Anti-austerity protesters show support for Jeremy Corbyn
Demonstrators headed from Portland Place to Parliament Square.
Campaigners chanting Jeremy Corbyn’s name marched through central London against austerity and the Conservatives.
A number wore t-shirts with Corbyn and a tick printed on them and one banner featured the Labour leader riding on a unicorn under a rainbow.
The crowd repeatedly took up the chant of “oh Jeremy Corbyn” and “Tories out” during the rally on Saturday afternoon.
Many carried banners saying Tories Out, with one reading No DUP, No sanctions, No more while another said Capitalism Kills. Organise To Fight Back. Justice For Grenfell. Safety For All.
The protest assembled at BBC Broadcasting House in Portland Place before moving on to Parliament Square.
There was a strong police presence at the demonstration, with some of the roads around the square closed to traffic.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell vowed to support the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in west London when he spoke at the event.
He said: “To the victims of Grenfell Tower we pledge now, we will stand with you and your families all the way through. We bring you sympathy but more importantly we bring you solidarity.
“We will not rest until every one of those families is properly housed within the community in which they want to live.
“Grenfell Tower symbolised for many everything that’s gone wrong in this country since austerity was imposed upon us.”
He slammed the Tories for praising the emergency services “every time there’s a tragedy” but then cutting jobs and wages.
Jeremy Corbyn rounded on the Tories for this week raising hopes the public sector pay cap would be lifted, before later dampening expectations and voting against a Labour amendment to the Queen’s Speech to scrap the 1% ceiling.
In front of a crowd of thousands chanting “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” in Parliament Square, the Labour leader said, in reference to the Tories’ deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP): “I say to any public sector workers in Northern Ireland or anywhere else – don’t have any illusions in these people, when they started the austerity programme they meant it and they meant it to carry on.
“And carry on with a growing gap between the richest and poorest in our society, with a growing impoverishment of those at the bottom, a growing under-funding of local government, health, education and all the other things that we all need in a civilised society.”
Mr Corbyn slammed the “hypocrisy” of Tory MPs who praised the work of the emergency services dealing with recent terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower disaster.
“The utter hypocrisy of Government ministers and others who queued up in the chamber over there in the House of Commons to heap praise on the emergency services, the following day to cut their wages by refusing to lift the pay cap,” he said.
“The hypocrisy is absolutely unbelievable.”