Labour approves most of draft manifesto

Jeremy Corbyn confirmed the Labour party manifesto had been approved Credit: PA

The bulk of what are left-wing - and for many, contentious - policies in Labour's draft manifesto were approved today by the 80-odd senior party figures who met to discuss their programme for government.

According to sources who were at the manifesto meeting, the party will next week commit to nationalise Royal Mail and water companies, funded by selling government debt or bonds.

And student fees would be abolished, with university costs funded by higher corporate taxes.

Labour would also like to find a way to write off the student loans of existing graduates, but won't commit to doing so at the moment.

But there was a backing away by the party's leaders from wholesale nationalisation of the energy industry. Instead, energy companies would be subject to much tighter regulation.

However, new publicly-owned regional energy companies will be encouraged - which could be seen as nationalisation by stealth.

Energy companies will be subject to much higher regulation under the plans Credit: PA

Meanwhile, the controversial issue of delaying pension payments for older women - the so-called WASPI question - is being looked at again. "We want to address this question," said an influential Labour member. "But we are not yet quite there in how we help these women".

And some promises to increase payments to the disabled will also be reviewed.

That said, my sources tell me the thrust of the leaked manifesto has been preserved - with Labour set to pledge big increases in spending on schools, health, welfare and social care for the elderly, and much greater powers for trade unions.

They said the final manifesto, to be published on Tuesday, will show "how everything will be paid" - either through higher taxes, borrowing or efficiency savings.

"We didn't spend too much time on how the manifesto was leaked and we focused instead on the policies" said a source.

"We were promised a leak enquiry [by Jeremy Corbyn], so presumably we'll find out who leaked, and why."