7 Labour policies you shouldn't forget about

Wednesday 10 May 2017 09:15
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Picture:(Getty / Dan Kitwood)

While the Conservatives push controversial agendas and highly criticised policies, they're not the only party voters should be wary of as they decide who to vote into government next month.

But the Labour party's downfalls are less about unpopular policy - much harder to do in opposition - and more about the vagueness of some of their policies, as well as ambiguity and downright contradictions between the policies of the party and the policies of the leader.

Here are some of Labour's biggest policy gaffes over recent years that you need to remember sharpish:

1. Confused costing

Diane Abbott had a painful interview on LBC last week, where it was made very apparent she had no idea about the cost of its proposed policy to create 10,000 more police officers. The shadow home secretary claimed they would cost £300,000, which works out at a salary of £30 per police officer. She then said they’d cost £80 million, which works out as an annual salary of £8,000. She then increased the proposed number of jobs from 10,000 over four years, to 25,000. Two words: car crash.

2. Rent control

Last year Labour proposed rent control, where councils would be given power to limit private rent increases. The policy was heavily criticised, with commentators saying it would reduce the number of properties available to rent, at a time when the country already faces a serious housing shortage.

3. Brexit ambiguity

Just this week leader Jeremy Corbyn refused to answer the most fundamental question: Whether Brexit would be a certainty under a Labour government. He was asked six times by the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg, but the apparent straight-talking politician gave woolly answers to the question.

4. That mug

In 2015 Labour released a mug that read “Controls on immigration,” much to the dismay of voters and MPs within the party. This rather bizarre move didn't even appear to be attached to any form of policy, making it even more worrying and confusing. It appeared to be a disingenuous appeal to the anti-immigration sentiment held by many voters, done in a ham fisted way by the liberal pro-immigration leader Ed Miliband.

The hashtag #racistmug trended on Twitter, and the Green Party fired back with a “Stand up for migrants” mug.

5. Corbyn’s views on Trident

Corbyn said last month on the Andrew Marr show that he wants to achieve a “nuclear-free world,” but the party’s current policy is to support Trident. After Corbyn’s remarks the party had to reiterate where they stand on the country’s nuclear deterrent - which sent out mixed signals to the electorate and, most importantly, the international community.

6. Lack of education

Labour has pledged free school meals for primary school pupils and smaller class sizes, but has been criticised for avoiding the bigger issues. The party has kept quiet on the government’s grammar school plans, and has nothing to offer on teacher retention, academisation or unfair admissions. No policy or position is just as scary as the alternative.

7. Labour and antisemitism

Corbyn faced criticism last month after MP Ken Livingstone avoided expulsion from the party over comments about antisemitism, Hitler and Zionism. Despite being heavily criticised, Livingstone repeatedly refused to apologise for his remarks. He has instead been suspended from holding office for one year, but retains the right to vote on party matters and attend meetings.

More: 12 Tory policies you shouldn't forget about

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