Labour would cause economic chaos for families, claims Theresa May

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Jeremy Corbyn has failed the test of leadership with a Labour manifesto which would cause "economic chaos" for families across the country, Prime Minister Theresa May has claimed.

In a press conference with Chancellor Philip Hammond in London, Mrs May said ordinary people would "pay the price of Labour" in higher taxes, mortgage rates and unemployment at a time when the country was going through Brexit negotiations.

As the Tories turned their fire on Labour following Tuesday's manifesto launch, the Prime Minister claimed there was a £58 billion black hole in Mr Corbyn's plans - a figure rejected by Labour who insist the programme is fully costed - while Mr Hammond said many of the party's plans to nationalise industries and raise tax on the rich were "questionable".

Mrs May said seven years of Tory-led government had seen rising employment and economic growth while the state deficit was reduced by three-quarters.

"None of this happened by accident," said the Prime Minister. "Our economic progress has been dearly won and could easily be lost if the wrong policies are pursued in the years ahead. It is frankly all at risk.

"Any party which asks the British people to entrust to them the responsibility of forming the next government through the crucial years of our Brexit negotiations and beyond must demonstrate that it has the credible economic plan and the capable team to safeguard our economic security.

"No-one could look at what Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party offered yesterday and conclude that it passed that test. The risk that a Jeremy Corbyn government would pose to our economy has been laid bare."

Mrs May said that the Tory manifesto later this week will "set out in detail the five great challenges our country faces over the next few years and lay out how we will tackle them", compared to the "fantasy wish list of easy promises paid for with imaginary money" offered by Labour.

"While Jeremy Corbyn and Labour retreat into an ideological comfort zone, ducking the difficult challenges which lay ahead, I will be straight with people, I won't shy away from the challenges of our time, I will set out how we will tackle them head-on," she said.

"Because that is what leadership is about and on this key test, Jeremy Corbyn has failed once again.

"If he can't show real leadership in his party, how could he lead our country through Brexit? How could he sit down with the prime ministers, the presidents, the chancellors of Europe and get a good deal for Britain?"

Citing mistakes made by shadow cabinet members Diane Abbott and John McDonnell in interviews over their plans, Mr Hammond said: "Labour has simply become a shambles and, as yesterday's manifesto shows, their numbers simply do not add up."

He said that "proposal after proposal in Labour's manifesto mean more borrowing and more debt, from uncosted promises to increase benefits to unexplained threats to seize control of private companies.

"These plans - many of them questionable in themselves - simply do not add up."

Warning that "the stakes at this election could not be higher", Mr Hammond claimed that Labour's plans could reverse economic gains made over the past seven years and "take us right back to square one".

The Chancellor said: "Any shred of economic credibility which Labour had left has now been buried by Jeremy Corbyn and his acolytes, and this matters to families across the UK.

"The economic chaos which would hit our country if Labour were in a position to implement the shambolic package of policies they unveiled yesterday would leave every household in Britain counting the cost."