Isabel Hardman Isabel Hardman

Man bites dog as Corbyn tells Labour members: I want to win an election

Jeremy Corbyn’s conference speech includes the normally unremarkable but currently remarkable assertion that he wants Labour to win the next election. Given the debate that has raged within the Labour party over the past few months about purity vs power, that the re-elected Labour leader is saying this at all is significant. He will say tomorrow that he expects a general election next year and that ‘we expect all our members to support that effort, and we will be ready whenever it comes’.

Some Labour MPs will point out that this will require a dramatic shift from some members who haven’t yet delivered any party leaflets but are still threatening to de-select them. Others will complain that the Labour leader’s pre-briefed passage on addressing concerns about immigration rejects their calls for Labour to support greater curbs on migration. Corbyn will say:

‘A Labour government will not offer false promises. We will not sow division or fan the flames of fear. We will instead tackle the real issues of immigration – and make the real changes that are needed.

‘We will act to end the exploitation of migrant labour to undercut workers’ pay and conditions. And we will ease the pressure on hard pressed public services – services that are struggling to absorb Tory austerity cuts, in communities absorbing new populations.

‘Labour will reinstate the migrant impact fund, abolished by the Tory government. That will give extra support to areas of high migration. We will use the visa levy for its intended purpose. And we will add a citizenship application fee levy to boost the fund.’

In a round of broadcast interviews, Corbyn also said it was important to recognise the ‘huge contribution to our health service, our education service and many others’ that EU migrants make.

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