Latest: Corbyn says reducing poverty would be at the heart of his Labour government

Latest: Corbyn says reducing poverty would be at the heart of his Labour government

Update 7.05pm:  Jeremy Corbyn has said reducing poverty would be at the heart of his Labour government in his final broadcast interview before polling day.

During an interview with the Big Issue, the Labour leader also shared his thoughts on how his cat would deal with life at Downing Street, as well as saying he preferred grime artist Stormzy to Oasis musician Noel Gallagher.

The interview was watched by around 500,000 people live on Facebook, where it was hosted by Unilad.

"For all government departments, we would ensure that policy-making was framed around the issue of poverty reduction," Mr Corbyn said.

[media=twitter]https://twitter.com/jeremycorbyn/status/872437880622391296[/media]

"I’m very keen that we are focused as a government on dealing with poverty and injustice and inequality.

"It’s such a waste of resources and it leads many people to lead unfulfilled lives."

In the interview, Mr Corbyn appeared to back better teaching of life skills like money management in schools, as well as calling for a "community response to terrorism" rather than turning different groups against each other.

Mr Corbyn said he had a passion to tackle the housing crisis, that it was "unacceptable" for Britain to have empty homes and that Labour would strengthen rights for tenants.

He was also asked about how his cat, El Gato, would fare if Mr Corbyn became prime minister, with Downing Street already having its fair share of feline pets.

"I’ve been asking El Gato about this and I’ve been getting mixed messages," he said.

"Will he get on with other cats? He’s formed an alliance with a stray that’s come to our house, so they get along fine.

"But they’re also having extremely bad relations with two other cats that have appeared."

Prime Minister Theresa May has also written for the Big Issue this week, saying she would focus on prevention in dealing with social issues like homelessness.

Mrs May said: "We must instead understand the complex issues that contribute to people becoming homeless in the first place, including domestic abuse, mental illness, problem debt and housing insecurity, and tackle them early to prevent people from suffering further and becoming harder to help."

Update 6.49pm: Theresa May has failed to explicitly rule out another general election or referendum within the next five years.

The British Prime Minister laughed before saying her decision for a national poll on June 8 was based on ensuring "stability" over a five-year period.

She added the Conservatives will not seek a second EU referendum although did not refer to the prospect of a second Scottish independence referendum in her answer.

Mrs May had been asked to promise "Brenda from Bristol", who was videoed bemoaning Mrs May’s decision to call a snap election, that there will not be another general election nor referendum before 2022.

Speaking in Norfolk, Mrs May replied: "When I called the election I said it was because I was concerned the other parties wanted to frustrate the Brexit negotiations, but also the country needed that stability over the five years.

"And on the question of a referendum, I can assure you we’re the one party that is going to deliver on the will of the British people, respect the will of the British people, ensure we come out of Brexit and there’s no second referendums - unlike other parties."

The Conservative Party manifesto states calls for a "divisive" independence referendum would disrupt the UK’s bid to get the best Brexit deal for both Scotland and the UK, adding: "We have been very clear that now is not the time for another referendum on independence.

"In order for a referendum to be fair, legal and decisive, it cannot take place until the Brexit process has played out and it should not take place unless there is public consent for it to happen.

"This is a time to pull together, not apart."

Update: 4.11pm Jeremy Corbyn has begun a marathon final day of General Election campaigning with a rally in Glasgow city centre.

The Labour leader, cheered by hundreds of supporters, delivered one of his final addresses to voters from a platform on Buchanan Street.

Despite Labour continuing to trail the Conservatives in the polls - even though the gap has narrowed since the start of the campaign - an upbeat Mr Corbyn insisted the party could win in Thursday’s vote.

Latest: Corbyn says reducing poverty would be at the heart of his Labour government

He told the crowd: "They underestimated us didn’t they?

"They underestimated the good sense of ordinary people, ordinary people all over Britain."

The speech marked Mr Corbyn’s 84th campaign rally, with a further six events planned across the country over the course of the day, culminating in his Islington North constituency in the evening.

Earlier Diane Abbott has said she is "still standing" and hopes to return to the political front line soon, after British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn appointed colleague to fill in as shadow home secretary while she is off work due to illness.

Ms Abbott has remained away from the campaign trail due to illness following a series of interview gaffes.

She pulled out of two high-profile General Election events on Tuesday and Mr Corbyn announced on the eve of polling that shadow home affairs spokeswoman Lyn Brown is to stand in for her.

Shadow cabinet colleague Barry Gardiner said she had been diagnosed with a long-term condition which may have played a part in below-par interview performances during the election campaign.

There was no immediate response from Ms Abbott’s office and the Labour Party declined to discuss details of her condition.

Diane Abbott
Diane Abbott

It is understood that the condition affecting the 63-year-old MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington would not prevent her eventual return to work once she has recovered.

Close Corbyn ally Ms Abbott has come under relentless fire from Conservatives following an interview with LBC radio in which she forgot figures for Labour’s police funding plans and an appearance on Sky News when she struggled to discuss details of a security report.

She was replaced by shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry for a debate on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and a hustings organised by the London Evening Standard on Tuesday.

Mr Corbyn on Wednesday asked Ms Brown is to stand in for her during her period of ill-health.

He has begun a marathon final day of General Election campaigning with a rally in Glasgow city centre today.

The Labour leader, cheered by hundreds of supporters, delivered one of his final addresses to voters from a platform on Buchanan Street.

Despite Labour continuing to trail the Conservatives in the polls - even though the gap has narrowed since the start of the campaign - an upbeat Mr Corbyn insisted the party could win in Thursday’s vote.

He told the crowd: "They underestimated us didn’t they?

"They underestimated the good sense of ordinary people, ordinary people all over Britain."

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