Labour Vows Big Spending After Watson Quits: U.K. Campaign Trail

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While Boris Johnson bets that voters are bored with Brexit, Labour is calculating the public is more fed up with austerity. The party’s economy spokesman John McDonnell will pledge to transform state education, social housing and healthcare with an extra 150 billion pounds ($193 billion) of funding over five years.

The finance industry will have to play its part in addressing the “human emergency” too, he’ll say in a speech in Liverpool. Following two days of setbacks for the Conservatives, Labour now need a boost after deputy leader Tom Watson — who has clashed with leader Jeremy Corbyn — quit front-line politics on Wednesday night.

Must read: Boris Johnson’s Conservatives Fight for Survival in Scotland

Coming up:

Boris Johnson campaigns in Scotland, Northern Ireland and north-eastern England. 10 a.m. Chancellor Sajid Javid makes first campaign speech, in north-western England.Corbyn unveils Labour “Real Change” campaign bus in Liverpool before McDonnell speaks. Liberal Democrats set out plans for tackling climate change by generating 80% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and insulating all low-income homes by 2025. A plan to publish revised forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility today was canceled after advice on election regulations.

The Polls:

A YouGov poll puts the Conservatives on 36%, with Labour on 25%, Lib Dems on 17% and the Brexit Party on 11%. The Tory lead is 2% narrower than at the weekend.Survation polling for the Lib Dems in two constituencies showed the party in second place, closing the gap with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and veteran pro-Brexit Tory John Redwood.A YouGov poll for the Times shows Johnson is more trusted by Leave voters that Nigel Farage. His personal approval rating has also gone up since September.Here’s a summary of recent polls.

Catching Up:

U.K. Election Campaigners Brace for Fiscal Reality CheckJohnson’s Election Troubles Grow as U.K. Minister Quits CabinetLib Dems, Greens and Plaid Cymru have reached a pro-Remain electoral pact, with details to be announced on Thursday. The Times says Greens will stand aside in 50 seats.

The Markets:

The pound weakened on Wednesday after polling showed the Tories’ lead narrowed, and slipped in early trade on Thursday. The BOE meets later and will publish forecasts alongside its interest-rate decision.

(Updates with canceling of OBR announcement.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Tim Ross in London at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at, Emma Ross-Thomas

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