UK life expectancy growth since 2011 has slumped faster than a number of other leading economies.
Joined by Scottish Labour leader, Richard Leonard, and Matt Kerr, the Labour candidate for Glasgow South West, Corbyn said food bank use in Scotland is at record levels. Statistics show it had increased by 17% in just 12 months, higher than the UK’s 13% rise during the same period.
Labour was leading the Conservatives by one percentage point in the latest Survation poll, with others putting the two parties level pegging. But YouGov has consistently polled Labour as trailing the Tories.
Recent attempts to persuade a majority of MPs to back a vote of no confidence in Theresa May have failed, but the Fixed Term Parliament Act allows for early elections if two-thirds of MPs vote in favour.
© Press Association MIDDLESBROUGH, ENGLAND – JANUARY 25: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn gives media interviews as he visits Middlesbrough Centre Square on January 25, 2019 in Middlesbrough, England. The visit to Teesside was to show support for Councillor Mick Thompson who was selected by Labour members as the party’s next candidate hoping to be elected mayor of Middlesbrough in the election this coming May. Accompanying Mr Corbyn were the current Middlesbrough Mayor, Dave Budd and Lauren Dingsdale, Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland candidate. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “At the last general election, it was the Scottish Conservatives, not Labour, that were making huge gains across the country and winning 12 extra seats.
“Voters know that Labour are too weak to stand up to the SNP and that the only party that can take on the nationalists and win is the Scottish Conservatives.”