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Labour’s manifesto launch sends party into chaos as Jeremy Corbyn’s plans to hit motorists are exposed

MOTORISTS have abandoned Labour in their droves as Jeremy Corbyn unveiled a crippling new plan that could clobber drivers at the pumps.

Threatening war on Britain’s 37million drivers, the Labour leader announced plans for an £11billion hard-left raid on oil companies’ profits, which could kill off 120,000 jobs and send the price of petrol soaring.

Last night a mass survey of more than 52,000 motorists for The Sun laid bare how unpopular Labour’s plans are with Britain’s 37million licensed drivers.

The poll by FairFuel UK found that just seven per cent of motorists are now planning to vote Labour in next month’s election.

In contrast, almost half (47 per cent) of drivers plan to back the Tories, who are expected to announce a further freeze in fuel duty when they launch their own manifesto on Sunday.

Even die-hard Labour voters said they don’t trust the party anymore on motoring issues, with nearly four out of five traditional Labour-voting motorists saying they will abandon the party in the December 12 election.

On a day of calamity for the hapless Opposition leader after his manifesto launch in Birmingham:

Mr Corbyn insisted his windfall tax on oil companies was part of his plan to punish “big polluters”.

He said the cash would go towards retraining energy workers and tackling climate change.

But critics blasted the plan, warning it could clobber motorists by sending the price of petrol at the pump rocketing.

And academics and Tory politicians warned it posed a mortal threat to the North Sea oil industry – and warned 120,000 workers rely on it.

Mr Corbyn told his party faithful that climate change demands “swift action”.

He said: “So a Labour government will ensure the big oil and gas corporations that profit from heating up our planet will shoulder and pay their fair share of the burden with a just transition tax."

'CLUELESS LABOUR DON'T GET IT'

But Howard Cox, founder of the FairFuel UK campaign, lashed the plans and said poor drivers will be the ones hit.

He warned: “The world’s already highest taxed drivers, wrongly demonised by environmentalists, will be incensed that the windfall taxed oil giants will have no choice but to hit hard pressed motorists with massive price hikes at the pumps.

"Clueless Labour just don’t get it. High fuel prices hit low income drivers the hardest pushing them further into debt.”

Leading oil economics expert Professor Alex Kemp, from Aberdeen University's Business School, warned: "The idea of having a windfall tax on North Sea oil is misguided.

"Since the oil prices collapsed in the second half of 2014, investment in the North Sea has also collapsed to £5billion from around £15billion.

"Increased capital spending is needed to maximise economic recovery and a windfall tax would endanger this."

UK drivers, already the highest-taxed in the world, will be incensed.

FairFuel UK's Howard Cox

The Labour manifesto failed to mention fuel duty once - sparking fresh fears the party will hike it for the first time in a decade if it wins power next month. Lifting the freeze would clobber motorists with a £9billion a year tax hike.

Earlier this month The Sun revealed that a top aide to Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell called for a hike in the levy.

And Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald exposed Labour’s real thinking on fuel duty by describing the nine-year freeze under the Tories as “not a sensible approach”.

The FairFuel UK survey of motorists found eight in ten of Labour’s own voters are disgusted with the party’s plans.

Even the Lib Dems polled higher than Labour in the survey with eight per cent backing the party, while 11.5 per cent of motorists said they would vote for the Brexit party.

Tory Colin Clark, who's standing for re-election as Gordon MP, said: “It’s no exaggeration to say that Corbyn’s plans could turn the taps off for Scotland’s vital oil and gas industry.

“Labour’s manifesto is Scotland’s oil obituary. This windfall tax would threaten more than 100,000 jobs in Scotland - many of which are based in and around Aberdeen."

SITTING ON THE FENCE

Despite launching his formal pitch for power yesterday the Labour leader again refused to say if a Labour government would campaign to leave or stay in the EU if he got into power.

The dithering Labour boss vowed to hold another EU referendum, but carried on sitting on the fence on the biggest political issue facing the country.

Asked directly what he will do on Brexit, the leftie boss launched into a lengthy explanation of the party’s position.

He said: “I make it very clear that we will negotiate within three months of taking office a credible option of leaving the EU that doesn’t tear up every trade agreement, that does protect trade.

“But it would be an offer to leave the EU with a trade agreement that doesn’t damage our public services and rights at work

“We would put that alongside remain in a referendum and my government would accept and carry out the result of that.

“I think it’s responsible to try and bring people together…the tenor of the questions you gave me is that we have got to carry on being divided by the result of 2016.

“The tenor of what I am saying is let’s get together on this and give people the final say our government will carry out whatever the result of that is."

Before the launch of the manifesto horrified Labour spin doctors banished a Starbucks barista when they realised her coffee shop was in the corner of the room used for their manifesto launch.

The small outlet of the major US chain - which has been accused of international tax dodging - was located in the corner of the Birmingham University atrium that the party picked to unveil Jeremy Corbyn’s blueprint for power.

The party's press chiefs panic deepened when they also realised the female worker was also using disposable cups, contrary to Labour's big promise to clean up the environment.

Having served up coffee for arriving activists and media for more than an hour beforehand, the barista was told to swiftly scarper before the Opposition Leader took to the stage.

Mr Corbyn also raised eyebrows in his speech by quoting Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who was one of the biggest literary supporters of the murderous USSR dictator Joseph Stalin.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn launches party's election manifesto calling it, 'A manifesto for hope which will bring real change'

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