General Election: Labour's odds shortening by the hour following May's u-turn


Described over the weekend by the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Alzheimer's Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes as a "dementia tax", Mrs May, defended her party's social care pledges, with the words: "Since my manifesto was published, the proposals have been subject to fake claims made by Jeremy Corbyn".

"If we can't recruit the nurses we need and we ask nurses to come and work here from overseas, if we can't recruit the engineers because the Conservative government hasn't invested in training for so long, then we have to do something about it", he said.

One senior Conservative, former deputy Speaker Nigel Evans, said she had not gone far enough and should unveil the exact level of the cap before polling day.

On Thursday, the Conservatives announced what they called "the first ever proper plan to pay for - and provide - social care", which would have seen people fund their own care until they were down to their last £100,000.

The quick jump in Labour support came shortly after the launch of the Conservative manifesto in which the party revealed post-election policies for the social care system.

"If George Osborne is at last doing something useful in his life, of supporting proper funding for social care, then thank you George for that", he said.

Polls show May is more trusted to secure a good deal in talks with Brussels and that some voters are confused about Labour's position on the issue.

The policy alarmed Conservative MPs because it included a person's property in an assessment for social care within their home, although there is a £100,000 cap and a promise that people will not have to sell their homes while they are alive.

The Labour leader said "all bombing is wrong", as he was repeatedly asked to condemn the IRA alone for its role in the Troubles.

The early part of the Tory election campaign was characterised by Theresa May touring the country saying "strong and stable leadership" as many times as possible.

The move appeared to be an attempt to quell the growing unrest against the proposals, which saw Labour narrow their gap with the party to single figures according to a poll published on Sunday.

In a tweet he said: "U-turn coming on social care. I have people whose homes are worth £300,000 to £500,000 who feared that they could lose almost everything they had worked and saved for".

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the Standard: "We want to make sure that people who have worked hard and saved up all their lifetimes do not have to worry about losing all their assets through a disease as random as dementia". A plurality of voters back policies such as renationalising the railways and the energy grid, with several policies - such as raising income tax for people earning more than £80,000 and banning zero hours contracts - even winning support from a majority of Conservative voters.

May called the snap election to strengthen her hand in negotiations on Britain's departure from the European Union and win more time to deal with the impact of the divorce.