Jeremy Corbyn picks his shadow cabinet after Labour leadership victory – live – Telegraph.co.uk
“Who can now seriously claim that young people aren’t interested in politics or that there is no appetite for a new kind of politics?
“Above all, it has shown that millions of people want a real alternative, not business as usual, either inside or outside the Labour party.”
On his leadership style:
We fought and won on the basis of policies, not personalities, without abuse or rancour. For the absolute avoidance of doubt, my leadership will be about unity, drawing on all the talents – with women representing half of the shadow cabinet – and working together at every level of the party.
“Our aim is to bring into the heart of the party the hundreds of thousands who have taken part in the leadership, deputy leadership and London mayoral elections. We will succeed by making Labour a movement once more.”
On the economy:
For the Conservatives, the deficit is just an excuse to railroad through the same old Tory agenda: driving down wages, cutting taxes for the wealthiest, allowing house prices to spiral out of reach, selling off our national assets and attacking trade unions. You can’t cut your way to prosperity, you have to build it: investing in modern infrastructure, investing in people and their skills, harnessing innovative ideas and new ways of working to tackle climate change to protect our environment and our future.
“Our job is to show that the economy and our society can be made to work for everyone. That means ensuring we stand up against injustice wherever we find it and we fight for a fairer and more democratic future that meets the needs of all.”
On international conflict:
It is clear, too, that the prime minister will soon again be asking us to bomb Syria. That won’t help refugees, it will create more.
“Isis is utterly abhorrent and President Assad’s regime has committed appalling crimes. But we must also oppose Saudi bombs falling on Yemen and the Bahraini dictatorship murdering its democracy movement, armed by us.
“Our role is to campaign for peace and disarmament around the world.”
Labour grandees left ‘deeply fearful’
Labour grandees, including Lord Mandelson and David Blunkett, who both served under Tony Blair, warned that the party under Mr Corbyn was facing disaster.
Speaking outside Labour’s special conference in Westminster, Mr Blunkett said he was “deeply fearful” about Labour’s future and warned that Mr Corbyn’s aggressive supporters must be reined in.
“One of them spoke to me in the conference and said ‘Jeremy in; Blairites out,’” he said.
Photo: AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth
“Now if that is the attitude we’re on the road nowhere. We need policies that mean something and are relevant to people out there. The issue is whether there will be a Labour government in 2020 which will be addressing the issues in four and a half years’ time which are very different to the ones Jeremy has been campaigning on today.
“We cannot fulfil anybody’s promises and we cannot help those that need a Labour government most if we remain in opposition. I am deeply fearful of the direction which we might go.”
Lord Soley, a former chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, said he feared victory for Mr Corbyn “may have handed the next election to the Tory party”.
Comparing the choice of leader to that of Iain Duncan Smith taking charge of the Conservatives in 2001, he said: “They very quickly got rid of IDS. I do not see that happening as quickly with Labour.”
Mr Corbyn’s team hit back at their critics, declaring that New Labour’s legacy was dead after the “Blairite” leadership candidate, Liz Kendall, won just 4.5 per cent of the vote. One of the new leader’s advisers said: “The Blairites didn’t even get five per cent of the vote – they are a historical anomaly.”
Jeremy Corbyn gets down to business
After his stunning victory in the Labour leadership elections yesterday, Jeremy Corbyn is getting down to business by picking his top team.
Mr Corbyn had been scheduled to appear on this morning’s edition of the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme but has sent his new deputy Tom Watson in his place.
The 66-year-old will instead be focusing on selecting his shadow cabinet, a task made difficult by eight resignations from the existing one yesterday.
On Saturday Mr Corbyn was preparing to bring back a number of socialist MPs to the the party’s front bench, including Diane Abbott, the former minister Michael Meacher, and John McDonnell, his campaign manager.
Mr Corbyn now faces a huge struggle to unite the Labour party in parliament behind his leadership. Only 15 per cent of MPs – many reluctantly – agreed to nominate him so that his name could be on the ballot paper in June.
A number did so saying that they would not be voting for him and hoped he would not win.
Jamie Reed, the shadow health minister was the first to quit yesterday, publishing his resignation letter while Mr Corbyn was still on stage making his acceptance speech.
Within minutes of the result being announced, Tristram Hunt quit as Labour’s shadow education secretary, Rachel Reeves resigned from her post as shadow work and pensions secretary, and Emma Reynolds quit as shadow communities secretary.
Mrs Cooper, the shadow home secretary, Ms Kendall, who was shadow care minister, and Chris Leslie, the shadow chancellor, have also indicated that they will not serve under Mr Corbyn.
Angela Smith, a shadow environment, also quit in protest at Mr Corbyn’s foreign policies.
Jeremy Corbyn swept to victory in a landslide win during the Labour leadership election yesterday.
He picked up more than 251,000 of the 422,000 votes cast, leaving Andy Burnham in a distant second place.
How the members, registered supporters and affiliated supporters ALL backed Jeremy Corbyn
Mr Corbyn’s supporters chanted “Jez we did” as he took to the stage, putting on his glasses to deliver his acceptance speech.
He said the campaign “showed our party and our movement, passionate, democratic, diverse, united and absolutely determined in our quest for a decent and better society that is possible for all.”