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Campaign highlights: PM stops for a cuppa as Jeremy Corbyn comes under fire

There was also news of an electoral pact formed by Remain parties.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson drinks a cup of tea during a visit to the Tetley Tea factory in Stockton (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson drinks a cup of tea during a visit to the Tetley Tea factory in Stockton (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

By PA Reporters

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn came under fire as two former party MPs – Ian Austin and John Woodcock – called on people to vote for the Tories as election campaigning continued.

Boris Johnson, meanwhile, sampled tea and whisky while Remain parties unveiled details of an electoral pact.

Here are some of the highlights:

Two ex-Labour MPs want Boris Johnson to win the election

Ian Austin and John Woodcock urged voters to back the Conservatives at the General Election, despite having been Labour MPs for a combined total of more than 20 years.

Mr Austin claimed Jeremy Corbyn was “not fit to lead” the country – and launched a campaign with Mr Woodcock labelling their former leader a “disgrace to his party”.

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Former Labour MP Ian Austin urged Labour voters to back Boris Johnson (Luciana Guerra/PA)

Remain parties have formed an electoral pact

The Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party announced they had agreed not to stand against each other in 60 constituencies across England and Wales.

The deal, brokered by the Unite to Remain group, will give voters a single Remain choice in 60 constituencies across England and Wales. The group is confident that “at least 44” of the 60 seats are “highly winnable”.

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(PA Graphics)

The Tories will borrow more to pay for new infrastructure

As the Tories seek to distance themselves from years of austerity, Chancellor Sajid Javid announced that the party would now be happy to increase borrowing to pay to invest in hospital and railway projects.

Labour said it too would spend more – with shadow chancellor John McDonnell promising to invest £150 billion in schools, hospitals, care homes and council housing over five years.

MPs will return to Westminster five days after polling day

We do not yet know who will be prime minister, or which MPs will be heading to the green benches, but the picture should become clear by the time Parliament sits again on Tuesday December 17.

The start date gives MPs just under six weeks to ratify a Brexit deal before the EU’s January 31 deadline, without taking into account any Christmas recess break, and reduces the chances of a deal passing both Houses before Christmas.

The PM’s factory tour could come in handy

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson tastes whisky at the Roseisle Distillery in Moray (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

If things do not work out for Boris Johnson, this election campaign will at least provide him with some useful work experience.

He began his three-nation tour by learning about the Tetley Tea production line in Teesside, and was allowed to weigh boxes of tea bags.

Next he was shown the ropes at the Roseisle Distillery in Scotland – including a sample of the products. And finally he headed to a crisp factory in Northern Ireland, adding to his manufacturing skills learnt throughout the day.

Tweet of the day

After telling voters to back Boris Johnson, former Labour MP Ian Austin lashed out at shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who accused him of being “employed by the Tories”.

Picture of the day

During a visit to Somerset, Jo Swinson lit a fire and then sampled the marshmallows which she cooked.

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Jo Swinson eats a marshmallow during a visit to Free Rangers Nursery in Somerset (Aaron Chown/PA)

Video of the day

The Prime Minister’s first stop on his UK tour saw him visit a tea factory in Teesside, where he talked up the country’s economy.

What’s next?

  • Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson will make the case to Remain voters in Scotland to back her party as she visits a family-run business in North East Fife
  • Nicola Sturgeon is due to launch the SNP campaign in Edinburgh
  • The Scottish Greens will also kick off their campaign in South Queensferry by demanding climate action

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