We’ve just started to change party, Jeremy Corbyn tells rally

Jeremy Corbyn with members of Brighton Table Tennis Club on eve of party conference. Picture: PA
Jeremy Corbyn with members of Brighton Table Tennis Club on eve of party conference. Picture: PA
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Jeremy Corbyn last night said the “transformation” of Labour under his leadership is just starting and his drive to give members more control over the party will help win power.

He claimed plans to give his grassroots support a greater role would help oust Theresa May and tackle “inequality and injustice” in the country.

Politics is about us all coming together to decide our futures

Corbyn used an eve-of-conference rally to say Labour must be ready to form a government “whenever the next election is called” – indicating that he does not expect May’s administration to last until 2022.

With the party gathering in Brighton today, Corbyn told supporters that June’s election showed a “thirst for real change across Britain”.

“We now have the chance to transform our country. To do that we must use our strength inside and outside Parliament to challenge the Conservatives at every step, and prepare to form a government whenever the next election is called,” he said.

Corbyn’s supporters have secured an important victory in Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) over changes to the leadership election rules, and authorised the review of party democracy. Corbyn said: “For the first time in years, we are handing it back to our members. Politics isn’t some technical specialism for an elite. Politics is about us all coming together to decide our futures. That’s why we’re doing things differently. We aren’t a lobbyists’ playground.

“This is a real conference whose decisions matter. And that’s why we’ve set up a review to democratise and open up our party from top to bottom. The transformation of Labour is just beginning.”

He said the Prime Minister was “floundering” over Brexit and she and her Cabinet were “spending more time negotiating with each other than with the EU”.

Vowing not to accept any Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership-style trade deals after Brexit, he said: “The Tories have made clear they want to use Brexit to deregulate and cut taxes for the wealthy. Labour wants instead to see a jobs-first Brexit that uses powers returned from Brussels to invest in and upgrade Britain’s economy.”