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Corbyn visits Tory marginals to remind voters ‘there is an alternative’

The Labour leader has promised to visit all 73 Tory-held marginals all over the country.

Jeremy Corbyn promised to carry on reminding voters in Tory marginals that “there is an alternative” as he continued his election-style summer campaign with visits to two Conservative-held seats on the south coast.

The Labour leader told supporters in Southampton that Theresa May’s Conservatives should “step aside” for a Labour “government in waiting”, while he told fans in Bournemouth that there were “no no-go areas anywhere in the country” for his party.

Mr Corbyn, who spoke for 45 minutes to dozens of supporters in a room at the Hallmark Hotel, West Cliff, in the traditional Tory stronghold of Bournemouth, joked with supporters who peered through windows from outside- turning to them and saying: “Hello outside, I did not realise you were all out here.”

The hotel is in the constituency of Bournemouth West, which has been Conservative since its creation in 1950, but saw a 6.6% swing to Labour cut the Tory majority almost in half in June.

Mr Corbyn said: “We have got to reach out to everybody all over the whole country, and so this is one of many visits I am making to constituencies – particularly Tory-held marginals – which I think need to be reminded that there is an alternative and that we offer it.

“So I’ve promised I will visit all 73 of the Tory-held marginals all over the country, and I have got 35 of those planned between now and party conference in September.

“So the election was just a huge dress rehearsal for the next election.”

Mr Corbyn, who was greeted with chants of “Oh Jeremy Corbyn”, spoke at length about a variety of issues including bus and train services, education, music in schools and homelessness.

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn meets supporters in Bournemouth (Ben Stevens/PA)

He also promised he would never use personal abuse and urged Labour supporters not to either.

He said: “I understand some of our national daily newspapers are quite hostile to us … it doesn’t bother me because I don’t read it.

“They write all this stuff. I will not, and never do, respond to that stuff – and I don’t use that kind of language about anybody.

“I am not getting in the gutter … we need to set an example of not using personal abuse to anybody at any time, including on social media.”

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Jeremy Corbyn met with the EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels last week (Olivier Hoslet/AP)

Commenting on his visit to Brussels on Thursday, Mr Corbyn said a Labour government would have a foreign policy based on “human rights, justice, democracy and environmental sustainability”.

“Ours would be a government that would be quite prepared to be very blunt with President Donald Trump; ‘don’t walk away from the Paris climate change accord’ and stand up for the environment,” he said.

He added of the June poll: “We were written off by every commentator and the commentariat; we were told this was an election about the re-election of Theresa May and the Tory government to be strong and stable and to beat a coalition of chaos.

“I haven’t heard too much about strong and stable since June 8, and the only coalition of chaos I see is when I sit on our front bench and look across the aisle.”

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