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Corbyn visits Tory marginals to remind voters ‘there is an alternative’

The Labour leader has promised to visit all 73 Tory-held marginals all over the country.

Jeremy Corbyn promised to carry on reminding voters in Tory marginals that “there is an alternative” as he continued his election-style summer campaign with visits to two Conservative-held seats on the south coast.

The Labour leader told supporters in Southampton that Theresa May’s Conservatives should “step aside” for a Labour “government in waiting”, while he told fans in Bournemouth that there were “no no-go areas anywhere in the country” for his party.

Mr Corbyn, who spoke for 45 minutes to dozens of supporters in a room at the Hallmark Hotel, West Cliff, in the traditional Tory stronghold of Bournemouth, joked with supporters who peered through windows from outside- turning to them and saying: “Hello outside, I did not realise you were all out here.”

The hotel is in the constituency of Bournemouth West, which has been Conservative since its creation in 1950, but saw a 6.6% swing to Labour cut the Tory majority almost in half in June.

Mr Corbyn said: “We have got to reach out to everybody all over the whole country, and so this is one of many visits I am making to constituencies – particularly Tory-held marginals – which I think need to be reminded that there is an alternative and that we offer it.

“So I’ve promised I will visit all 73 of the Tory-held marginals all over the country, and I have got 35 of those planned between now and party conference in September.

“So the election was just a huge dress rehearsal for the next election.”

Mr Corbyn, who was greeted with chants of “Oh Jeremy Corbyn”, spoke at length about a variety of issues including bus and train services, education, music in schools and homelessness.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn meets supporters in Bournemouth (Ben Stevens/PA)

He also promised he would never use personal abuse and urged Labour supporters not to either.

He said: “I understand some of our national daily newspapers are quite hostile to us … it doesn’t bother me because I don’t read it.

“They write all this stuff. I will not, and never do, respond to that stuff – and I don’t use that kind of language about anybody.

“I am not getting in the gutter … we need to set an example of not using personal abuse to anybody at any time, including on social media.”

Jeremy Corbyn met with the EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels last week (Olivier Hoslet/AP)

Commenting on his visit to Brussels on Thursday, Mr Corbyn said a Labour government would have a foreign policy based on “human rights, justice, democracy and environmental sustainability”.

“Ours would be a government that would be quite prepared to be very blunt with President Donald Trump; ‘don’t walk away from the Paris climate change accord’ and stand up for the environment,” he said.

He added of the June poll: “We were written off by every commentator and the commentariat; we were told this was an election about the re-election of Theresa May and the Tory government to be strong and stable and to beat a coalition of chaos.

“I haven’t heard too much about strong and stable since June 8, and the only coalition of chaos I see is when I sit on our front bench and look across the aisle.”


From Belfast Telegraph