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- Jeremy Corbyn to declare in speech “Labour is ready” for government. The Labour leader will challenge Theresa May’s cabinet to “pull yourself together” over Brexit in his speech to the party conference in Brighton today. He will call the Grenfell Tower disaster evidence of a “degraded regime.”
LONDON – Jeremy Corbyn will tell activists Labour “is ready for government” and that it is a “government in waiting” in his speech to close the party’s conference on Wednesday.
The Labour leader will challenge Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet to “pull yourself together or make way” for Labour to deliver Brexit in the national interest.
He will also claim that Labour policy is the “new common sense” in British politics and that his party is on the edge of power following the general election where it gained 30 MPs and deprived the Conservatives of a majority.
Following rifts in the cabinet over how to deal with Brexit becoming public in recent weeks, Corbyn will say: “The Tories are more interested in posturing for personal advantage than in getting the best deal for Britain. Never has the national interest been so ill-served on such a vital issue. If there were no other reason for the Tories to go, their self-interested Brexit bungling would be reason enough.
“So, I have a simple message to the cabinet: for Britain’s sake, pull yourself together or make way.”
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson reopened cabinet divisions over how to deliver Brexit with a 4,000-word article on a “glorious” vision for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
The intervention caused supporters of Chancellor Philip Hammond, who favours a “soft” Brexit, with the UK maintaining close regulatory and trade ties with the EU, to call Johnson “simple-minded.”
Corbyn will challenge the Conservative government to “pull yourself together” after Theresa May’s Florence speech failed to break the stalemate in Brexit negotiations, with European Council president Donald Tusk saying on Tuesday that there has not been “sufficient progress” to allow talks to advance.
Labour “on the threshold of power”
The Labour leader will tell party activists in Brighton that the party is “on the threshold of power” with recent polls suggesting that Labour is ahead of the Conservatives. A YouGov poll published on Tuesday night gave Labour a four-point lead over the Tories.
In his keynote speech, Corbyn will say: “Yes, we didn’t do quite well enough and we remain in opposition for now. But we have become a government-in-waiting.
“And our message to the country could not be clearer: Labour is ready.”
The Labour leader will also use his speech to label the Grenfell Tower disaster a symbol of a “failed and broken system, which Labour must and will replace.”
Corbyn will say: “The disregard for rampant inequality, the hollowing out of our public services, the disdain for the powerless and the poor have made our society more brutal and less caring.
“Now that degraded regime has a tragic monument – the chilling wreckage of Grenfell Tower, a horrifying fire in which dozens perished, an entirely avoidable human disaster.”
A Labour source said on Tuesday that Corbyn will also use his conference speech to announce details of a number of new policies.