Election 2019 LIVE: Oh dear, Jeremy! 100 Labour MPs snub Corbyn in major blow

The large-scale snub highlights Mr Corbyn’s unpopularity with voters in Labour’s traditional heartlands where his vague position on Brexit appears to have badly backfired. The party is still reeling from results of a YouGov poll that showed Labour faced losing dozens of seats in the Midlands and the north of England and candidates have moved to distance themselves from Mr Corbyn by leaving his name and face of their pre-election publicity material.

Analysis of Labour campaign literature also found the party saying different things on Brexit.

Candidates in Remain-supporting seats often pointed to the party’s policy of a second referendum and back staying in the EU while those on Leave constituencies try to highlight their support for Brexit.

Labour sources have conceded the party made a key mistake in overestimating the threat to the party posed by the Lib Dems while underestimating the danger of Leave voters switching directly from Labour to the Tories.

Election Live

Election Live (Image: PA)

Party strategists have concentrated on trying to persuade voters that the election is about far more than Brexit. They have tried to make the NHS the key issue in the campaign.

But with polling day less than two weeks away they are now trying to win back disaffected Labour voters by claiming that the party is not seeking to stop the EU leaving the bloc.

Mr Corbyn, who has vowed to stay neutral in any campaign for a second EU referendum, is expected to tour Leave-voting Labour constituencies over the following few days.

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8.47am update: Boris Johnson accused of “running scared” from Andrew Neil interview

Boris Johnson is “running scared” of being interviewed by Mr Neil, according to shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

The Prime Minister has yet to agree to a slot for a head-to-head interview on BBC with Mr Neil who has so far interviewed SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon and Jeremy Corbyn in what has been widely accepted as a car-crash encounter for the Labour leader.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr McDonnell said: “The reason he is doing it is because he thinks, like you know his Bullingdon Club friends, that they’re above the rest of us.

“That they don’t need to be held to account. They don’t need to treated like the rest of us. And so what he’s doing now is he’s avoiding, he’s running scared.

“Because he knows that Andrew Neil will take him apart. He’s running scared. But even if he does it now, he’s played you because he pushing it later and later beyond the postal vote returns.”

Mr Neil is due to interview Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage next week.

8.31am update: Stanley Johnson enters Channel 4 ice sculpture row

Boris Johnson’s father Stanley Johnson said allowing Michael Gove to appear on Channel 4’s climate debate last night would have led to an interesting discussion about an urgent matter.

Channel 4 bosses refused to let Mr Gove take part after Mr Johnson declined to participate in the televised debate and instead replaced the Prime Minister with an ice sculpture.

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But the stunt was blasted by Mr Johnson snr. He said: “Are you saying that Michael Gove is not a leader? Why play schoolboy games with ice sculptures?”

He said he was not “privy” to where the Prime Minister was last night and said .

He said: “Mr Gove was a very valid substitute. He is probably the best environment secretary this country has ever had.”

Chanel 4 ice sculpture

Chanel 4 bosses replaced Boris Johnson with an ice sculpture (Image: GETTY)

8.12am update: Vaizey warns Tories over Channel 4 threats

Former Tory minister Ed Vaizey has warned it is “not a sensible strategy for political parties to threaten broadcasters”.

Mr Vaizey spoke out after reports the Tories might review Channel 4’s public service broadcasting position after it replaced Boris Johnson with a melting ice sculpture when he refused to take part in a climate change debate.

He said: “It’s not a sensible strategy for political parties to threaten broadcasters in that way, so I was disappointed.

“It was an anonymous briefing, I don’t think it’s the settled view of the Conservative Party or the Government.”

Mr Vaizey was culture minister between 2010 and 2016. He had the Tory whip removed after voting for efforts in the Commons to block a no-deal Brexit but later had it restored. He is not standing for re-election at the General Election.

John McDonnell

John McDonnell is launching Labour’s regional manifestos (Image: GETTY)

8.05 update: McDonnell denies Labour campaign strategy switch

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said Labour is not changing its campaign strategy to target Leave-voting areas.

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It was reported the party would change its focus to these areas, following a YouGov poll on Wednesday which suggested the Tories were on course to win a majority by picking up votes in Labour seats which voted to leave the EU.

But speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme Mr McDonnell said: “There’s no change in strategy.

“I don’t know where this story has come. People have put two and two together and made five.”

7.30am update: Labour’s regional manifestos dismissed as “a distraction”

Labour is set to launch a manifesto in every region of England under plans to hand “wealth and power back to every community”.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said investment will breathe new life into local economies across the country and bring pride back to communities by kickstarting a Green Industrial Revolution in every part of the UK.

But the Tories have dismissed the proposals as a “distraction”.

Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry, said: “This is a clear distraction from Corbyn’s failure to set out a Brexit plan.

“Every region in England outside of London voted to leave the European Union. If Corbyn’s Labour want to deliver for the people who live there, he should start with that.

“The only thing on offer from Labour is the chaos of another two referendums.”



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