Jeremy Corbyn: ‘Labour leadership campaign is good preparation for general election’

Jeremy Corbyn enjoys Hillrise Summer Festival in Archway this afternoon. Picture: James Morris

Jeremy Corbyn enjoys Hillrise Summer Festival in Archway this afternoon. Picture: James Morris - Credit: Archant

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn this afternoon said he remains confident of winning the Labour leadership election - despite 130,000 party members being excluded from voting.

Mr Corbyn was speaking to the Gazette at the Hillrise Summer Festival at Caxton House, Archway.

Despite having a campaign rally in Milton Keynes at around 3pm, Mr Corbyn insisted on enjoying an hour of the “fantastic” annual festival, having arrived in St John’s Way just after 1pm.

In between chatting to constituents and enthusiastically studying a beehive, Mr Corbyn reflected on yesterday’s Court of Appeal decision that will prevent the 130,000 Labour members who signed up since January – many believed to be supporters of the Islington MP – from taking part in the contest.

“It’s very sad when a court prevents people from being able to vote,” he said.

“But I’m feeling confident. I’m enjoying the campaign. I enjoy train travel!

“I was in Sunderland yesterday. I’m going to Milton Keynes this afternoon. I’m campaigning in Highbury Fields on Monday and I’ll be going to Derby, Matlock, Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Coventry, Shrewsbury, Leicester, Chelmsford, Norwich in the coming weeks.”

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Asked if it was annoying to have been forced to stand for party leadership again, after an attempted coup from his own MPs, he said: “Well, yes. But on the other hand, we see it as preparation for a general election campaign: a chance to campaign on housing, education and all the crucial issues.”

This afternoon’s festival – at Caxton House Community Centre, St John’s Way, N19 3RQ – runs until 4pm.

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