By MO BHANA
Jeremy Corbyn has vowed that he will get rid of Theresa May within a matter of days by using the Queen’s Speech to topple the prime minister.
The Labour leader believes his party have a mandate to deal with issues of poverty, justice and inequality in Britain.
Corbyn believes there is enough opposition in the rest of parliament and Conservative backbenches to defeat the prime minister’s plans.
That could potential trigger another election and he likened the election to 1974 when Ted Heath failed to form a government after losing the election.
He said: “Everything’s still to play for. We can still do this. My phone is full of texts from lots and lots of people from right across the party. I’m very happy about that. I’m very proud to lead this party.
“And I’m open to everyone. It’s important to make that clear. I never get involved in personal abuse or anything like that.
“If people have political disagreements that’s fine. We can discuss those. I’ll be appointing a Shadow Cabinet over the next couple of days and announcing it next week.”
“We are ready and able to put forward a serious programme which has great support in this country,” said Corbyn.
“We are going to put down a substantial amendment to the Queen’s speech in which will be the main points of our manifesto, so we will invite the House to consider all the issues we’ve put forward – jobs-first Brexit, policies for young people and on austerity,” he said.
Corbyn also suggested his party would kill off the “great repeal bill”, designed to transfer EU law into British law to enable changes to regulations.
He said it “has now become history” with Labour set to offer something different. “We will put forward a position in which we negotiate tariff-free access to the European market and legislate after that.”
It is believes Labour has not yet begun reaching out to other parties for support in either defeating the government or gathering support for policies in its own manifesto.
Both SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and Lib Dem leader Tim Farron suggested before the election that they would be prepared to lend support to legislation, but said it would be done on merit, rather than as a result of any confidence and supply arrangement similar to what Theresa May is seeking with the DUP.
Passing Labour amendments to any Queen’s speech is fraught with difficulty and would likely require support from some rebel Conservative MPs.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said he believed there was a majority in parliament to maintain the winter fuel allowance and triple lock pension, two issues the Conservatives proposed changing in their manifesto.
“I believe the DUP is in favour of scrapping the bedroom tax,” he said. “There’s a whole range of issues like that where we think there’ll be a majority in parliament.”
McDonnell said the party planned to keep up its campaigning momentum across the country, which saw scores of young people turn out to rallies to support the party, both in preparation for a potential snap election and as a way of galvanising opposition to unpopular Tory policies.
“As soon as the prime minister said there wouldn’t be a snap election, we thought there would be,” he said. “And so we, we will continue on campaigning all throughout the country.
“That’s the nature of the party we are now, we’re a social movement, but we’ll be campaigning on those individual issues as well, that we’ll force votes in parliament on as well. So we can demonstrate popular support for those issues.”
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said Labour was seriously preparing for an opportunity to form a minority government if May’s Queen’s speech should fail.
“We’ve got Theresa May squatting in Downing Street, we’ve got a full rebellion going on in the Conservative party, we’ve got no idea as to what’s going to be in this Queen’s Speech, they have a manifesto that’s been completely been repudiated by the public and indeed by Tory MPs themselves, and no idea what the DUP will agree to or not,” she told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday.
Corbyn said he expected there would be another election before the end of the year. A new Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday put Labour ahead on 45% and the Tories on just 39%. It also put May and Corbyn neck-and-neck on who would make the best prime minister, with both leaders on 39%, showing a surge in personal support for Corbyn.
The Labour leader said the country could not continue with such unstable government. “We have a programme, we have support and we’re ready to fight another election campaign as soon as may be, because we want to be able to serve the people of this country on the agenda we put forward, which is transformative and has gained amazing levels of support.”
Asked if he was prepared to lead the party for the long term, Corbyn smiled and joked: “Look at me; I’ve got youth on my side.”