Corbyn attacks Johnson’s integrity on last day of campaign

Nicola Sturgeon branded the Tory leader 'the greatest danger to Scotland' of any recent PM.


Jeremy Corbyn has questioned Boris Johnson’s integrity as he launched his final day of campaigning in the general election with a visit to Glasgow.

Addressing activists in Govan on Wednesday morning, the Labour leader asked if voters could “honestly trust a Prime Minister who cannot tell the truth” on issues like UK-US trade talks and on the Brexit negotiations.

Corbyn claims the Tories will allow American access to the NHS as part of a post-Brexit trade deal.

He has also accused the PM of misrepresenting the impact of his Brexit deal for Northern Ireland, citing a leaked Treasury document.

His remarks come as SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon penned an open letter to Scottish voters branding Johnson “greatest danger to Scotland of any Tory Prime Minister in modern times”.

Visiting a catering firm in Derby, the Conservative leader said it would be “easy” to pass his deal and “get Brexit done” if his party wins a Westminster majority.

Taking a beef and ale pie out of an oven, Johnson said: “This is the oven-ready pie – this is a perfect metaphor for what we’re going to do in the run-up to Christmas if we can get a working majority.

“We have a deal, it’s ready to go.

“You saw how easy it is, we put it in, slam it in the oven, take it out and there it is – get Brexit done.”

Richard Leonard: General election isn’t just about Brexit Read now

But speaking in Glasgow, the Labour leader accused the Prime Minister of “making promises that turn out to be a mirage”.

Corbyn said his party had “never indulged in the politics of personal abuse and never will, adding: “It demeans politics, it demeans democracy.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t build a house, it doesn’t train a doctor, it doesn’t eliminate poverty.”

“But I do think there is an issue of trust in politics.”

He went on: “Can you honestly trust a Prime Minister who cannot tell the truth about the talks with the Americans over the privatisation of our National Health Service?

“Who cannot tell the truth about the Brexit negotiations that he so failed to deliver on?

“Or one who keeps on making promises that turn out to be a mirage the following day?

“The question is, when you go to vote, you need to know that the people you’re electing not just mean what they say but say what they mean and carry it out when they go into government.”

He said voters had a choice to reject the “dishonesty of this government” and “the politics of despair and division” and suggested the outcome of a re-elected Conservative government would be more billionaires in the UK “than ever before”.

Corbyn said a Labour government would bring an end to child poverty, scrap universal credit, compensate WASPI women, build homes to “end homelessness, and poverty” and invest in a “green industrial revolution” to tackle climate change.

He added: “In this city of Glasgow, which has some of the poorest people in this country, which has wards which contain the lowest life expectancy all across this country, they need an end to austerity.

“They need a UK government that will invest all across the country and give real hope and real security to people.”

The Labour leader said the “only way of getting rid of a Tory government is by voting Labour” all across Scotland.

Election: Scottish party leaders face off in TV debate Read now

However, in the 13 Tory-held seats north of the border, the SNP says it is the only real challenger, branding Labour too week in Conservative heartlands like the north-east and the Borders.

In a letter to voters, Sturgeon said: “I’ve been in politics for a good number of years now. I saw the damage a previous Tory Prime Minister unleashed on communities like mine in the west of Scotland.

“I resolved then to get involved, to do whatever I could to make a difference, and that’s what I’m asking you to do on Thursday.

“We’ve all seen the impact on ordinary people caused by Tory governments that we didn’t elect and Boris Johnson, without question, represents the greatest danger to Scotland of any Tory Prime Minister in modern times.

“His hard-line Brexit policy would cost jobs and hit living standards – and will be carried out against the wishes of the majority of people who live here.”

The First Minister added: “He is a threat to the NHS. He will put many more children into poverty. He will rob young people in Scotland of rights they currently enjoy.

“He’s a danger to workers’ rights and environmental standards and he will trample all over the Scottish Parliament if it gets in his way.

“Much of what we hold dear in Scotland will be cast aside as Boris Johnson reshapes the UK in his own right-wing Brexiteer image.”

But the Scottish Conservatives have urged voters who oppose a second independence referendum to force Sturgeon to listen on Thursday.

Leader Jackson Carlaw said: “Today I’m asking those people in Scotland who are still considering how to vote tomorrow to walk to the precipice and look over the cliff edge.

“The fact is we are now staring down at the very real risk of a second referendum on independence being held next year – a second referendum which would divide us all over again and could lead to the break-up of our country by Christmas next year.

“If you don’t act tomorrow, by Friday Nicola Sturgeon may have the power to march us all off that cliff and into a second referendum – and there will be nothing we can do about it.”

“We will be powerless to act. Unable to have our say. She will be able to dictate terms, speak in our name, insist on her way being followed – we will have to just sit there are take it.”

Sturgeon: Brexit in Scotland only justified if Tories beat SNP Read now

He added: “She has had her say – now it’s time for us to have ours.”

“So I’m urging everyone who doesn’t want to go back to yet more division to get out and vote, and vote for the one party which can be guaranteed to stand up to Nicola Sturgeon.

“Two years ago, we took seats from the SNP, and forced her to listen, so you can be assured that voting for us works.

“That’s why – whatever our differences on other issues – I’m asking people who don’t normally vote Scottish Conservative to lend us your vote, and help us stop her.”

And campaigning in Edinburgh, Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie touted his party’s “unique” credentials as pro-EU and pro-UK.

He said: “The stakes are high because Brexit is on the table and independence is on the table too.

“The SNP want another divisive independence referendum and the Conservatives want to drive through a damaging Brexit.

“Only the Liberal Democrats are opposed to both, so back the Liberal Democrats.

“Our message is unique: we are pro-UK and pro-EU.”

Rennie added: “This is the final opportunity to stop Brexit, to stop independence and to build a brighter future for our country.”

Two cold weather warnings have been issued for election day in Scotland, with a warning that surfaces could be slippy.

One of the yellow warnings predicting ice and wintry showers stretches from Perth, north through central Scotland, to Wick.

The other, further south, covers an area between Thornhill and Lanark. Both are in place from 6pm on Wednesday to 10am on Thursday.

You're up to date

You've read today's top stories. Where would you like to go next?