Parties resume election campaigns after political row over London Bridge attack
Labour and the Tories will resume their General Election campaigns in earnest as they seek to move on from the political row over the London Bridge terrorist attack.
With just 10 days to go until the polls open, Jeremy Corbyn will announce plans to slash regulated rail fares in England by a third from next month if his party enters government.
The Tories, meanwhile, will set out a range of measures to strengthen border security after Brexit including automated entrance and exit checks to identify individuals who have overstayed their visa.
Boris Johnson and Mr Corbyn cancelled some planned campaign events over the weekend after two young people were fatally stabbed by convicted terrorist Usman Khan on Friday.
The Prime Minister sought to blame Labour for Khan’s early release, while Mr Corbyn said convicted terrorists should “not necessarily” serve their full prison sentence.
The Liberal Democrats criticised both parties for seeking to use the incident as a “political football”.
Moving on from the row, Mr Corbyn will use a visit to a railway station on Monday morning to announce plans to cut regulated rail fares by 33% from January 2020 if he wins the election.
Labour estimates the policy would save the average commuter more than £1,000 a year, and says it would represent the biggest ever reduction in rail fares.
It comes after Britain’s train companies confirmed over the weekend that they will hike prices by an average of 2.7% next year.
Children aged 16 and under would receive free rail travel under the party’s plans, while part time workers would be guaranteed “fair” fares.
Labour has also pledged to deliver a simple, London-style ticketing system across the nation – with “islands” within which zonal rail fares will apply across all modes of public transport.
They estimate that the policy will cost £1.5 billion per year and would come from existing Department for Transport budgets, drawn from vehicle excise duty.
Mr Johnson will visit a port on Monday as his party unveils a five-point plan to strengthen border security after Brexit.
People will be counted in and out of the country as part of the proposals which would also make biometric passports a requirement and see the introduction of an American-style visa waiver scheme.
The party hopes the Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) would provide an enhanced ability to screen arrivals against watchlists and block those deemed to be a threat from entering the UK.
Elsewhere on the campaign trail, the Liberal Democrats have pledged to invest an additional £11 billion over five years into transforming mental health services.
The party said it would make prescriptions for people with chronic mental health conditions available for free on the NHS among a raft of measures to improve services.