Jeremy Corbyn: ‘I love Islington North... I’m not going to disappear’
- Credit: PA WIRE
Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn this afternoon offered heartfelt thanks to constituents after his re-election as Labour leader.
Speaking exclusively to the Gazette, Mr Corbyn promised that despite leading Labour into the next general election, he will remain as active as ever in Islington North.
Mr Corbyn, MP of 33 years, has been praised by community leaders for his presence in the constituency since his first leadership election last September. Even Highbury East Green Cllr Caroline Russell, who stood against him in last year’s general election, said he has been “very impressive”.
He said: “I’m very grateful for those kind comments. But more than that, I’m proud. From the moment I was elected as Labour leader a year ago, I made it very clear I represent Islington North, and that I wasn’t going to disappear.
“I’ve maintained those responsibilities and will continue to do so. I love the area. If an MP runs away from their community, how can they claim to represent or understand people?
“I did an advice bureau at Caxton House Community Centre only on Thursday morning. I then went to Archway to meet a couple more constituents. My bike was in Junction Road and I didn’t get very far with people stopping me! I enjoy it very much indeed.”
Of today’s leadership election, in which he won 62 per cent of the votes, Mr Corbyn, said: “I’m very pleased, very happy. I have a huge mandate and I thank everyone who has supported me. And I thank the people of Islington who elected me in the first place.”
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Mr Corbyn’s first act as re-elected leader was to visit a food bank in the Wirral, near to where the party conference was held in Liverpool.
Having been forced to stand again following a rebellion by his own MPs, Mr Corbyn added: “I’m very happy this campaign is over. We can move on. That’s the point I made in my acceptance speech: we need to get on with challenging the government on inequality in this country.
“My priority is to develop our policies and appoint a broad base shadow cabinet, which ensures party members are heard.
“This campaign has been long, I have travelled the length and breadth of the country to 60 places. Many of those are places where Labour doesn’t have much representation: Cornwall and Scotland, for example. We want to reach out.”