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Jeremy Corbyn says he is daunted but ‘determined’ by prospect of being PM

The Labour leader is preparing to unveil a raft of proposals at the party’s annual conference.

Jeremy Corbyn will lead the Labour Party conference next week (PA)
Jeremy Corbyn will lead the Labour Party conference next week (PA)

By Sam Blewett, Political Correspondent, and George Ryan, Political Reporter, PA

Jeremy Corbyn has said the prospect of becoming the next prime minister daunts him, but insisted he is “utterly determined” to carry out his policies in government.

The Labour leader is preparing to unveil a raft of proposals at the party’s annual conference that he would enact if he wins a general election.

Boris Johnson has twice tried to call an early election to break the Brexit deadlock in Parliament, but opposition parties have voted him down.

They have cited fears that the Prime Minister could use a vote to force through a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Corbyn told the BBC that he is “absolutely” ready to become PM, but asked if he was daunted, he replied: “Yes.”

But he added that he is “utterly determined to carry through into government our programme to bring about better social justice all across this country”.

Mr Corbyn has called for economic reform to tackle wealth inequalities between different parts of the UK ahead of his party conference starting in Brighton on Saturday.

He said Labour analysis of Office for National Statistics data suggesting “dramatic” inequality across the nation is a “sign of a sick economy”.

“The system is broken when it inflates the wealth of the richest while failing to invest in our future,” he added.

“This inequality doesn’t just undermine our future prosperity, it’s linked to all sorts of social problems, including violent crime, worse health outcomes and reduced access to education.

“But we can change things. Democracy moves power from the bank balance and the boardroom to the voting booth.”

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Mr Corbyn with Carolyn Harris MP during a visit to a kids’ lunch club in Swansea (PA)

Labour’s research suggested that the richest 10% of Londoners hold nearly two-thirds of the city’s total wealth (61%).

While the same group of Londoners have one-and-a-quarter times more wealth than the whole of Scotland and almost two-and-a-half times more wealth than the whole of Wales, the analysis added.

Luke Raikes, senior research fellow at IPPR North, said the figures are “further evidence that our economy is broken”.

“Outside of London, low public investment means regional economies like the North are held back, while London’s overheating economy drives up both house prices and inequalities,” he added.

“We cannot fix these problems from Whitehall. People in regions across the country need more power so that they can take the lead on their own affairs.

“The political parties must step up to prompt this change, devolve power and follow through on promises to invest in Northern people and infrastructure”.

Tory chairman James Cleverly criticised Mr Corbyn’s plans, saying they would “leave the economy on life support”.

“Labour would wreck the economy and, just like last time, working people would pay the price,” he added.

PA

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