Jeremy Corbyn Signs Southampton UCU Petition

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Yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn visited Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium to announce the Labour Party’s Manifesto For The Environment. The Labour leader pledged that two billion trees will be planted by 2040 and ten new National Parks will be created if he is elected Prime Minister. Following the speech, Corbyn signed Southampton University and College Union’s (UCU) petition to protect staff pensions.

On Monday, UCU members at sixty universities began an eight-day strike in protest over the marketisation of higher education. Striking staff argue that workloads, working hours and stress have increased, whilst pay and pensions have declined. On Twitter, Southampton UCU responded to the Labour leader’s signature by asking whether any other 2019 General Election candidates will also stand in solidarity with them:

During media questioning, Corbyn reiterated his commitment to the abolition of tuition fees, arguing that regardless of a student’s social background, education should be a universal right.

The Labour leader, who was joined on stage by local climate strikers, defended his pledge to plant 190 trees per minute by jokingly stating that: ‘it’s not going to be done by one person‘. Corbyn revealed that if he is elected Prime Minister he will plant a hornbeam tree, that was gifted to him by members of Extinction Rebellion, in Downing Street’s garden.

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Politics Editor 2019/20 Studying Politics & International Relations

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