Jeremy Corbyn appears to row back over benefits freeze

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Jeremy Corbyn has rowed back from his own suggestions that Labour would lift the benefits freeze.

The Labour leader said, while answering audience questions following the party's manifesto launch, that "clearly" Labour would not freeze benefits.

But his assertion sparked immediate questions over why the policy was not included in the manifesto and associated costings, given Labour's insistence that all its pledges are fully funded with details set out in the documents.

Speaking to reporters after the speech, Mr Corbyn appeared to row back on his earlier suggestion.

Asked if lifting the benefits freeze was costed in the manifesto, he said:"We have not made a commitment on that.

"The commitment I make is that I do understand the perverse effects of the cap...and we will be dealing with that in the context of more affordable secure housing and high wages through the living wage."

His comments contrasted with his remarks in the Q&A session following his speech, when he said: "Yes, increasing benefits is important and clearly we are not going to freeze benefits, that is very clear.

"We are also looking at the perverse effects of the benefit cap on people and their housing accommodation, particularly in London and the centre of our big cities."