Jeremy Corbyn plans Scottish rallies to build on election gains

Labour insists it is still on an election footing and will be campaigning over the summer
Labour insists it is still on an election footing and will be campaigning over the summer
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Jeremy Corbyn is to hold a series of mass rallies in Scotland next month as Labour seeks to build on its general election performance by targeting marginal seats held by the SNP.

The Labour leader will stage a series of campaign events north of the Border over five days in August, addressing thousands of voters and visiting seats with narrow SNP majorities.

With Theresa May left considerably weakened after last month’s vote, Labour insists it is still on an “election footing” and will be campaigning over the summer in case the UK unexpectedly returns to the polls.

Despite fears the party could be wiped out in Scotland, Labour performed better than expected at the election, winning seven seats and increasing its share of the vote.

Ian Murray, formerly the party’s only MP north of the border, strengthened his hold on Edinburgh South and Labour also cut down sizeable SNP majorities in many other constituencies.

During his trip Mr Corbyn is expected to visit seats in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Fife and the Western Isles, where some sitting SNP MPs have slim majorities.

More than a quarter of the 64 seats that Labour must win to secure a parliamentary majority are in Scotland. Swings of less that 1 per cent are required in seats such as Glasgow East, Airdrie & Shotts, Inverclyde and Dunfermline & Fife West.

“Labour remains on an election footing as a government-in-waiting, ready to end failed austerity and ensure that Scotland has the resources it needs to provide the public services its people deserve,” Mr Corbyn said.

“Labour has the policies to build a fairer Scotland, with a £10 an hour minimum wage, a ban on zero hours contracts, a Brexit deal that puts jobs first, and taxing big corporations and the richest individuals a bit more to fund our schools, hospitals, emergency services and social care.”

Mr Corbyn’s visit to Scotland will be supported by Scottish leader Kezia Dugdale and Mr Murray.