The Communist Party has welcomed Labour's advances in the opinion polls but warns that 18 months of scurrilous attacks on Jeremy Corbyn from the mass media and within his own party have left Labour with a mountain still to climb.

Addressing the CP political committee, Ben Chacko singled out Labour's election manifesto as a turning point in the campaign which has seen the Tory lead slump from more than 20 points to single digit figures.

'A hung parliament is now more likely and a Labour victory no longer impossible', the Morning Star editor commented, especially with the mass registration of young voters. Either result would represent a 'humiliation' for Prime Minister Theresa May.

In contrast to a Tory campaign of self-aggrandisement, childish mantras, personalised abuse and uncosted manifesto policies, Labour's manifesto pledges to abolish zero-hour contracts, boost incomes, tax the rich and big business and renationalise railways, the Royal Mail and utilities are proving popular.

'It's testament to the shallowness of decades of neoliberal ideological dominance that public opinion remains steadily in favour of what has been branded on all sides of the Commons chamber as unthinkable, loony left, dinosaur politics', Mr Chacko pointed out.

He poured particular scorn on Tory and right-wing media charges that Jeremy Corbyn is 'soft on terrorism' because he opposes British and US imperialism's wars abroad.

'This is deeply hypocritical, considering the evidence that the Manchester bomber was radicalised in the war to overthrow Colonel Gadaffi in Libya, where Britain backed Islamist rebels and appears to have removed control orders so that their supporters in Britain could go to Libya and join them', the Morning Star editor accused.

But Britain's Communists warned that Brexit remained a weak plank in Labour's election platform, even though Tory and LibDem efforts to make it the main election issue were failing.

'Labour needs to make clear that the question is not primarily about which party leader will be stronger in the exit negotiations - but whose interests they will strongly represent', Mr Chacko insisted.

'Will it be the interests of the people through Labour's policies for repatriating powers to invest in industry and manufacturing, expand public ownership and extend workers' rights - or the interests of the City of London and big business?' he asked.

The Communist Party political committee urged party members and supporters to step up their efforts still further in the final week of the election campaign, to prevent a victory for 'austerity, privatisation and war' and for the historic election of a left-led Labour government'.