Jeremy Corbyn has reissued his call for a general election to “resolve” the country’s problems – and derided the Tory party conference as a “debate between Boris Johnson and the rest of the world”.
In a speech to around 200 party supporters in Halesowen, West Midlands, Mr Corbyn said a united Labour party could take the fight to the Conservatives in Parliament and around the country.
The Labour leader, who was mobbed by selfie-hunting fans following his speech, appeared alongside the party’s parliamentary candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis, Ian Cooper.
Mr Corbyn mentioned the issue of Brexit once in his speech, telling activists: “I am absolutely sure that however people voted in that referendum, nobody voted to lose their job.”
“Nobody voted to see their workers’ rights diminished as a result of it. So we have set down our six tests by which we will measure this government’s performance.”
“We are not looking for a sweetheart deal with Donald Trump that will give us chlorinated chicken.”
“We are looking for something far more serious than that. And that is the point that we are making very, very clear.”
Mr Corbyn added: “What you will hear from the Tory party this week is probably some degree of debate between Boris Johnson and the rest of the world.”
“I am sure it will be an unedifying spectacle and the language he uses may well become extremely colourful. Frankly, I don’t care.”
“What I am interested about is us challenging that government… us, as a party united. Us as a party giving an offer to the young people, as well as the older people in our society, of what we can achieve.”
“I tell you this – I am not happy living in a country where some of our fellow citizens sleep rough every night.”
“I am not happy living in a country where a million need to use food banks – most of them in work but so badly paid they can’t afford to feed themselves properly.”
Ending his speech to cheers, Mr Corbyn concluded: “I don’t know what the next few weeks will bring.”
“All I know is this – our party, strong, determined, united, will take the fight to the Tories, take them on in Parliament, take them on in the country. And the best way of resolving these problems is a general election.”