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Donald Trump 'tapped into real problems', says Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Published 12/11/2016

Jeremy Corbyn says people in the US and UK feel left behind
Jeremy Corbyn says people in the US and UK feel left behind

Donald Trump's election is a "global wake-up call" showing that Britain must take back control from the billionaires bank-rolling the Tories, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has warned.

Mr Corbyn has accused Theresa May's Conservatives of aping the US president-elect by "fanning the flames of fear" and offering empty slogans instead of real solutions.

The Labour leader said Mr Trump had targeted the genuine concerns of people who feel left behind by the economic change of globalisation, but shifted the blame onto other sections of society instead of big business and vested interests.

"Donald Trump tapped into real problems: stagnating or falling wages, underfunded public services, insecure work and housing, years of being left behind and neglected, frustration that your children's prospects look bleaker, and anger at a political elite that doesn't listen.

"But instead of offering real solutions or the resources to make them work, he offered only someone to blame - everyone, that is, apart from those who are actually responsible for a broken economy and a failed political system.

"The Tories do the same. They have opened the door to Ukip and fanned the flames of fear. Nigel Farage blames immigrants, yet offers not a single proposal to put a penny more into the NHS.

"He actually wants to privatise our NHS, a service that now relies on hard-working migrants to keep going.

"There is a common thread of experience for tens of millions of people in the US and UK.

"In both countries, people feel left behind: marginalised and disrespected by an economic system that makes them work harder for less, while hoovering up ever greater rewards for a small elite.

"People are right to be angry: our failed economic system is delivering falling living standards and rising inequality, " he told Labour's South East regional conference in Kent.

Mr Corbyn insisted that leaving the EU would not deal with the damage of globalisation by itself.

"We have no idea how Donald Trump proposes to 'make America great again', and Theresa May's Tories offer slogans, but no solutions, for most people in Britain.

"We won't tackle the damage done by elite globalisation just by leaving the EU. We won't 'take back control' unless we take on the corporate vested interests that control our energy, our transport, and have infiltrated our public services.

"One thing is for sure: neither billionaire Donald Trump, nor the billionaire-backed Tories, have any interest in giving people back control, or reining in the predatory excesses of a globalised free-for-all," Mr Corbyn said.

Responding to the speech, a Conservative spokesman said: "Jeremy Corbyn presides over a Labour Party that is divided, divisive and utterly out of step with the concerns of ordinary working people.

"Labour would bankrupt our country like they did last time, erode our armed forces making us less safe - and they also don't think there should be any limits on immigration at all."

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