“Boris or Osborne in the election? Whoever it is, we will win” - Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn addresses the TUC conference at the Brighton Centre on Tuesday. Picture: Press Associa

Jeremy Corbyn addresses the TUC conference at the Brighton Centre on Tuesday. Picture: Press Association - Credit: PA WIRE

We put your questions and concerns to new Labour leader and Islington North MP

From thousands of people registering Labour Party membership to middle-aged men growing wispy grey beards, Corbyn-mania gripped the country this summer.

Predictably, nowhere was this more the case than in Jeremy Corbyn’s Islington North constituency.

At his final campaign rally in Tufnell Park on Thursday night, for example, more than 1,500 supporters raised the roof ahead of Saturday’s leadership election.

But that’s not to say the Islington public are afraid of holding Mr Corbyn to account.

As news filtered through of his victory on Saturday, the Gazette stationed outside the town hall to gather questions from members of the public, which we promised to put to him.

And on Tuesday, speaking on a train back to London from Brighton, where he had just given his Trade Union Congress conference speech, the man himself was more than happy to answer a selection of questions.

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Lucy Case, 22, of Northampton Park, Canonbury, asked: “There’s so much inequality in this country, from the cradle to the grave. What will you do to change that?”

Jeremy Corbyn: “That’s a brilliant question. It’s a fundamental issue I have been raising all the time, including at the TUC conference just now.

“It’s about creating opportunities in life. So that’s improving housing and pre-school education, increasing the minimum wage, ending zero-hour contracts and scrapping tuition fees.

“Also, it’s important to ensure a good quality of location so young people have a good opportunity to progress. I am absolutely determined to achieve all of this.”

Conservative voter Will Dixon, 30, of Aberdeen Park, Canonbury: “Who would you rather face in the general election: George Osborne or Boris Johnson?”

Jeremy Corbyn: “It’s up to the Tory Party who they choose to stand in the election. Whoever it is, we will win.”

Rosie Foley, 22, of Sutton Dwellings, Upper Street: “Housing is so expensive. I am living with my parents and want that to change. What are you going to do for young people and housing in Islington?”

Jeremy Corbyn: “I’ve started with my shadow cabinet (he appointed John Healey as shadow minister for housing and planning) and it comes down to a number of things: agreed tenancies at affordable rents; more council housing; and not selling housing associations, which drives out working class communities.

“I understand the point and changes need to be made. Too many young people struggle in Islington and the only option is private rent, which is also so expensive that it’s impossible to save for a house.”

Tessa Moloney, 59, of Quick Street, off City Road: “What are your ideas to bring unity and coherence back to the Labour Party?”

Jeremy Corbyn: “The increase in party membership – 30,000 since Saturday’s election – has been astonishing. It really shows we are a community-based organisation.

“As the shadow cabinet shows, Labour under my leadership will be inclusive and draw on the talents of people from all strands of thought in the party.

“Our priority is coming together and taking on a government that is doing so much damage to people’s lives.”

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