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Javid claims Corbyn will ‘rig’ democracy if Labour win next election

The Home Secretary warned the Scottish Tory conference the party could end up being out of power for a generation if it loses the next UK vote.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid (Jane Barlow/PA)
Home Secretary Sajid Javid (Jane Barlow/PA)

Sajid Javid has launched a scathing attack on Jeremy Corbyn, claiming the Labour leader would “rig our precious democracy” if he got into power.

The Home Secretary warned if Labour won the next General Election – which he suggested “could well come before 2022” – the Tories could be out of power for a generation.

He hit out at Mr Corbyn during a speech at the Scottish Conservative conference in Aberdeen.

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Home Secretary Sajid Javid addresses delegates during the Scottish Conservatives’ annual party conference at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (Jane Barlow/PA)

Mr Javid said: “All the tricks of ‘permanent revolution’ will be visited upon our country.

“His great prize will be to rig our precious democracy, just the way he started rigging the Labour Party as soon as he got in.

“Whether it’s changing the electoral system, refusing to equalise constituency boundaries or threatening press freedom – to name a few.

“In short: undermining the norms of our multi-party democracy, not for any noble democratic principles but to keep the hard left’s grip on power no matter what the will of the British people.”

In a speech that could be seen as a leadership pitch to Scottish Conservatives, Mr Javid emphasised his “one nation” credentials and warned delegates a divided Tory party would usher Mr Corbyn into Downing Street with the support of Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.

He added: “It’s clear our union, our country and our party are all at a crossroads. And we know that it’s in times of uncertainty that the seeds of radicalism are sown.

“There are three different revolutions seeking to exploit this situation: Corbyn’s socialism. SNP-style separatism and far-right populism.”

He condemned the fact the UK had failed to leave the European Union and warned the Tories risked losing voters’ trust for “not delivering on a promise at the heart of our last manifesto”.

We shouldn’t be surprised if people tick the protest box on the ballot paper Sajid Javid MP

Setting out areas he felt the Conservatives would face a “tough” election campaign, he said: “We need people to know that we share their values and understand their needs.

“That’s the underlying reason why we have struggled with some ethnic minority voters, young voters, working-class voters and, yes, Scottish voters until recent times.”

After losing more than 750 councillors, the former Local Government Secretary said: “This morning, we all woke up to disappointing local election results in England.

“Of course we knew it would be a tough time in the cycle. We knew there was frustration about our national politics. I heard plenty of it myself knocking on doors in Wakefield yesterday.

“And, there’s no denying the European elections in a few weeks will be even more challenging – in every part of the UK.”

He added: “We shouldn’t be surprised if people tick the protest box on the ballot paper.

“Without anything else at stake, it will be a verdict on the delivery of Brexit.”

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Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson and Home Secretary Sajid Javid during the conference (Jane Barlow/PA)

Rejecting the ideas of a second referendum on the EU or Scottish independence, Mr Javid described the idea as “an absolute gift to the Nats”.

Mr Javid added: “I know Nicola Sturgeon has never met a referendum she hasn’t wanted to overturn but I say to her: Stop trying to rerun the referendums of the past and stop weaponising Brexit for your own narrow agenda.

“No more second guessing. No second referendum on EU membership. No second referendum on Scottish separatism.”

Responding to the speech, Scottish Labour deputy leader Lesley Laird said:  “It is the recklessness of the Tories which has harmed our economy, with years of austerity hitting living standards.

“A Labour Government will transform our economy for the many with investment in public services, and Jeremy Corbyn has been clear that there will be no deals or pacts with the SNP.”

PA

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