Jeremy Corbyn decided to devote much of his final major speech in the EU referendum campaign to attack the Conservative Party, rather than Brexit campaigners, with just hours to go before the polls opened for the 23 June vote.

The left-winger, who was joined at a Remain rally with Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale and Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones, branded Zac Goldsmith's bid for City Hall as the "most disgusting" he had seen and continued to criticise the Tories throughout the speech.

Corbyn also admitted that the EU needed "a lot of change", while stressing that he wanted the UK to stay inside the 28-nation-bloc in a bid to reform it. "

"We believe that Britain would be better off in the European Union, not because we don't think Europe needs a lot of change and a lot of reform," he told a London crowd.

"I want to stay in Europe in order to change and reform it. But I think it offers the best cross-border framework to defend living standards, rights and protections for our people. But voting to Remain, we can protect jobs linked to Europe – millions of jobs across this country dependent on export and trade with Europe.

"We can defend workers' rights, which our Tory leaders and the leaders of the exit campaign think are unimportant and want to scrap the regulations that protect so much. We can safeguard our NHS from the threat of run-away Tory cuts and privatisation."

Corbyn, who voted to leave the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1975 and until recently was considered a Eurosceptic, concluded by urging Labour voters to "do what's best for our people". He declared: "Vote for jobs, votes for rights at work, vote for our NHS and vote to Remain in the European Union."

The speech came as Remain and Leave campaigners made their final pleas to the British public ahead of the historic vote. Ukip leader Nigel Farage, in his final speech of the campaign, warned that the EU was heading in a federalist direction.

"We don't even have a British passport anymore, it's got 'European Union' on it, which is of course available to up to 580 million people," he told a Westminster rally.

""Let's stop pretending what this European project is. They have an anthem. They're building an army. They've already go their own police force. And of course they've got a flag. At the end of the day when people vote tomorrow, they must make a decision – which flag is theirs?"

The latest telephone poll from Survation, of more than 1,000 people on 20 June, Remain on 45% (=) and Leave on 44% (+2). A separate online survey from YouGov, of more than 1,600 people between 18 and 19 June, put Leave on 44% (+1) and Remain on 42% (-2). Another YouGov survey is expected when polls close at 10pm BST on 23 June.

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