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General election 2019: Labour launches 'regional manifestos' in England

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media captionMcDonald: Labour offers "tremendous transformation"

Labour has promised an "investment blitz" across England to bring "wealth, power and prosperity" to communities.

The party launched regional manifestos for each part of the country on Friday, including pledges on transport, housing and jobs.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the announcement would "bring our country back together".

But Tory minister Jake Berry said it was "a clear distraction from Corbyn's failure to set out a Brexit plan".

Launching the manifestos in the East Midlands, shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald said the plans would "make sure we deal with the climate crisis", but "harness opportunities at the same time".

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Each manifesto outlines plans for individual regions, with most of the pledges to be paid for by Labour's £250bn Green Transformation Fund - a pot of money raised through borrowing it promises to spend on projects to improve sustainability.

The pledges include a number of transport projects, such as:

  • Northern Powerhouse Rail - improving connections between Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Hull, and Newcastle, and cutting journey times
  • Investment in the Midlands Mainline railway
  • Electrification of lines around Bristol Temple Meads

Labour also said the fund would create one million green jobs across the UK, if it wins the general election on 12 December.

In the regional manifestos, a number of new announcements to move towards that goal have been confirmed, including:

  • Three new steel recycling plants in Redcar, Workington and Corby, which Labour says will create more than 1,000 jobs in each town
  • Nine plastics remanufacture and recycling sites - one for each region
  • Three electric vehicle battery plants in Stoke, Swindon and South Wales - creating 5,000 jobs in each location
  • Investment in green energy manufacturing supply chains for eight ports

Mr McDonnell said: "Britain is one of the most unequal countries in Europe, but under Labour that will change.

"Labour will govern for the whole of Britain, handing wealth and power back to every community and giving everyone a better life... rebuilding our public services and kick-starting a green industrial revolution that will bring prosperity to every region while tackling the climate and environmental emergency head on."

He added: "We're investing in our collective future and your family's future to get the economy moving again in every part of Britain, with new industries, better, well paid jobs and communities we can all be proud of."

Are Labour targeting Leave-voting areas?

By BBC economics correspondent Andrew Walker

Labour has an issue with supporters, or potential supporters, who voted Leave and don't care for the party's plans for a Brexit renegotiation and another referendum.

Some of the party's specific investment proposals do mention places where there was a pro-Brexit vote.

All three of the proposed steel recycling plants, for example, are in Leave-voting areas.

There is also some overlap between the Leave vote and some of the ports mentioned for investment and two of three electric vehicle battery manufacturing operations.

But then this is a programme intended to help English regions outside London and, as the Conservatives pointed out in their response to Labour's statement, all of them voted Leave.

So a substantial overlap is perhaps inevitable.

And the rail plans revealed by Labour have something for some of the Remain voting cities, including Manchester, Liverpool and Bristol.

The BBC's Reality Check team said delivering all of the projects on Labour's list would be a challenge, and it was not clear what role the private sector would play in their schemes.

But Jake Berry - the government's minister for the Northern Powerhouse - criticised the plans, saying: "Every region in England outside of London voted to leave the European Union.

"If Corbyn's Labour want to deliver for the people who live there, he should start with that."

The Conservatives have announced a £3.6bn Towns Fund, promising to improve transport links and boost broadband connectivity.

They have also promised to give more funding to local combined authorities to improve bus and train services, put £500m into reversing cuts to the railway network made in the 1960s by Dr Richard Beeching - which affected smaller towns and villages - and a £350m fund for improving cycling infrastructure.

The Liberal Democrats have also made pledges on transport, promising to freeze peak time and season ticket train fares, and to complete the HS2 rail project. The SNP want more powers devolved to Scotland, including on transport, work and welfare.

And the Brexit Party has promised free broadband in deprived regions and to scrap HS2.

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