Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Labour to Turn Up Heat ONTORIES over Summer

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Labour to Turn Up Heat ONTORIES over Summer

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan Walker Political Editor

LABOUR is to use the summer break to launch "the largest ever campaign" seen outside a General Election.

Party chair Ian Lavery said Labour will target 75 seats with a series of high-profile visits and commit "significant resources" to getting its message across on social media.

Labour believes Theresa May's divided Conservative Government "could collapse at any time", said Mr Lavery.

But he said the party understood that it needed to reach out to more people after failing to win the June General Election, adding: "It's going to be extremely challenging."

Speaking to The Journal, Mr Lavery said Labour - and leader Jeremy Corbyn - were hungry to take power. "We're not resting on our laurels. Jeremy is doing an awful lot of work. The Shadow Cabinet is going to be doing an awful lot of work," he said.

"We are absolutely confident that we can increase the support the party had. Those keys to Downing Street are basically dangling in front of our face.

"We want to be grabbing them and taking power and delivering.

"It's all right having a fantastic manifesto but we want to deliver the manifesto pledges." Parliament breaks up for the summer recess today, and won't meet again until September 5. There's nothing to stop parties campaigning in this period, but it has traditionally been a quiet time for political activity as MPs take holidays and party leaders prepare for annual conferences beginning later in September.

This summer, however, Mr Corbyn is expected to visit at least 40 of the 75 target seats identified by Labour.

The party will focus on six key issues throughout the summer - pay, standards of living, education, industrial strategy, aspiration and health and social care.

Mr Lavery, MP for Wansbeck, was one of two joint co-ordinators of Labour's election campaign earlier in the year.

He said: "We really feel as if we are inching our way to 10 Downing Street "We know how important it is to continue the momentum and as such we have identified 75 key seats that we need to win to form the next government, and we'll be focusing heavily on those key seats. …

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