Theresa May's taking nothing for granted ahead of election despite massive poll lead
Theresa May has insisted the result of the snap general election is "not certain" despite polls putting the Conservatives as many as 24 points ahead of Labour.
The Prime Minister said she was taking nothing for granted ahead of the June 8 vote as she spoke to workers at a toothpaste factory in her Maidenhead constituency in Berkshire.
It comes after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn insisted the result was not a "foregone conclusion" despite his party's dismal showings in opinion polls.
Mrs May used the visit to reiterate her message that the election was about ensuring Britain had "strong and stable leadership" going into Brexit negotiations.
She added: "The election campaign has only just begun, I'm not taking anything for granted, the result is not certain.
"I'm going to be out and about campaigning across the whole of the United Kingdom and I'm going to be out and about campaigning and meeting people in all different communities across the United Kingdom.
"But I wanted to be here, back in the constituency that has shaped me and guided me over the years, to explain why this election matters so much."
Answering questions after her speech, Mrs May was asked whether older people can expect to see their pensions continue to rise if she wins the election as they have done so far under Conservative-led administrations.
But she gave no commitment that she will preserve the "triple lock" introduced by David Cameron, under which the State pension rises by the highest of inflation, average earnings or a minimum 2.5% each year. "What I would say to pensioners is just look what the Conservatives in government have done," she said. "Pensioners today are £1,250 better off as a result of action that has been taken.
"We were very clear about the need to support people in their old age, and that's exactly what we've done."
A Spanish worker at the GSK factory challenged the Prime Minister over whether her future in the UK, where she has lived and worked for eight years, will be secure following Brexit.
Mrs May said she had made clear to European Council president Donald Tusk that she wants an early agreement on the status of EU nationals living in the UK.
But she added: "Also, of course, as UK Prime Minister, I have an interest and a care for UK citizens living in EU member states. I see a lot of goodwill on this issue and people wanting to give that reassurance, and I hope we will be able to do that at an early stage. The formal negotiations haven't started yet, but I hope this will be one of the early issues we look at."
Asked why she was refusing to take part in TV debates with other party leaders during the election campaign, Mrs May said: "I've been doing head-to-head debates with Jeremy Corbyn week in and week out since I became Prime Minister.
"What I am going to be doing in the campaign is actually getting out and talking to voters and listening to voters and hearing from voters and answering their questions. I'm out there taking my message to people up and down this country, and that's what I believe is important."
Meanwhile, it was reported last night that the Leave.EU campaign group is facing an official investigation into "potential offences under the law" over its EU referendum spending returns.
The Electoral Commission said the move followed an assessment there were "reasonable grounds" to suspect the law had been broken. The announcement drew a furious response from Leave.EU's chairman - former Ukip backer Arron Banks - who threatened legal action against the commission.