The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn received a standing ovation during a flagship speech in Corby today when, in response to a Sky News journalist, he slammed the UK’s billionaire-owned mainstream media for failing to properly hold the Tories to account over soaring levels of poverty and inequality.
Following Corbyn’s speech – in which he outlined Labour’s position on a confirmatory Brexit referendum and their wider domestic agenda – the Labour leader took questions from assembled journalists.
Sky News journalist, Sam Coates, asked Mr Corbyn:
“This morning your own Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, said that in the event of another referendum, he would campaign and vote to Remain. Do you agree with him 100% on that?”
“And, if you don’t, do you understand why many of the people – particularly from other parties – who you are asking to back you in a vote of no confidence, but want the same as Mr McDonnell, might be having second thoughts?”
In response, the Labour leader launched a blistering tirade against the Tories’ record in government and accused the mainstream media of failing to properly report it, before claiming that if the Tories’ failures had happened under a Labour government, the media would be in constant uproar, stating:
“We will do everything we can to stop a No Deal Brexit, and I’ve made it very clear that, in accordance with the democratic decision taken by our conference last year, an incoming Labour government will facilitate a referendum where everyone will have the chance to decide between a deal or remaining in the European Union.”
“But, the real issue is of course [Brexit] in the immediate future, but the longer term issue is what I outlined in my speech: it’s about what kind of society we want to be.”
“I want to be a society that’s prosperous, that’s inclusive, that’s humane, thats decent, that’s outward-looking – that, above all, ends the horror of inequality and poverty that exists in modern Britain.”
“Should it be really possible to do this? Yeah! Is it right that children go to school hungry? Is it right headteachers have to raise money in order to keep their schools going? Is it right the stress that housing officers and others are put under when they have to say no to everybody that turns up wanting a place to live because there are none being built? Or can we instead invest in the future – invest in education, invest in good quality jobs, and reduce the grotesque levels of inequality in our society?”
“I want to be proud to lead a Labour government that achieves those things.”
“When the U.N produces a report that says millions of people in the fifth richest country in the world are living in poverty, and it’s getting worse: if that came out under a Labour government, every media outlet in the land would be condemning us! And they would be right!”
“Where’s the voice against the Tories doing that?”
You can watch Corbyn’s passionate and completely unscripted response below: