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Labour in voter registration drive as Tories target overseas home buyers

The leaders of Britain’s four largest parties are set to clash on TV on Friday night.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn during the launch of his party’s manifesto in Birmingham (Joe Giddens/PA)
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn during the launch of his party’s manifesto in Birmingham (Joe Giddens/PA)

By George Ryan, PA Political Reporter

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will urge millions of eligible voters to register before the deadline as the Tories announce plans to raise stamp duty for people from overseas buying UK property.

The news comes as the leaders of the four-largest Westminster parties prepare to clash in another TV set-piece on Friday evening.

The BBC is airing a two-hour long episode of Question Time from 7pm in Sheffield, where an audience will quiz Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Mr Corbyn, Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for 30 minutes each.

Fresh from launching the party’s manifesto, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will be on the campaign trail in Stoke where he will urge people to register to vote before next Tuesday’s deadline.

Applications to register to vote in the December 12 General Election must be submitted by 11.59pm on Tuesday November 26.

Mr Corbyn is expected to say: “To achieve real change, I’m calling on people to take just five minutes to get registered so they can make sure that their voice is heard.

“Over nine million eligible voters are still not registered to vote – that’s one-sixth of the voting population.

“We want to make the next five days the biggest voter registration drive that our country has ever seen.”

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(PA Graphics)

The Tories are on the road selling their policy of raising the stamp duty rate for non-residents to help tackle homelessness and help more Britons get on the housing ladder.

Foreign individuals and companies buying properties in the UK will face a surcharge levied on top of all other stamp duty payable and charged at 3%.

The party estimates the measure will raise up to £120 million a year, which would be directed at programmes to tackle rough sleeping.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak said: “Evidence shows that by adding significant amounts of demand to limited housing supply, purchases by non-residents inflate house prices.

“That is why we are introducing a higher rate of stamp duty for non-UK residents that will help to address this issue and could raise up to £120 million.”

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(PA Graphics)

Meanwhile, the Lib Dems have announced they want to see 300,000 new homes built a year.

A third of the homes planned by the Lib Dems would be social rented homes, with a £10 billion capital infrastructure investment to support this.

In the year to June 2019, a total of 173,660 house builds were completed, according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Nigel Farage will launch the Brexit Party’s policy platform for the General Election at a briefing in Westminister in the morning.

The party has found itself squeezed in the polls since it announced last week it would stand aside in Tory-held seats in an attempt to not split the pro-Brexit vote.

PA

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