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Jeremy Corbyn will resurrect old rows, warns Prime Minister David Cameron

By Andrew Woodcock

Jeremy Corbyn will try to take Britain back "to the days of Michael Foot and Arthur Scargill" in the 1980s if he wins the leadership of the Labour Party today, David Cameron has warned.

Mr Cameron said he feared that the frontrunner to succeed Ed Miliband would seek to reopen arguments over nationalisation, nuclear weapons, taxation and union laws, which had been the subject of consensus between the major parties in recent decades.

However, he also said Conservative backbenchers were joking that they favoured Mr Corbyn as this would benefit their party.

Mr Cameron said: "You need a good Opposition to hold the Government to account. I just hope we have an Opposition where we are not going back to a whole lot of arguments that I thought we dealt with in the 1980s about it being time to nationalise half of British industry or get rid of our nuclear deterrent."

He said he thought the country was stronger for having Tory and Labour parties who "violently disagreed about lots of things but accepted a free enterprise economy, strong defence, trade unions under the law, not nationalising everything in sight, trying to keep tax rates low".

He added: "I think the country is stronger when you have shared objectives rather than when you've got someone who wants to take us back to the days of Michael Foot and Arthur Scargill."

In an earlier interview, the Prime Minister warned that Labour posed "a clear threat to the financial security of every family in Britain".

He said: "Whoever wins the Labour leadership tomorrow, this is now a party that has completely vacated the intellectual playing field and no longer, in my view, represents working people."

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