Jeremy Corbyn chose Corby today to make a general election and remain vote pledge saying that his party offered ‘a real change of direction’.
In front of a packed room of supporters at the Pen Green Centre in Corby and before the nation’s TV cameras, Labour’s leader made his next steps clear and said a general election was needed to stop the Brexit crisis.
He said he would do ‘anything necessary to stop a disastrous no deal for which this government has no mandate’ and give voters the final say on the Europe situation.
The labour leader said he will call a vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson’s Conservative government, try to form a cross party minority government and then call an immediate general election in an attempt to stop the UK crashing out of Europe without a deal.
This was the first time a clear timetable was outlined by the leader of the opposition as the October 31st deadline approaches. Although he gave no date for any general election saying ‘I don’t know when it is going to be so don’t ask me’.
It comes after a leaked report has said no deal Brexit will lead to shortages of food and medicine.
During his 20 minute speech, he also made a package of promises including ‘rebuilding public services’, free education until 18 and getting rid of tuition fees. He said a Labour government would make it compulsory for local government to deliver youth services. He also made clear that the NHS was not for sale and would put into public ownership rail, mail and water services.
Unsurprisingly he made a series of harsh criticisms against the Conservative government saying that under Boris Johnson it had ‘lurched to the hard right’ and accusing the Conservatives of creating a modern Britain in which inequality was getting worse. He also took aim at Margaret Thatcher’s right to buy policy which he said had led to an explosion in the private rental sector.
He said: “Things cannot go on as they were before. The Conservatives and a very wealthy elite have failed our country. They have savaged our public services and have deepened inequality in Britain.”
On the subject of Northamptonshire County Council’s now infamous financial collapse he said the authority serves as a warning to others.
He said: “When a local authority is faced with forty to fifty percent cuts something has to give. What gives are the services that the most vulnerable need. We cannot go on like this. We will properly fund local government and education.”
During the media question time there was jeering of journalist’s questions from the 200 strong crowd and one supporter made an attack on the media. The MP said a free press was essential, although if elected he would be pursuing media reforms.
The Labour party had booked out the award-winning pen green Corby centre as a venue for the speech and the MP did not go on a tour of the building.
Corby was chosen as a key marginal seat for Labour. Conservative MP Tom Pursglove has a majority of just above 2,000 and labour’s parliamentary candidate Beth Miller was co-host of today’s event.
Speaking at the event Beth Miller said that under the previous Labour government in the 2000s Corby had transformed from a “crappy town to the fastest growing borough outside of London”.
Labour leader of Corby Council Tom Beattie was not at the event.