General election: Here's what happened on day 10 of the campaign

15 November 2019, 22:58 | Updated: 16 November 2019, 01:41

The general election campaign is nearing the end of its second week - here's what happened on Friday.

In a sentence: Labour announced it would offer free full-fibre broadband to all UK homes and businesses by nationalising part of BT if the party wins the election next month.

In a paragraph: Jeremy Corbyn said British Broadband would be rolled out by 2030 and be kept up and running by taxing tech giants like Amazon and Google, but sceptics including the prime minister were quick to dismiss the plan.

In 100 words: Boris Johnson said the idea was a "crackpot scheme" that would cost taxpayers billions, and there was similarly derisive comments from telecoms companies and investors.

Shareholders reacted badly to the news as BT shares dropped nearly 4% in early morning trading, recovering slightly later in the day to be down 2% - but still wiping nearly £500m off the value of the company.

Virgin Media reacted badly, saying private investment was "essential to delivering improved broadband infrastructure", and the Confederation of British Industry said the plan would "slow down a process that needs speeding up".

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While many reacted with caution to the latest Labour nationalisation plan, BT chief executive Philip Jansen said he was happy to see the party committed to improving internet coverage.

He said the cost of part-nationalising BT would actually be £100bn, five times higher than what Labour estimates, but added that he was "delighted" that politicians were focusing on the expansion of full-fibre broadband.

He told Sky News: "I'm delighted that the Labour Party, the Tories, the Lib Dems are all totally of the same view.

"We have to build full-fibre, it's the right technology. South Korea, Japan, China... they've got it everywhere already, we have to have it in the UK for our businesses and homes so we have a chance of increasing productivity."

Elsewhere on the campaign trail, the prime minister launched the Conservatives' campaign bus adorned with the recognisable pledge to "Get Brexit Done".

Mr Johnson also insisted there was "no interference" by Russians in UK politics after being asked why Number 10 was withholding an intelligence security committee report that includes evidence concerning alleged Russian attempts to influence the 2016 EU referendum and 2017 general election.

The Liberal Democrats also had an eye-catching campaign pledge of their own on Friday, promising £100bn to tackle climate change if they are elected.

Moment of the day:

Quote of the day:

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Fact check of the day:

'Free broadband': Does Labour's £20bn fibre rollout claim stack up?

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