On the campaign trail: Parties make big push with key policies

2 December 2019, 18:24

General Election 2019
General Election 2019. Picture: PA

The day’s key events began with a vigil for the victims of the London Bridge terror attack.

Major political figures paused their campaigning to attend a vigil in London for the two young people who died in last week’s terror attack.

Later in the day there were big policy pushes with Labour targeting a reduction in rail fares, the Lib Dems focusing on provision for mental health services and the Tories revealing their plans to strengthen border security.

Here are some of the key events from Monday’s campaign trail:

Political leaders unite at vigil for victims of London Bridge terrorist attack

Politicians unite at vigil
Sadiq Khan, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn take part in the vigil in Guildhall Yard (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Sadiq Khan called on Londoners to come together “in a spirit of defiance” against terrorism during a vigil for the victims of Friday’s attack.

The London Mayor was joined by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at the memorial to Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones in Guildhall Yard in the City of London on Monday morning.

Also present were Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, Home Secretary Priti Patel and Liberal Democrat candidate Chuka Umunna.

Jeremy Corbyn pledges to slash regulated rail fares in England by a third

Labour intends to bring the railways back into public ownership if the party wins the December 12 election and then cut regulated rail fares by 33% from January 2020.

The party estimates the policy would save the average commuter more than £1,000 a year, in what it described as the biggest-ever reduction in rail fares.

It comes after Britain’s train companies confirmed over the weekend that they will hike prices by an average of 2.7% next year.

The Conservatives unveil five-point plan to strengthen border security after Brexit

Automated entrance and exit checks to identify individuals who have overstayed their visa will be introduced by the Tories under measures to strengthen border security post-Brexit.

People will be counted in and out of the country as part of the proposals, which would also make biometric passports a requirement and see the introduction of an American-style visa waiver scheme.

The party hopes the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) would provide an enhanced ability to screen arrivals against watchlists and block those deemed to be a threat from entering the UK.

Nicola Sturgeon has refused to rule out a legal bid if Boris Johnson blocks a second Scottish independence referendum

Sturgeon’s St Andrew’s Day speech
Could there be a legal challenge over a second Scottish independence referendum? (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The First Minister and SNP leader did not rule out taking legal action if Mr Johnson is returned to Downing Street and blocks a second Scottish independence vote.

She also made clear she would not hold a Catalan-style unauthorised ballot on leaving the UK.

Ms Sturgeon stressed a majority Conservative Government was “not inevitable” after the December 12 General Election and said whoever ends up in Number 10 must “respect the will of the Scottish people”.

– Lib Dems vow to invest £11 billion to transform mental health services

The Liberal Democrats have announced plans to invest an additional £11 billion over five years into transforming mental health services.

The party said it would make prescriptions for people with chronic mental health conditions available for free on the NHS among a raft of measures to improve services.

Access to talking therapies would be improved, and new mothers would be given a dedicated maternal, postnatal appointment to tackle under-diagnosis as part of the plans.

Tweets of the day

Both of the main party leaders put aside campaigning for a morning to pay tribute to the victims of the London Bridge terror attack.

Picture of the day

General Election 2019
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on board a boat during a visit to the Port of Southampton (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Video of the day

Jeremy Corbyn pledges to slash regulated rail fares in England by a third from next month.

What’s next?

  • Boris Johnson is expected to be campaigning in south-west England in and around official Nato engagements
  • Jeremy Corbyn is expected to give a speech in London on workers' rights
  • Jo Swinson is expected to visit a farm in the East of England
  • Nigel Farage will visit Bassetlaw and Bolsover from 11am and speak alongside MEP Martin Daubney
  • In Scotland, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard will be at the UCU protests at Glasgow University to highlight Labour's policies to strengthen workers rights and Scottish Conservatives leader Jackson Carlaw will visit engineering company Thales.

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