Labour can win an election, insists Jeremy Corbyn despite dismal polls
Jeremy Corbyn has insisted Labour can win a snap general election, despite polls showing the party trailing the Conservatives by as much as 18 points.
But the declaration of confidence came only after the Labour leader was asked twice whether he would welcome an immediate election and six times whether he could win it, in an increasingly tetchy TV interview on BBC Two's Victoria Derbyshire programme.
The prospect of a snap election has been floated by former foreign secretary Lord Hague, who said it would give Theresa May a "decisive" majority to help her get Brexit through.
But Downing Street made clear that the Prime Minister does not believe there should be an early poll.
Mr Corbyn's comments came as prominent Labour supporter Stephen Hawking called for him to stand down as leader, describing him as a "disaster" for the party.
And they follow a poll on Monday which suggested as many as half of Labour members think he should quit before the election scheduled for 2020.
Asked whether he would welcome an early election, Mr Corbyn told Derbyshire: "I want to see a different government. I don't want to see this Government in office."
But when she pressed him repeatedly over whether he felt he could win an election, he replied: "We will take our case out, we will do our very best to win the election.
"Nobody knows the result of a general election before they go into it, but we do know we have a very strong, moral and just case to put to this country of the kind of country we could be."
It was only when Derbyshire demanded a "yes or no" answer to the question of whether Labour could win that Mr Corbyn replied: "Listen, you've asked me the question many, many times.
"How many times do I have to tell you, we are taking our case out there to win because we believe we can win."
The Labour leader blamed "media obsession" for reports of disunity within his party and insisted observers should not "underestimate" the scale of support it enjoyed in the country.
"We're going to take our case out to the country," he said. "We're very confident of the support we can get in order to win the election, to take our case to the British people.
"Don't underestimate the support there is for the Labour Party, don't underestimate the anger there is out there at the levels of inequality and injustice within our society.
"We will expose all of that - that's where our case is very, very strong."