LONDON — Jeremy Corbyn today pulled out of Labour’s campaign poster launch as the party descended into chaos following the leak of their general election manifesto.
The Labour leader failed to show up at the launch on London’s Southbank, with aides citing “other plans.” Staffers at the event, were unable to say what those plans were, with one telling Business Insider “we have no idea.”
Labour MP Ian Lavery, who stepped in to cover for Corbyn, told reporters that the Labour leader was busy elsewhere.
“Mr. Corbyn was meant to be here but he is dealing with internal matters,” he said.
“Mr Corbyn was meant to be here but he’s dealing with internal matters” pic.twitter.com/zDhYCfSSTG
— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) May 11, 2017
A spokesperson for the Labour leader later told Business Insider: “Jeremy is preparing for the Clause V meeting and asked Andrew and Ian to launch the Britain is being held back campaign.”
Rumours continued to swirl about who was behind the leaked manifesto.
Allies of Corbyn accused Labour HQ of deliberately leaking the document to undermine him. However, one Labour HQ source told BI: “how can we leak it? We haven’t even been shown it yet.”
They added: “This is a distraction technique.”
Labour’s manifesto will be officially launched next Tuesday. However a draft copy of the text is now widely available and can be read here. The leaked manifesto says Labour will promise no tax rises for anyone earning under £80,000 but tax increases for the highest 5% of earners. Labour is also set to pledge councils to build 100,000 new homes a year.
Among the policies included are plans to nationalise the railways, parts of the energy industry and scrap tuition fees.