Corbyn seeks to tighten his grip on party in first leader’s speech

Paul Apps Benenden Hospital

Jeremy Corbyn sought to tighten his grip on the Labour party with a vow to oppose spending cuts, replacing Trident and bombing jihadi terrorists in Syria.

In a speech at the Labour Party conference yesterday, the leader was forced to deny his left-wing anti-cuts, anti-war agenda poses a threat to national security.

He attacked the media and the Conservatives, and was given a standing ovation for calling for an end to abuse online.

Left-wing supporters packed into the conference hall in Brighton were delighted with Mr Corbyn’s new ‘straight-talking, honest politics’.


But during the hour-long speech, in which he complained about social media abuse and quoted poets, he failed to mention immigration or the deficit – the two biggest issues on which Labour remains untrusted by voters.

David Cameron dismissed the socialist’s pitch to Britain, claiming Labour is ‘heading off into the hills’.

Mr Corbyn repeatedly sought to assert his authority by boasting that with almost 60 per cent of the votes of Labour members and supporters, he has a huge ‘mandate for change’.

He said: “It was a vote for change in the way we do politics, in the Labour Party and the country.

“Kinder, more inclusive. Bottom-up, not top-down. In every community and workplace, not just at Westminster.”

Since Mr Corbyn was elected less than three weeks ago, he has been embroiled in controversies, over the lack of women in top jobs, appointing IRA sympathiser and anti-capitalist John McDonnell as shadow chancellor, not singing sing God Save the Queen at a Battle of Britain service and questioning why he should kneel for the Queen.

He suffered a major setback this week when a vote on Trident was dramatically pulled from the conference agenda when it became clear MPs and trade unions would unite to vote to keep the nuclear warheads.

But Mr Corbyn insisted: “There is one position I want to make absolutely clear and I believe I have a mandate for this.

“I don’t believe spending £100billion on new nuclear weapons is the right way forward.”

Mr Corbyn’s frontbench team wants to push through a vote within the shadow cabinet – binding the party into backing military action.

The leader – who has vowed to oppose airstrikes – would then be forced to vote for action or risk sparking ridicule by rebelling against his own policy.

But Mr Corbyn made clear his opposition to bombing ISIS in Syria, calling for ‘clever, patient, difficult diplomacy’ instead.

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter