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Islington MP Jeremy Corbyn wins Labour leadership contest

PUBLISHED: 11:43 12 September 2015 | UPDATED: 12:39 12 September 2015

Jeremy Corbyn (centre) accepts congratulations after he was announced as the Labour Party's new leader. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Jeremy Corbyn (centre) accepts congratulations after he was announced as the Labour Party's new leader. Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Veteran Islington MP Jeremy Corbyn has won the Labour leadership race, it has just been revealed.

The left-winger – who entered the contest as a 200-1 outsider – has scored a shock victory with more 251, 417 and 59.5 per cent of the vote.

It eclipsed his rival candidates Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall who scored 19 per cent, 17 per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively.

Turnout in the ballot was 76.3 per cent of the 550,000 entitled to vote.

Mr Corbyn had earlier been mobbed by dozens of supporters singing the Red Flag as he arrived at the special conference to unveil the successor to Ed Miliband.

The Islington North MP, who has been on the Labour backbenches throughout his 32-year parliamentary career, took to the stage at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre to chants of “Jez we can”.

He thanked those who had helped in his campaign and paid tribute to interim leader Harriet Harman and his fellow leadership contenders. Thanking a long list of unions and socialist societies which endorsed him as leader, Mr Corbyn said the Labour Party is “organically linked together” with the unions, adding: “That’s where we get our strength from.”

Mr Corbyn also spoke of the support he has had in his Islington constituency. He said: “I want to say a big thank you to my many personal friends and the many people in Islington North Labour party who have elected me eight times. There’s been fantastic comradeship, friendship and support, it has been quite amazing. I absolutely value their advice – sometimes it’s not advice I want to receive – but I thank them for their support.”

He announced his first act as leader of the party is to go to the Refugees Welcome Here demonstration this afternoon to show support for the way refugees “should be treated in this country”. He later said: “We need to deal with the refugee crisis with humanity, support and compassion,” before warning against military action in Syria.

Jeremy Corbyn (centre) prepares to take to the stage after he was announced as the Labour Party's new leader at a special conference at the QEII Centre in London. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireJeremy Corbyn (centre) prepares to take to the stage after he was announced as the Labour Party's new leader at a special conference at the QEII Centre in London. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Mr Corbyn said the campaign “showed our party and our movement, passionate, democratic, diverse, united and absolutely determined in our quest for a decent and better society that is possible for all.”

“During these amazing three months, our party has changed. We have grown enormously, because of the hopes of so many ordinary people for a different Britain, a better Britain, a more equal Britain, a more decent Britain.

“They are fed up with the inequality, the injustice, the unnecessary poverty. All those issues have brought people in in a spirit of hope and optimism.

“I say to the new members of the party, or those who have joined as registered or affiliated supporters – welcome. Welcome to our party, welcome to our movement. Can I say to those returning to the party who were in it before and felt disillusioned and went away. Welcome back, welcome back to your party, welcome home.”

Jeremy Corbyn takes to the stage after he was announced as the Labour Party's new leader. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA WireJeremy Corbyn takes to the stage after he was announced as the Labour Party's new leader. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

He said his campaign had given the lie to claims that young Britons are apathetic about politics, showing instead that they are “a very political generation that were turned off by the way in which politics was being conducted”. He said: “We have to and must change that.”

“We go forward now as a movement and a party bigger than we have ever been in a very, very long time, stronger than we have been for a very long time, more determined than we have been for a very long time, to show to everyone that the objectives of our party are intact, our passion is intact, our demand for humanity is intact.”

He said the party is going to become more “inclusive, more involved, more democratic” and will “shape the future of everyone in this country”.

He added: “We don’t have to be unequal, it doesn’t have to be unfair, poverty isn’t inevitable, things can and they will change.”

He made clear that his first day in Parliament as leader will see him oppose the Government’s efforts “to shackle unions in the Trade Union Bill which they are bringing forward on Monday”.

He now faces the massive challenge of forming a shadow cabinet which will deliver his anti-austerity, anti-war policies without splitting the party. Already senior figures including shadow chancellor Chris Leslie, shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt and Ms Kendall have said they will not serve under him.

Mr Corbyn must also prepare to face David Cameron in the House of Commons for his first Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

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