Jeremy Corbyn will say this election will be “harder and dirtier” than ever before as he and Boris Johnson kickstart their campaigns.
Even before the 12 December polling day receives Royal Assent, the Labour leader will attack a “corrupt system” that aids “tax dodgers, bad bosses, big polluters and dodgy landlords”.
Boris Johnson will open his own party’s campaign by seeking to blame the Labour leader personally for his failure to clinch Britain’s exit from the EU before 31 October.
The prime minister will say: “Today should have been the day that Brexit was delivered and we finally left the EU.
“But, despite the great new deal I agreed with the EU, Jeremy Corbyn refused to allow that to happen – insisting upon more dither, more delay and more uncertainty for families and business.”
It comes after the pre-Christmas polling day was all but confirmed as the election bill passed unamended through the Lords.
Mr Corbyn will say: “Boris Johnson’s born-to-rule Conservatives protect the privileged few. They’ve slashed taxes for the richest and vital services and support for everyone else.
“But real change is coming.
“This election is a once-in-a-generation chance to transform our country, take on the vested interests holding people back and ensure that no community is left behind.
“So in this election they’ll fight harder and dirtier than ever before. They’ll throw everything at us because they know we’re not afraid to take them on.”
The prime minister will seek to paint the Labour leader as weak and indecisive as he goes on the offensive.
He will say: “I want next year to be a great year for our country – with more investment in frontline NHS services, the recruitment of thousands more police officers…
“The alternative is for the people of this country to spend the next year, which should be a glorious year, going through the toxic, tedious torpor of two more referendums – on EU membership and Scottish independence – thanks to Jeremy Corbyn’s incessant indecision.”
Their speeches come as members of parliament prepare to head back to their constituencies for the first winter election in decades.
More than 40 MPs announced they will be standing down at this election, including cabinet minister Nicky Morgan, who is currently the culture secretary.
She cited personal reasons including pressure on her family and abuse in her decision not to seek re-election in her Loughborough seat.
It came after Amber Rudd rowed publicly with the Conservative chief whip after a bid to return to the party for her last days in the Commons was snubbed.
A total of 13 Labour MPs announced they won’t be seeking re-election, including Kate Hoey, the Brexit-supporting Vauxhall MP.