Jeremy Corbyn tells us: “I can still be Prime Minister. This is still on. Absolutely. Theresa May has been to the Palace. She’s attempting to form a government.
“She’s then got to present a programme to Parliament. We will – obviously – amend the Queen’s Speech. There’s a possibility of voting it down and we’re going to push that all the way.
“We have got a mandate to deal with issues of poverty, justice and inequality in Britain. We want to end austerity and invest in this country and that’s what we’re going to do. Nearly 13 million people voted for us to do it. That’s why I’m here.”
“I don’t think Theresa May and this government have any credibility. The Prime Minister called this election on the basis she would need a stronger mandate to negotiate Brexit. Well look what’s happened. The parallels are with 1974 when the Conservatives sought – as they have done this time – a ‘who governs Britain?’ mandate.
“Ted Heath lost and tried to form another government and tried to get another majority in Parliament. And eventually Harold Wilson managed to form a government. She’s taking us back to those times. It’s back to the seventies with Theresa May.”
“Everything’s still to play for. We can still do this. My phone is full of texts from lots and lots of people from right across the party. I’m very happy about that. I’m very proud to lead this party. And I’m open to everyone. It’s important to make that clear. I never get involved in personal abuse or anything like that. If people have political disagreements that’s fine. We can discuss those. I’ll be appointing a Shadow Cabinet over the next couple of days and announcing it next week.”
“We’ve got the biggest increase in the Labour vote between elections since the Second World War – we put on more than three million votes. We got 40 per cent of the share. That was the highest any opinion poll put us on. That was people coming back to Labour who had gone away a long time ago. And, of course, young people coming together to support us. A lot of young people told me they were voting Labour but their family weren’t – so they were working on them. There must have been some very complicated discussions around the kitchen table in home after home with young, enthusiastic people saying ‘this is why we’ve got to do it’.”
“The number of people who have been involved has been amazing. The enthusiasm was infectious and, of course, it infected me as well. It was great. The fundamental message I was putting forward is that we’re strong as a community.
“We didn’t have separate messages – one for the old, one for the young, one for the disabled. We had a message of hope. And that was for everyone. And that ideal is a basic human condition. I’ve worked as hard as I can over the last seven weeks. I know we can do this.”
“We’ve got to invest in the youth and the future of our nation. Austerity has dealt a bitter blow to their aspirations and that’s just wrong. For too long now the rich have got ever richer whilst those struggling have had no hope of improving their lot. That’s just wrong as well. We cannot continue along this path.
"There is a new movement in Britain demanding social change and the millions who voted for the Labour Party cannot and should not be denied. The Tories may be in government for now, but their model and lack of ambition is unsustainable. I’m ready for another general election. This is just the first step. I truly believe we can unite this nation and bring the kind of change the nation needs and demands. I feel energised by this result because I know we can build on it.”
Jeremy's words (abridged above) are from an interview by Keir Mudie in The Sunday Mirror. For the full interview, click here.
Jeremy walks on water video: click here.
Owen Jones writes in THE GUARDIAN (May 10):
'I owe Corbyn, John McDonnell, Seumas Milne, his policy chief Andrew Fisher, and others, an unreserved, and heartfelt apology. I campaigned passionately for Corbyn the first time he stood, and I voted for him twice. A few weeks ago, a senior Labour MP denounced me as one of the chief gravediggers of the Labour party, and journalists have suggested I should be knighted by the Tory party for my efforts.
But I came to believe that, yes, indeed Labour was heading for a terrible defeat which would crush all the things I believed in: that’s what all the polling, by-elections and the local elections seemed to say. I thought people had made their minds up about Corbyn, however unfairly, and their opinion just wouldn’t shift. I wasn’t a bit wrong, or slightly wrong, or mostly wrong, but totally wrong. Having one foot in the labour movement, and one in the mainstream media, undoubtedly left me more susceptible to their groupthink. Never again. Corbyn stays and – if indeed the Tories are thrown into crisis as Brexit approaches – he has an undoubted chance of becoming prime minister, and a fine prime minister he would make too.
Now that I’ve said I’m wrong – perhaps one of the sweetest things I’ve had to write – so the rest of the mainstream commentariat, including in this newspaper, must confess they were wrong, too. They were wrong to vilify Corbyn supporters – from the day he stood – as delusional cultists. They were wrong to suggest Corbyn couldn’t mobilise young people and previous non-voters. They were wrong to suggest he couldn’t make inroads in Scotland. They were wrong to suggest a radical left programme was an automatic recipe for electoral catastrophe. No, Labour hasn’t formed a government. But it is far closer than it has been for a very long time. The prospect of a socialist government that can build an economy run in the interests of working people – not the cartel of vested interests who have plunged us into repeated crisis – well, that may have been a prospect many of us thought would never happen in our lifetime. It is now much closer than it has ever been. So yes – to quote a much-ridiculed Jeremy Corbyn tweet: the real fight starts now."
For Owen Jones' full article, click here.