London: A draft of the election manifesto yet to be formally approved and launched by Britain's Labour Party was leaked to the media on Thursday, in which the opposition pledged to re-nationalise the country's energy industry, railways and the Royal Mail.
The document, seen by the BBC, is the most detailed draft with a 20-point plan on workers' rights alone. It was yet to be signed off by most senior party figures, including the shadow cabinet and Labour's national executive committee.
The party leadership moved quickly to try and quell negative headlines around the leak. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn emerged from a party meeting in London in the day to tell reporters that the party had "unanimously" approved an amended draft at a meeting, to be made public next week.
"We have just unanimously agreed the contents of (the manifesto), we have amended a draft document that was put forward in the most informed, interesting, sensible discussion and debate in our party. Our manifesto will be an offer, and I believe the policies in it are very popular, an offer that will transform the lives of many people in our society," he said, refusing to address any questions around the leaked draft.
The final version will form the foundation of Labour's bid to win over voters in the 8 June general election. The detailed document has been branded as "socialist" and filled with "class envy" by many sections of the British media as it proposes nationalisation of the country's railways and the postal service and having at least one State-owned electricity supplier.
"We do not comment on leaks. We will announce our policies in our manifesto, which is our plan to transform Britain for the many, not the few," a spokesperson for Corbyn said.
The ruling Conservative party termed the draft as a sign of the chaos that a Labour-led government would unleash on the UK if it were to win the general election. "This is a total shambles. Jeremy Corbyn's plans to unleash chaos on Britain have been revealed. The commitments in this dossier will rack up tens of billions of extra borrowing for our families and will put Brexit negotiations at risk. Jobs will be lost, families will be hit and our economic security damaged for a generation if Jeremy Corbyn and the coalition of chaos are ever let anywhere near the keys to Downing Street," a Conservative party spokesperson said.
Other details of the manifesto include abolishing tuition fees for students at university, spending an extra 8 billion pounds on social care and not making "false promises" on immigration.
It also said Labour would "negotiate transitional arrangements to avoid a cliff-edge for the UK economy" if no Brexit deal was reached during talks with the EU.
Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell said he did not know who was behind the leak, which he called "disappointing".
Published Date: May 12, 2017 12:12 PM | Updated Date: May 12, 2017 12:12 PM