LONDON, U.K. - As campaigning ahead of the June General Election in Britain became all too real on Wednesday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn made his first major speech ahead of the crucial poll.
Corbyn, in his General Election speech, vowed to "overturn the rigged system" by putting power and wealth back in the hands of "the people.”
He said June's poll was not a "foregone conclusion" and Labour could defy the "Establishment experts.”
Corbyn noted that a Labour government would not "play by their rules.”
The Labour leader, presenting himself as a champion of the powerless against political and business elites was seen to be presenting to run an anti-establishment campaign.
Addressing Labour supporters in London, he attacked the "morally bankrupt" Conservatives adding that they would not stand up to tax avoiders and other members of a "gilded elite,” who were extracting wealth "from the pockets of ordinary working people.”
Labour would "end this racket" and "overturn the rigged system.”
Corbyn also said Labour was the only party that would "focus on the kind of country we want to have after Brexit" - dismissing May's election campaign as an "ego trip about her own failing leadership.”
The Labour leader said if elected, he would raise the minimum wage to 10 pounds an hour and increase spending on the NHS, social care and council housing.
He also addressed Labour's poor opinion poll ratings and said he was given a 200/1 chance of becoming Labour leader in 2015 and he defied those odds.
Corbyn added, "Much of the media and Establishment are saying this election is a foregone conclusion. They think there are rules in politics, which if you don't follow by doffing your cap to powerful people, accepting that things can't really change, then you can't win. But of course those people don't want us to win. Because when we win, it's the people, not the powerful, who win. They say I don't play by the rules - their rules. We can't win, they say, because we don't play their game. They're quite right I don't. And a Labour government elected on 8 June won't play by their rules."
He added that those rules "have created a cosy cartel which rigs the system in favour of a few powerful and wealthy individuals and corporations.”
Adding, “It's a rigged system set up by the wealth extractors for the wealth extractors."
Easily surpassing the two-thirds majority needed to trigger an early vote to bring forward the election from 2020, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s argued that an early election is in the national interest and that it is the only way to secure stability ahead of Brexit.
May told MPs there was a "window of opportunity" to hold a poll before Brexit negotiations began in earnest in June.
May is said to be seeking to increase her majority in Parliament and consolidate her power as she faces both pro-EU opposition politicians and hard-core Brexit-backers inside her own party.
The prime minister said this will strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations and provide the "strong and stable leadership" the country needs.
On Wednesday, May sought to put "strong and stable" leadership at the heart of her pitch to voters.
Addressing supporters in Bolton on Wednesday, May said the country now has a "unity of purpose" and a desire for the government to "get on" with implementing Brexit and "making a success of it.”
She also warned of a potential "coalition of chaos" led by Corbyn.
Meanwhile, in the first big poll, a YouGov Survey carried out since May called an election - Tories were seen to be winning 48 percent of the votes, with Labour trailing with 24 percent and Liberal Democrats at 12 percent.