Jeremy Corbyn: ‘I’m still astonished at my record Islington North win – and ready to become PM’
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Record breaker Jeremy Corbyn was “astonished” to win the highest number of votes in Islington North’s 132-year history – and he today vowed: “I’m ready to become Prime Minister.”
In Thursday’s general election, Labour leader Mr Corbyn won 40,086 votes, and a sensational majority of 33,215.
He told the Gazette this morning: “It was an astonishing result. I was delighted, and humbled, to have the support of the community and be elected for a ninth time with a record number of votes.
“The campaign went very well because we had an enormous amount of people helping out. The response was very strong. I managed to do some canvassing in Islington North, and was here the day after the manifesto was launched in Bradford. People were actually coming out of their houses saying: ‘I love the policies.’ In all my years in politics, I have never known that to happen.”
With his party slashing Theresa May’s majority in Parliament, Mr Corbyn has momentum as Labour leader, with 35,000 new members since last week.
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Asked if he was ready to become Prime Minister should the Tories’ Queen’s Speech be defeated, he said: “Absolutely. We are ready for government. The Conservatives will have difficulty dealing with the DUP and we are ready to put forward our manifesto at a Queen’s Speech.”
Mr Corbyn added he was ready “to do it all again” if another election is called. He is already set to go on the campaign trail, targeting 60 marginal seats across the country.
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But the veteran MP of 34 years, who prepared for election night by having a relaxing meal with wife Laura at Acoustic in Newington Green, assured he will still have time for constituency duties.
“Campaigning doesn’t take all day and night,” Mr Corbyn said. “Don’t worry. I cannot not be around Islington North. It’s very important to be part of my community. I was back in the constituency office on Friday afternoon.”
Mr Corbyn received a rock star reception at a homecoming rally in Union Chapel last Wednesday, with people chanting “oh, Jeremy Corbyn” to the tune of the White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army.
And he laughed: “It’s strange for a politician to have people chanting their name like that. It started when I gave a speech before The Libertines concert at Tranmere Rovers’ ground. I’m just so grateful for people’s support.”