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Jeremy Corbyn launches Labour's local election bid

Jeremy CorbynImage copyright Getty Images

Voters should use the local elections to tell the government "enough is enough" and that they want a change in direction, Jeremy Corbyn says.

Launching Labour's campaign for the May polls in English authorities, he highlighted increases of almost 6% in council tax bills across the country.

He accused Conservatives of demanding voters "pay more for less".

Theresa May told MPs during Prime Minister's Questions: "Conservative councils cost you less."

  • Prime Minister's Questions: The key bits and the verdict
  • Northamptonshire Council: Corbyn attacks Tory 'incompetence'

At his party's local election campaign launch in Trafford, Mr Corbyn told supporters that on 3 May: "People across England will have the chance to send an unmistakeable message to this government that enough is enough."

"Austerity is a political choice. So when your children's school is losing teachers and sending begging letters or their youth centre is closed – that's because the Conservative priority is tax breaks for big business," he said.

"And when your elderly relatives are neglected because of a lack of social care, that's because the Conservatives want another tax giveaway for a few people at the top.

"It doesn't have to be like this – Labour in government would do this very differently."

He said homelessness "has more than doubled" under the Conservatives, claiming that 120,000 children were in temporary accommodation "without a home to call their own – that's gone up by two thirds since 2010".

Mr Corbyn said local businesses were also facing an increased tax burden, with business rates rising by more than £3,000.

"The message from Theresa May's government could not be clearer," he said. "Pay more to get less under the Conservatives.

"Labour will give dignity and support to those in need, rebuild our communities and transform our country for the many, not the few."

Elections across England

Responding to Labour's local election launch, Conservative local government minister Marcus Jones said: "Labour councils cost you more and deliver worse local services.

"Under Labour, rubbish has piled in the streets due to bin strikes in Birmingham. New homes are blocked from being built in London. And across the country, council tax costs on average £102 more under Labour.

"It's Conservative councillors that are delivering for their communities, provide high quality local services while keeping council tax down."

The 38,000 member Jeremy Corbyn-supporting Momentum group's national coordinator Laura Parker said they would "launch digital platforms, experiment with new organising techniques and mobilise tens of thousands of activists to knock on doors and make this vision of municipal socialism a reality".

Elections are taking place in 32 London boroughs and 119 other councils around England on 3 May, alongside mayoral ballots in Hackney, Lewisham, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Watford and the Sheffield City region.

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