Jeremy Corbyn has set out the first four things he’ll do if he’s elected Prime Minister on 8 June. They show he has a clear idea of what his leadership priorities are. And importantly, they show how essential it is to get him elected.
Speaking to The Guardian, Corbyn set out his priorities:
• Contact Donald Trump and urge him to retract his “unacceptable” remarks about London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan.
• Call Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron on Friday to kick off Brexit talks, saying his win would give him a mandate to negotiate tariff-free trade.
• Set a date for a quick budget to implement key policies, including lifting the public sector pay cap.
• Confront Saudi Arabia over its funding for terrorist groups.
Firstly, having a Prime Minister prepared to stand up to Trump is imperative. Trump’s comments about Khan have been highly offensive and condemned widely. There is also a need to challenge Trump on his dangerous decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, something Corbyn also says he will raise.
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Meanwhile, Theresa May refuses to condemn in strong terms anything the US President says, instead preferring to hold hands with him.
Throughout his campaign, Corbyn and Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer have shown the calm leadership needed to lead the Brexit negotiations. Labour has accepted there has been a referendum, and will respect the result.
Moreover, the Labour leadership seems to have a plan. The Tories, meanwhile, seem to think they can just say May is the best person for the job, shout a lot, and threaten European leaders. And that’s without May’s infamous soundbite that “no deal is better than a bad deal”. An option that Brexit Secretary David Davis was forced to admit hadn’t even been costed.
3) A quick budget
Labour’s manifesto set out pledges to increase taxes for the top 5% in order to properly fund our public services and their workers. Corbyn’s keenness to get this in motion shows a clear commitment to those pledges.
And while May is struggling to defend her record on the NHS, policing cuts, and education, Corbyn is indicating that he will take immediate action to redress the inequality in our society. And in doing so, this will have a massive impact on our services and public sector workers.
4) Saudi Arabia
Finally, Corbyn’s pledges on Saudi Arabia are key to confronting terrorism and the funding of terrorism. In response to the London terror attacks, Corbyn stated:
And yes, we do need to have some difficult conversations. Starting with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states who have funded and fuelled extremist ideology. It’s no good Theresa May suppressing a report into the foreign funding of extremist groups. We have to get serious about cutting off their funding to these terror networks, including Isis [Daesh] here and in the Middle East.
These are incredibly difficult questions for May, and ones she would much prefer not to answer. After all, the Home Office has recently sought to suppress an inquiry into terrorist funding because it reportedly highlights the role Saudi Arabia plays in funding terror. And May is a strong supporter of Saudi Arabia, with her government recently approving £3.5bn worth of arms export licences.
He can win
And Corbyn is convinced he can win this election. He told The Guardian that the campaign had “changed completely”, and that:
We are getting an enormous amount of cut through. This is the Labour party at its best. The support is very, very strong.
With just hours left until election day, it is down to all of us to help make this a reality. We have a real option for change in this country. We have the option to vote for a kinder, more compassionate society. Moreover, we have the option to vote for a safer society, one that will ask those difficult questions, and that will curtail arms sales and implement a foreign policy that will benefit all of us rather than rich arms dealers.
Corbyn’s list of priorities shows he has a clear vision of what he’ll do if he gets into Number 10. And we all have a chance to make that a reality.
– Vote on 8 June! And strongly encourage others to do the same.
– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.
– Also read more Canary articles on the 2017 general election.
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