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Jeremy Corbyn seeks to enthuse Labour; ready for 2017 polls

world Updated: Sep 29, 2016 01:03 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times
Jeremy Corbyn

Britain's Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers his keynote speech at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool, Britain, on Wednesday.(AP)

Many Labour MPs remain uneasy, but Jeremy Corbyn, now elected party leader for the second time in a year with increased support, insisted on Wednesday his party was ready to face elections in 2017, and laid out ten promises seen as part of the “socialism for the 21st century”.

Delivering a speech on the last day of the Labour conference in Liverpool, Corbyn, elected leader on Saturday with 62 per cent votes, said more people had joined the party in the last 20 months than in the last 20 years.

But there was more cause for worry for Corbyn’s critics within the party when he refused to promise to cut immigration in government, and went on to appreciate the contribution made by immigrants in the National Health Service and other areas of British public life.

Corbyn said Theresa May was not elected to be the prime minister (she took over after David Cameron resigned following the June 23 Brexit vote), and added: “This isn’t a new government, it’s David Cameron’s government, repackaged with progressive slogans, but with a new harsh right-wing edge, taking the country backwards, and dithering before the historic challenges of Brexit”.

“Who seriously believes that the Tories could ever stand up to the privileged few? They are the party of the privileged few, funded by the privileged few, for the benefit of the privileged few,” he added.

Recalling that the party won all four recent by-elections under his leadership, besides mayoral elections in London, Bristol, Salford and Liverpool, Corbyn said he would learn the lessons of the second leadership campaign.