General Election 2017: Prime Minister Theresa May gives 'clear choice' to South Yorkshire voters after Doncaster visit

Prime Minister Theresa May
Prime Minister Theresa May

Theresa May told Doncaster voters they had a 'clear choice' between her and Jeremy Corbyn when they cast their vote next week.

Speaking to The Star after visiting a group of young mothers near the town today she repeated her campaign slogans, saying her own 'strong and stable' leadership would get a better Brexit deal than the Labour leader's 'coalition of chaos'.

Don Valley election candidates

Don Valley election candidates

In a five-minute telephone interview, Mrs May said she never predicted election results, but instead preferred to 'go out there and campaign hard'.

The Conservatives finished third in Doncaster Central and Doncaster North two years ago, and second in Don Valley - where Mrs May visited today. The Tories hope to challenge Labour's Caroline Flint by taking votes from Ukip, who finished third in 2015.

The Prime Minister also addressed issues raised by Star and Doncaster Free Press readers, from education to social care.

She spoke to young mothers at Kilham Hall community centre in Branton about early years services and their experiences with Ofsted.

Doncaster Central candidates

Doncaster Central candidates

One issue raised by readers was the loss of children's centres and the impact that had on early intervention and support for families. Mrs May said that subject had not come up in her discussion, but added that the Conservatives were spending a 'record' £6 billion on childcare nationwide.

She also highlighted the Tory policy of shared parental leave.

"We are increasing the availability of free hours of childcare," she said. "We are helping support parents with the costs."

On education, Mrs May said there would also be a 'record' amount of funding put into schools. Responding to claims made by teaching unions in March that the new funding formula would cost Doncaster schools £16 million, she said: "We do need to ensure that we have a fair funding formula for schools.

Doncaster North candidates

Doncaster North candidates

"We are putting record amounts of funding into schools and will continue to do that. We have pledged £4 billion extra.

"But we do need to see a fair distribution of that funding."

Mrs May added: "We are very clear that no schools will see their budget cut in cash terms.

"The people of Doncaster will recognise the importance of ensuring there is a fair funding formula for schools.

"We are going to ensure we put a record amount of funding into schools."

Support for the disabled was an issue raised on the Free Press Facebook page. Matthew Lester asked why, as a 28-year-old disabled man, he had to fight for an independent life as a result of budget cuts.

The Prime Minister said there were a 'variety of ways' in which the Conservatives supported disabled people, such as PIP payments - a system that replaced the Disability Living Allowance last year, but which has faced criticism for tightening the criteria for receiving funding.

Mrs May said the Government supported 'getting people into the workplace and helping them to live that independent life'.

She added: "We are very clear that we want to ensure that people who are disabled get more support to get into the workplace.

"One thing we have put in our manifesto is giving support to employers. The first year they are employing someone who is disabled, and this also applies to others such as veterans, we are giving them a holiday from paying National Insurance."

Mrs May said she would not predict this year's election result, but added: "When it comes to June 8 people will have a clear choice. We have one person who is going to be Prime Minister out of two.

"The choice people have is who do they want to provide the strong and stable leadership needed to ensure we get the best deal for Britain leaving Europe.

"And who do they believe has the will - and crucially the plan - to get the best deal for Brexit."

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