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Defiant Jeremy Corbyn says he’s ‘proud’ of Labour’s disastrous election campaign


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Jeremy Corbyn has doubled down on his support for Labour’s wildly left-wing policies despite the party’s spectacular election defeat.

The outgoing opposition leader grudgingly shouldered personal responsibility for the catastrophic collapse in votes, but used two newspaper columns to pin the blame on Brexit and the media.     

Labour suffered its worst performance at the polls since 1935 after Boris Johnson reduced the party’s Red Wall of traditionally northern strongholds to rubble.

While accepting the result was ‘desperately disappointing’, Mr Corbyn said he was ‘proud’ of the radical anti-rich and spending spree platform he stood on during the campaign.

Insisting his tax-hiking government blueprint was popular, he wrote in the Observer: ‘I am proud that on austerity, on corporate power, on inequality and on the climate emergency we have won the arguments and rewritten the terms of political debate.

‘But I regret that we did not succeed in converting that into a parliamentary majority for change. 

Jeremy Corbyn (pictured at his home yesterday) has doubled down on his support for Labour’s wildly left-wing policies despite the party’s spectacular election defeat

The outgoing opposition leader (pictured leaving Labour HQ after the defeat) grudgingly shouldered personal responsibility for the catastrophic collapse in votes, but used two newspaper columns to pin the blame on Brexit and the media

The outgoing opposition leader (pictured leaving Labour HQ after the defeat) grudgingly shouldered personal responsibility for the catastrophic collapse in votes, but used two newspaper columns to pin the blame on Brexit and the media

He tonight said he was 'proud' of the radical anti-rich and spending spree platform he stood on during the campaign

He tonight said he was ‘proud’ of the radical anti-rich and spending spree platform he stood on during the campaign

‘There is no doubt that our policies are popular, from public ownership of rail and key utilities to a massive house-building programme and a pay rise for millions.’

The Conservatives stormed to an emphatic 80-seat majority after mopping up the votes of Leavers who deserted Labour after advocating a second referendum.

Mr Johnson’s clear and simple pitch to ‘get Brexit done’ resonated with large swathes of the electorate, yet Mr Corbyn resented the dominance of Brexit in the campaign and took aim at the media for bumping it up the agenda.

In the Sunday Mirror, he wrote: ‘Despite our best efforts, this election was ultimately about Brexit. 

‘The Tory campaign, amplified by most of the media, managed to persuade many that only Boris Johnson could ‘get Brexit done’.

‘That will soon be exposed for the falsehood it is, but in this election it overpowered our attempt to reach across the divide and bring our country together.’

However he did acknowledge that he had paid a hefty price for vowing to stay neutral on Brexit by ‘straddling that divide or re-run the referendum.’

Labour only took one seat from the Conservatives at the election – the strong Remain-backing London seat of Putney.

UK election result 2017

UK election result 2019, when Labour's 'red wall' of traditional strongholds in the northern heartlands crumbled

Labour suffered its worst performance at the polls since 1935 after Boris Johnson reduced the party’s Red Wall of traditionally northern strongholds to rubble 

Mr Johnson's clear and simple pitch to 'get Brexit done' resonated with large swathes of the electorate, yet Mr Corbyn resented the dominance of Brexit in the campaign and took aim at the media for bumping it up the agenda.

Mr Johnson’s clear and simple pitch to ‘get Brexit done’ resonated with large swathes of the electorate, yet Mr Corbyn resented the dominance of Brexit in the campaign and took aim at the media for bumping it up the agenda.

This sparked accusations Labour had become the party of the metropolitan middle-classes in the capital and had abandoned its historic base in the north.

After the Conservatives cleaned up in these working-class constituencies, Mr Corbyn said: ‘We now need to listen to the voices of those in Stoke and Scunthorpe, Blyth and Bridgend, Grimsby and Glasgow, who didn’t support Labour.’

But continued his vendetta against the media, which he said had hamstrung his time at the top of the party since he took the help in 2015. 

The Labour leader said: ‘The media attacks on the Labour party for the last four and a half years were more ferocious than ever – and of course that has an impact on the outcome of elections.’

Mr Corbyn also stuck by his chief election attack line that the Prime Minister is prepared to sell the NHS to Donald Trump, despite both men flatly rubbishing this claim during the campaign.      

The defeat plunged Labour into turmoil with some MPs and losing candidates turning on Mr Corbyn, saying his left-wing politics had cost them votes.

Allies of the Labour leader however turned their fire on Remainers who pushed the party into backing a second EU referendum, saying they had alienated Leave voters in the Labour heartlands

Its sets up what will be a brutal showdown between the party’s centrist and hard-left wings which will fight for control in the impending leadership election.  

Mr Corbyn’s key allies stood shoulder to shoulder with their vanquished leader, and are gearing up to replace him with someone equally as radical.

Mr Corbyn also stuck by his chief election attack line that the Prime Minister is prepared to sell the NHS to Donald Trump, despite both men flatly rubbishing this claim during the campaign

Mr Corbyn also stuck by his chief election attack line that the Prime Minister is prepared to sell the NHS to Donald Trump, despite both men flatly rubbishing this claim during the campaign

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the party had been caught on the ‘horns of a dilemma’ over Brexit, and dismissed claims they had picked the ‘wrong’ leader.

He said: ‘I didn’t back the wrong person because Jeremy was the right leader. We could have won in 2017. Things moved on. Brexit dominated everything.’

He said Mr Corbyn was ‘one of the most principled, honest, sincere, committed, anti-racist politicians’, but he had been ‘demonised by a smear campaign against him’.

Mr McDonnell, who confirmed he will also be standing down when Mr Corbyn goes, added: ‘I think we have to have a wider debate here about the role of social media and the media overall, and sometimes the nature of our politics.

‘I don’t want to live in a society where those sorts of lies and smears and character-assassination dominate our politics. Let’s have an honest debate about the issues.

‘It isn’t about individuals, it is about policies and analysis.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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