Tag Archives: Jeremy Corbyn Speeches

Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign speech: “I came into politics to stand up against injustice”

I’m proud of what we have achieved in the last ten months.

Labour is stronger. We have won every parliamentary by-election we have faced, three of them with greatly increased majorities.

We overtook the Tories in the May elections. We won all four mayoral contests – in Liverpool and Salford, in London for the first time since 2004 and in Bristol for the first time ever. We also won Bristol Council for the first time since 2003.

Our party membership has gone from below 200,000 just over a year ago to over half a million today.

And we have welcomed back the Fire Brigades Union into our Labour family.

But we have also delivered concrete results for millions of people as the opposition in parliament to a callous Tory government. Three million families are over £1,000 better off this year, because Labour stood up and OPPOSED cuts to tax credits.

That was Labour making a real difference for those at the sharp end, mobilising our supporters and those losing out to lobby Parliament, challenging the Prime Minister week after week in the House of Commons, and our Labour Lords winning the votes, and defeating the Government in Parliament.

We won back billions of pounds for working class families, directly improving the lives of working people and their families,which is of course exactly what the Labour party was created to do.

Just over a year ago there were those in our party in Parliament, who were unsure about whether to oppose a Bill, that threatened to take £12 billion from welfare – cash support for the less well off, low paid workers and the disabled.

Today we are clear. We are proud to defend the tax credits built up by Gordon Brown, and proud to defend our greatest creation, that is, social security for all.

And we did it again with Personal Independence Payments for disabled people in the Budget. We shamed the Government into abandoning their plans to take £4bn from disabled people that helps them live independent lives, at a time when the Government was giving yet more tax cuts to big business and the wealthiest.

We have helped change the debate on welfare. No frontbench politician is now using disgraceful, divisive terms like “scrounger”, “shirker” or “skiver”. They have been shamed by the reality of life for millions of our people in left-behind Britain.

That is laying the ground for a kinder, gentler politics that respects those unable to work, that treats disabled people with dignity. And there is no better advocate for disabled people and those in need than our current shadow work and pensions secretary, Debbie Abrahams.

I also want to pay tribute to our Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. Someone said of him the other day: “He does the honest, straight-talking politics, but the kinder, gentler stuff is still work in progress.

But what John has done more effectively than any other politician is demolish the case for austerity. He said it: “Austerity is a political choice not an economic necessity.

Every single plank of George Osborne’s failed and destructive economic programme is being torn up.

From a year ago, when Labour was too cautious in criticising cuts. Now, you’re hard-pressed to find even a Tory to defend it, as one fiscal target after another has been ditched, first by Osborne, and now by Theresa May. The long-term economic plan is dead.

Most people now believe that the government’s cuts are both unfair and bad for our economy.

In post-Brexit Britain, even Tories like Stephen Crabb and Sajid Javid are converts, making the case for tens of billions in investment.

But it is Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell who led the way, and who earlier this week made the case for a National Investment Bank, and a network of regional investment banks, to redistribute wealth and power.

As John said in Sunderland on Monday: “We should now work to build a transformed economy where no-one is left behind.”

I came into politics to stand up against injustice.

The injustices that scar society today are not those of 1945 – want, squalor, idleness, disease and ignorance – and they have changed since I first entered Parliament in 1983.

Today what is holding people back above all are inequality, neglect, insecurity, prejudice and discrimination.

In my campaign I want to confront all five of those ills head on, setting out, not only how Labour will campaign against these injustices in opposition, but also spelling out some of the measures the next Labour government will take to overcome them, and move decisively towards a society in which opportunity and prosperity is truly shared, in which no individual is held back, and no community left behind.

Today I want to set out one way in which the next Labour government will tackle one of those ills – that of discrimination.

My first job was working for the National Union of Tailors and Garment Workers, reclaiming unpaid wages, mostly for low-paid women workers in the textile industry.

A few years before I started that role, the Labour government of Harold Wilson, had in its dying days passed the Equal Pay Act, following an inspirational strike by women sewing machinists at Ford’s, a struggle immortalised in the excellent film “Made in Dagenham”.

Those women workers stood up for equal pay, and after three weeks on strike they won a pay rise.

What’s less well known is that it took another strike, 16 years later in 1984, and for six weeks this time, for equal pay to actually be achieved.

We all know that change can take time, but sometimes the delays cannot and will not be tolerated.

Today, we are more than 45 years on from the Equal Pay Act, 40 years on from when I was chasing down lost pay for women workers. And still, still, women are paid 20 per cent less than men.

As far back as 1951, the “Equal Remuneration Convention” of the International Labour Organisation, a UN body, supported the principle of equal pay for men and women workers for work of equal value.

Sixty-five years on, and women are over-represented in the lowest paying sectors – cleaning, catering and caring – vital sectors of our economy, doing valuable work, but not work that is fairly rewarded or equally respected.

And we know too that many disabled workers are not being given the same opportunities to fulfil their potential …

Last year Britain was ranked 18th in the world for its gender pay gap, below Nicaragua, Namibia and New Zealand. We can and must do far better.

So Labour is calling time on the waiting game, and I am making the commitment today that the next Labour government will require all employers with more than 21 staff to publish equality pay audits, detailing pay, grade and hours of every job, alongside data on recognised equality characteristics.

Because it is not only women who face workplace discrimination, but disabled workers, the youngest and oldest workers, black and ethnic minority workers.

Young workers are institutionally discriminated against – not entitled to the full minimum wage, not entitled to equal rates of housing benefit – and so many are now saddled with huge student debts.

I want to pay tribute to trade unions. They have won millions of pounds for workers who faced discrimination. They won them back-pay, but they also won them dignity and equality.

But not every workplace is unionised, and these are often complex cases that can take years.

We are calling time on discrimination, and, as we know from the minimum wage, proper enforcement matters and makes the difference.

So we are also committing to fund the Equalities and Human Rights Commission

  • to monitor employers’ equality pay audits
  • to take action where required to eradicate discrimination; and
  • to fine employers that do not provide them.

Many employers wouldn’t want to discriminate against their staff. Such discrimination holds back companies and our economy. If our economy is to thrive, it needs to harness the talents of everyone.

So this is about making our economy stronger, the workplace fairer, reducing the discrimination that holds people back.

Our Labour movement is about improving people’s lives, about ending injustices, about giving power to the powerless, and building a society in which opportunity and wealth is shared.

Over the next couple of months, our campaign will set outhow we plan to defeat the Tories, and elect a Labour government that will act to tame the forces holding people back: of inequality, neglect, insecurity, prejudice, and discrimination. And to build a society in which no one, and no community, is left behind.

Jeremy Corbyn’s speech in the People’s History Museum on Vote Remain for jobs and rights at work

Thank you for being here today and for that introduction, Diane.

Thank you to Alan Johnson for all of your hard work and mileage you’ve put into the campaign, and to all colleagues: MPs, MEPs, councillors and activists who are determined to make our remain and reform position clear.

Kate Green is the shadow secretary of state for Women & Equalities and an excellent advocate for that cause.

But, as you will all know a few days ago we lost one of the great fighters for women and equalities in this country so I would ask you all to reflect for a moment on the life of Jo Cox.

It’s a pleasure to be here today at the People’s History Museum which chronicles the struggles of working people over generations.

There are now under 48 hours until polls open in the European referendum I am very clear, and Labour is very clear we are for staying in.

One of the major reasons for that is about jobs and workers’ rights.

So it is fitting that we are here today in this building which reflects the gains that working people, trade unions and the Labour Party have won.

Today we live in a globalised world. The battles we fight today as a labour movement are not confined by national borders.

Workers, capital, and corporations move across borders. That is a reality whether we vote to leave or remain.

But only by remaining and working together with our allies across Europe can we regulate those flows and improve things for working people here in Britain.

It was a Labour government that introduced the Equal Pay Act in 1970 following a courageous campaign by women trade unionists.

By it was only in 1984 that law was strengthened and extended in Europe to mean equal pay for equal work of equal value in line with the EU Directive.

There was no limit on working time for workers in Britain until the Working Time Directive, which also provided for rest breaks.

Our rights to annual leave were underpinned by the EU too we would not have a right to 28 days leave without that membership.

But for too many people in Britain today – work is still not secure.

So we cannot be content with the status quo.

If we want to stop insecurity at work and the exploitation of zero hours contracts why don’t we do what other European countries have done and ban them?

Zero hours contracts are not permitted in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Spain. It seems we’re the odd one out. This Tory government is choosing not to tackle exploitation Labour would.

As well as outlawing these exploitative contracts in Britain we should go further and work with our allies to establish a European minimum standard of rights at work to stop undercutting and give people the job security they need.

And now that Germany has introduced a minimum wage is there an opportunity to establish a European-wide minimum wage – based on the cost of living in different nations to increase workers’ pay across our continent?

There is a little known directive called the Posting of Workers Directive nothing to do with postal workers, Alan although I do hope they get overtime for all of the referendum leaflets they are about to deliver! The Posting of Workers Directive enables companies that win contracts in another part of Europe to take their workers to work in other countries they can post their workers abroad temporarily rather than go through new recruitment processes.

However, some legal judgements have opened up loopholes meaning that these companies are able to undermine the going rate in one country by paying the going rate in another.

In extreme cases it has meant workers not being paid the minimum wage of the country they’re working in because it is above the rate of their home nation.

This loophole can be closed and there is a proposal on the table to do so Labour would secure agreement from other countries and back it.

The European Union is neither inherently good nor inherently bad. It is what we make of it and it can be an ally in our campaigning for better rights at work across Europe.

Because, in this day and age we can only strengthen rights at work here in Britain by strengthening them across Europe.

The only way to stop the race to the bottom on jobs and wages is to work together across our continent to raise standards for all. That’s what we did with rights for agency workers for part-time workers and on so many other issues.

Through the social chapter and other directives we have achieved a situation in which:

Over 26 million workers in Britain benefit from being entitled to 28 days of paid leave and a limit to how many hours they can be forced to work

Over 8 million part-time workers (over six million of whom are women) have equal rights with full-time colleagues

Over 1 million temporary workers have the same rights as permanent workers

340,000 women every year have guaranteed rights to take maternity leave

And it’s important to understand the benefit of these gains it means workers throughout Europe have decent rights at work meaning it’s harder to undercut terms and conditions across Europe.

Several Leave supporters have stated clearly they want to leave Europe to water down workers’ rights to rip up the protections that protect work-life balance that prevent discrimination and prevent exploitation and injustice.

That is why we say the threat to the British people is not the European Union it is a Tory-led Brexit

So remain and fight; don’t walk away in despair.

Today three million jobs in Britain are linked to our trade with Europe that is why our major manufacturers and our major trade unions are for remaining within Europe.

But it is not only jobs with a direct link with Europe that are at risk our whole economy is threatened by any potential downturn caused by Brexit.

Whatever you feel about the European Union we should not lightly be prepared to put at risk the jobs and rights of people in this country.

Our economy is fragile and insecure hit by six years of Tory austerity that have weakened wages weakened rights at work and weakened job security.

We know who gets laid off when there is a downturn: it is young workers, insecure workers; those most recently hired are often first out.

We know who gets hit hardest by any downturn, it is working class communities.

A vote to leave risks more Tory austerity and more wrong choices because those would lead the Brexit negotiations would be the Tory right cheered on by UKIP.

They won’t pay for any downturn with tax increases on the wealthy or big corporations but with cuts to the public services of those who can least afford to lose them.

Those running the Vote Leave campaign have supported every cut to public services every privatisation and every tax break for the richest.

And frankly their divisive campaign deserves to lose. A vote to leave will embolden the likes of Nigel Farage and embolden them to be more xenophobic and more divisive.

Migrants that come here, they work here, earn here and pay their taxes here.

Many EU migrants – 52,000 of them – work in our National Health Service; they are 10% of all our doctors and 5% of our nurses.

Many more work in other public services educating our children caring for our elderly and helping to run our public transport.

They also come here and establish businesses providing jobs for people here in Britain and paying taxes.

Parties like UKIP whip up division and emphasise the problems but they don’t offer any solutions.

Identifying problems is not enough. As politicians we have to resolve them.

Housing is in short supply because governments have not built enough in the 1980s council housing was sold off without replacement and today the Tories have let housebuilding fall to the lowest level since the 1920s.

This year our NHS is in record deficit due to the Tories’ top-down reorganisation and their underfunding. They’ve cut social care for the elderly and disabled cut bursaries for nursed and midwives and cut mental health budgets.

They’ve allowed NHS Trusts to dedicate more resources to be used to treat private patients and have failed to train enough nurses and doctors. Now we rely on 52,000 doctors, nurses and other staff from the EU to work in our NHS.

Far from being a burden on our health service, migrants are saving it and saving lives here in Britain every day. You’re more likely to be treated by an EU migrant than be laying in the next bed down.

Our schools are about to suffer the largest budget cut since the 1970s yet there is a teacher shortage and class sizes are rising. Instead of finding the money to solve this the Tory government gave a tax break that benefits the richest 5% (capital gains tax).

Wrong government making the wrong choices and too often trying to blame someone else for the problems.

But large increases in migration in particular areas sometimes can put a strain on our stretched public services local schools, GPs surgeries and housing.

Some communities can change dramatically and rapidly and that can be disconcerting for some people. But that doesn’t make them Little Englanders, xenophobes or racists.

This isn’t the fault of migrants it’s a failure of government. We propose re-establishing a Migrant Impact Fund to distribute extra money to local areas where large scale migration puts a strain on public services on schools, GPs surgeries and on housing.

Such a fund used to exist Gordon Brown established a £50 million a year fund 2008 but David Cameron abolished it in 2010 we would reinstate it.

It could be funded through a combination of using EU underspend and reprioritising money from outdated existing EU schemes.

But if you want to find the main reason that our public services are struggling then it’s because of the cuts that this Tory government has made

And we mustn’t let them get away with playing that old game: divide and rule.

For all the arguments of recent weeks this Thursday’s decision can be boiled down to one crucial question. “What’s best for jobs in Britain, rights at work and our future prosperity?”

On 23rd June we are faced with a choice: Do we remain to protect jobs and prosperity in Britain. Or do we step into an unknown future with Leave where a Tory-negotiated Brexit risks economic recovery and threatens a bonfire of employment rights?

A vote for remain is a vote to put our economy and your future first. On Thursday please join me and join the overwhelming majority of the Labour movement in voting remain to protect jobs and rights at work.

But just as importantly join with us the day after to fight for a better society to campaign for reform and to strengthen jobs and workers’ rights across Europe.

We achieve more by working together we will achieve very little if we stand alone.

So let’s unite to make this country better to make the EU better and to make the world a better place.

Jeremy Corbyn speech on the Labour case to vote remain in the EU

Thank you for inviting me here to South Yorkshire. I appreciate the time of the workforce and the support from the management to enable this to go ahead.

Talking of the workers here, I’m guessing you were delighted when you heard you were going to get an extra hour’s break from work. And so I can only imagine the disappointment when you then learned that hour was for listening to a politician talking about Europe.

But there is no doubt we all face a vital vote just a week away and I want to have a serious conversation about it and set out some of Labour’s ideas about Europe, and how to reform it.

Not many people are grateful for the work politicians do. I don’t have any difficulty understanding why, the political class has let our country down in so many ways, but today I want to try and restore a bit of faith in politics, and set out how politics done in a different way, can improve our lives and our communities.

The work you do here in developing the manufacturing base of the future is crucial to our economy. We need many more sites like this, backed up with a proper industrial strategy to use their innovations to build an economy of the future that can deliver for all.

The Chancellor George Osborne promised “a march of the makers” five years ago, but that has signally failed to materialise. Once again we’ve been given a soundbite, but very little action on the ground.

What this referendum campaign has shown, more than anything, is that politicians have failed, and are failing, to come up with solutions to the problems that people face across Britain.

The insecurity of work the lack of good well-paid jobs, the high cost of housing, whether to rent or to buy, how we adjust to, and pay for, an ageing society, the failure to ensure decent economic growth in all parts of the country and in which we all share.

That is the failure of politicians, not of the EU or of EU migrants for that matter.

Too many voices in this debate are only playing that old trick the blame game. And when politicians play the blame game, it’s usually because they have nothing serious to offer themselves.

Those pushing us to leave the EU, Conservative MPs like Iain Duncan Smith, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, say that more money could be spent on the NHS if we left, they’ve also promised more money for farming, for fishing, for university research, for tax cuts. They’ve promised our EU contribution over and over again.

But does anyone really believe they’re the saviours of our NHS? Hardly. They really are wolves in sheep’s clothing:

These are the same Tory Ministers and MPs who voted to:

– cut mental health budgets

– scrap nurses’ and midwives’ bursaries

– slash social care for the elderly and disabled

– open up ever more of the NHS to private companies and private patients

– pick damaging and unnecessary fights with junior doctors.

Now they want to use people’s real concerns about the impact of EU migration to turn the campaign into a referendum on immigration.

It’s easy to blame people who come to this country, to blame the outsider, to blame bureaucrats in Brussels. It’s also very convenient for politicians too. If you’re blaming a scapegoat you’re not blaming the people with the real power, the corporate elite and the politicians in government who do its bidding.

Politicians certainly need to take responsibility, so let me make a start.

I mentioned the banking crash yes, that was the fault of bankers but the Conservative governments of Thatcher and Major scrapped financial regulations that would have prevented that crash and Labour failed to re-regulate. So blame our own governments, don’t blame the EU or immigrants.

It was those same governments of the 1980s and early 90s that deregulated the labour market so that zero hours contracts could flourish and the share of wealth going to workers fell off a cliff. It is unscrupulous employers and politicians who have allowed temporary contracts, agency and enforced part-time working, and bogus self-employment to mushroom. So blame the politicians who opened the door to rampant job insecurity.

When people migrated here from the Caribbean in the 1950s and 1960s there was very little debate about migrants driving down wages and undercutting because then we had powerful employment protection and strong trade union rights.

The veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner talked yesterday in Parliament about Shirebrook. For many years that site was a coal mine where Eastern European miners working alongside English colleagues doing the same job, earning the same pay and in the same union.

Today that same site is owned by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct where he employs 200 full-time employees and 3,000 people, mainly east Europeans, on zero-hours contracts.

Today we have a deregulated labour market that allows unscrupulous employers to undercut local pay by exploiting migrant workers and undercut good businesses by forcing a race to the bottom. So migrants aren’t driving down wages. Unscrupulous employers are because the government allows them.

Actually by working with the European Union, Labour governments brought in the agency workers’ directive the working time directive and a whole package of legislation that helped to protect workers across Europe.

Migrants that come here, work here, earn here and pay their taxes here.

But, do you know what? There are other forms of free movement that really anger me. The free movement of money abroad to dodge the taxes that fund our public services, the free movement of our country’s wealth and corporate profits into tax havens.

Does anyone here own an offshore trust? Do any of your family or friends own an offshore trust? So who was David Cameron standing up for when he wrote to the EU in November 2013 opposing proposals transparency into who owns these shady offshore trusts?

From cuts to disability benefits and cuts tax credits, to tax breaks for the super-rich and corporations. We have a Government making the wrong choices and sticking up for the wrong people.

Or take another example, a couple of years ago, the EU also came forward with a proposal to restrict bankers’ bonuses and what did George Osborne do? Again he rushed to Brussels within an army of taxpayer-funded lawyers to oppose it and he lost.

But what about the positive solutions? I won the leadership of the Labour Party by a landslide because our campaign stood for something different, straight-talking, honest politics.

If there’s a problem we will work to find a solution – not someone to blame.

Start with immigration the biggest issue for many people in this referendum campaign.

EU migrants pay in more in taxes than they take out in benefits. They contribute to our society and 52,000 of them work in our NHS saving our lives, caring for our loved ones.

But large increases in migration in particular areas can put a strain on our stretched public services, already hammered by government spending cuts – local schools, GPs surgeries and housing.

So we are calling for a Migrant Impact Fund to pump extra cash into local areas where large scale migration puts a strain on public services – on schools, GPs surgeries and housing.

Such a fund used to exist, Gordon Brown established it in 2008 but David Cameron abolished it two years later. He was also the guy who pledged he would cut net migration below 100,000, if you remember. But today it’s well over 300,000 far higher than at any point under Labour governments and local authorities and public services have had their budgets slashed at the same time.

And, as I raised with David Cameron yesterday in parliament, we can and we must act now to end the scandal of jobs here in Britain that are only advertised abroad.

As I said before, if you want someone to blame, blame politicians and some of the appalling employers they protect.

And if we want to stop insecurity at work and the exploitation of zero hours contracts that are being used to drive down pay and conditions, why don’t we do what other European countries have done and simply ban them?

Zero hours contracts are not allowed in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Spain. It seems we’re the odd one out. Our politicians now in power are choosing not to tackle exploitation, but we will.

We have to clamp down on exploitation as we’ve seen at Sports Direct in Shirebrook and hire many more workplace inspectors to enforce the minimum wage. I don’t want to see workers here being exploited and driving down wages and conditions. We can stop this, and we must.

Many of you from this part of South Yorkshire will remember that miners used to get free coal. In Denmark, Portugal and Germany today communities are setting up energy companies which sell electricity back to them at discounted rates. But ridiculously, it’s illegal to do that here.

We need to learn from the best in Europe.

Just down the road in Nottingham, Robin Hood Energy – a community energy scheme – has been established by the Labour council, no private shareholders, no director bonuses. Just low and competitive energy tariffs, but they could be lower still, and more councils would be doing the same if we had the same rules as elsewhere in Europe.

Labour is calling for a vote to remain in Europe at next week’s referendum because we believe staying in the European Union offers our people a better future in terms of jobs, investment, rights at work and environmental protection.

But we are also campaigning for reform of the European Union because we are convinced Europe needs to change to work for all, to become more democratic, strengthen workers’ rights, ditch austerity and end the pressure to privatise.

So we have a vision for Europe, and an agenda for change, I have been discussing with leaders and governments across Europe.

Because in our globalised world we cannot live in isolation, we achieve far more by cooperating and working together with other countries.

Think about pollution, we could have the best environmental protection in the world, but if our neighbours are pumping poisonous chemicals into the air, or dumping waste into the sea, that will damage us regardless. Pollution doesn’t respect national borders.

Next year the UK will have the presidency of the European Union, if we vote to remain. That means Britain can lead, can push our agenda for change, our vision for Europe.

On tax avoidance, our Revenue and Customs estimates that there is a £34 billion tax gap. Little infuriates people more than the super-rich class and big business acting as if paying taxes is optional only for the little people.

There are proposals now in Europe for country-by-country tax reporting, which means that companies pay their taxes in the countries where they make their profits.

Labour members of the European parliament have backed this plan every time, while Conservatives ones oppose it, time and time again.

We also have a special obligation to tackle tax havens, since so many of Britain’s overseas territories and crown dependencies are tax havens. So we must support an EU-wide blacklist of tax havens, to sanction them and back measures to eradicate them.

On workers’ rights, we need far stronger action across Europe. There is a little known EU directive, for example, called the Posting of Workers Directive. It allows companies that win contracts in another part of Europe to take workers to other countries. They can post their workers abroad temporarily, rather than go through new recruitment processes.

But legal judgements have opened up loopholes meaning that these companies are able to undercut the going rate in one country by paying the going rate in another.

In extreme cases it has meant workers not being paid the minimum wage of the country they’re working in because it is above the rate of their home nation.

This loophole can and must be closed and there is a proposal on the table to do so. Labour would work to secure agreement from other countries to back it.

I mentioned the scandal of zero hours contracts earlier too. As well as outlawing these exploitative contracts in Britain, we should go further and work with our allies to establish a European minimum standard of rights at work to stop undercutting and give people the job security they need.

And now that Germany has introduced a minimum wage there is an opportunity to move towards a European-wide minimum wage – linked to average pay and the cost of living in each country to halt the race to the bottom in pay and conditions, and increase wages across Europe.

On the refugee crisis, Europe has had to respond to a crisis on our borders on an unprecedented scale. It is the biggest refugee crisis in global history. We – as a continent, all of us – have made mistakes but now we have to learn the lessons.

If our union means anything, it means coming up with an agreed and united response that shares the responsibility.

On energy and the environment, under the Tories, the UK has slipped from 3rd to 13th in the world as the best place to invest in renewables.

Subsidies for renewables have been cut by this government, yet the European Investment Bank has invested nearly £1.5 billion since 2007 – a quarter of all its renewable funding. The European Investment Bank has been bailing out this government’s failure to invest.

Across Europe, investment in renewable energy is coming from government and being supported properly, renewable energy is increasingly being owned by local communities, schools or workplaces. These decentralised energy grids are more efficient, less polluting and give us all more control.

So we need to learn from the best practice across Europe, and find a mechanism to promote and encourage socially-owned clean energy across our continent.

Our government has watered down our commitments under the EU energy efficiency directive, we would recommit to that because the technology is there to make every new building a near-zero energy building.

We must have the vision and the strategy to create a sustainable economy, both in Britain and across our continent.

On banking regulation, we need to throw our weight behind a Financial Transaction Tax, sometimes known as the Robin Hood Tax.

There are currently 10 countries in Europe working together to secure a financial transactions tax across the European Union. This is a small tax on specific financial transactions to help prevent the sort of banking crash we saw a few years back, that led to the deepest economic crisis since the 1930s.

What was the British Government’s response to this proposal? To rush to Europe to oppose it, threatening legal action.

Labour wants to help drive this reform, to build support for an EU-wide tax as a step towards a global tax. We must reform our banking sector and discourage the dangerous practices that undermined the banks across Europe and globally.

The process is currently in a fragile state, despite the support of France and Germany, but imagine the impetus Britain’s support could give to the campaign, both in Europe and among major economies around the world.

On migration, we should press at European level for a Migration Relief Fund available to local authorities all over Europe to assist in supporting and upgrading schools, hospitals and public services in areas of high migration within the EU.

On trade, we know that core purpose of the European single market scrapping trade tariffs and barriers between countries not just in Europe but dozens more has helped bring us jobs, investment and growth.

But EU legislation that pressures governments to privatise or deregulate public services, such as rail and communications, or restrict public ownership, needs to be reformed.

And we will not sign up to trade deals that are about privatising our public services weakening consumer protections, environmental standards or food safety standards.

That’s why – like France – Labour would veto the TTIP transatlantic EU-US trade deal as it stands.

By taking this approach, setting out a positive vision of hope and progress, and a clear agenda of reform for Britain’s EU presidency in 2017, I believe we can demonstrate that politics can make a difference. That we can improve lives and communities and show not only what the European Union is, but what it can become.

There is a warning for Europe here, whatever the outcome of next week’s referendum, that the EU must demonstrate its continued relevance to its people or it will be rejected. But it’s up to British politicians too, to lead that change.

I have tried to set out today some of Labour vision for Remain and Reform in the European Union.

More importantly I hope I’ve been able to restore a bit of faith in what politics can do. If you have a decent government committed to making our country and our world a better place.

I encourage you all to vote Remain on 23 June and then to support our campaign for the changes we want to see here in Britain and across Europe.

Things can and, with your help, they will change.

Jeremy Corbyn’s speech at the Institute of Engineering Technology, London

Today, we want to set out the positive case for remaining in Europe and for reforming Europe.

There are just three weeks to go until the referendum vote on 23 June but too much of the debate so far has been dominated by myth-making and prophecies of doom.

In the final stage of this referendum, as we get closer to what is expected by many to be a very tight vote, it does not help the debate over such a serious issue if the hype and histrionic claims continue or worse intensify. I believe the EU has the potential to deliver positive change for the people of Britain if there was a radical, reforming government to drive that agenda. Too often what has held back the EU is having to move at the pace of the slowest. Too often that has been the British government.

And let me say up front to anyone listening who is not already registered to vote – Please register – you have five days to do so. We appeal especially to young people who will live longest with the consequences of any vote.

Just over a week ago, George Osborne claimed that the British economy would enter a year-long recession if we voted to leave. This is the same George Osborne who predicted his austerity policies would close the deficit by 2015. That’s now scheduled for 2021.

It’s the same George Osborne who said the British economy would be “carried aloft by the march of the makers” yet the manufacturing sector has stagnated ever since, and manufacturing employment declined.

The biggest risk of recession in this country is from a Conservative Government that is failing, failing on the deficit, failing on the debt, failing to rebalance the economy and failing to boost productivity.

Two weeks ago, Boris Johnson claimed: “It is absurd that we are told that you cannot sell bananas in bunches of more than two or three bananas.”

No, what’s absurd is for a senior politician, a former Mayor of London, to say “Vote to Leave the EU, they’re after our bananas!”

The Leave side has concocted a number of myths about the evils of the EU. Many are, frankly, bananas.

So let’s remind ourselves of the positives it was EU regulation that improved the UK’s beaches which, if you go back 30 or 40 years, were in a terrible state .

Britain used to pump our untreated sewage straight into the sea. Just 25 years ago one in four British beaches were too dirty to swim in. Now 95 per cent of our beaches have a clean bill of health.

Three years ago the EU voted to restrict the use of some pesticides that are strongly linked to the decline of the bee population, essential for our biodiversity. The coalition Government lobbied against the restrictions but they passed.

Too often the British government has had to be dragged kicking and screaming into acting to protect our own environment. As we know, we have a Prime Minister who has lurched from ‘hug a huskie’ when he became Tory leader to, a decade on, ‘gas a badger’ and ‘poison the bees’.

When recent court judgement ordered the British Government to do more to tackle air pollution, it was the UK Supreme Court in London, acting to enforce EU standards. A recent study found that EU air quality regulations are saving 80,000 lives a year across Europe. It’s time this Government acted to save lives here too.

European Union targets have been vital in encouraging the adoption of renewable energy. Some countries like Germany and Denmark have embraced this change, invested and revolutionised their energy markets, creating new high skill jobs and leading technological advance.

Britain has dragged its heels so much for David Cameron’s rhetoric of “leading the greenest government ever”.

It is an EU directive that has stopped the mobile phone companies from ripping us off if we make or receive a call abroad. It was the collective strength of 28 countries representing 520 million people achieved that.

The European Convention on Human Rights, empowering citizens to hold the Government accountable has strengthened our rights as citizens and stopped the Government gagging free speech and a free press.

It was the Labour Government who wrote the Convention into UK law through the Human Rights Act of 1998.

Today senior figures in the Conservative Government are discussing repealing that Act which has ensured the state cannot violate people’s human rights.

It is because of those human rights in law that we had the inquest into Hillsborough, so that those families finally got justice after 27 years – and congratulations to them for their tenacity and their dignity.

And it’s worth reflecting that if this Government repealed the Human Rights Act, and opted out of the European Convention, it would join Europe’s only dictatorship Belarus as the only other country not to support these universal human rights.

On rights at work, Europe through the social chapter and other directives has delivered:

Over 26 million workers in Britain benefit from being entitled to 28 days of paid leave and a limit to how many hours they can be forced to work;

Over eight million part-time workers (over six million of whom are women) have equal rights with full-time colleagues,

Over one million temporary workers have the same rights as permanent workers,

340,000 women every year have guaranteed rights to take maternity leave.

And it’s important to understand the benefit of these gains. It means workers throughout Europe have decent rights at work. Meaning it’s harder to undercut terms and conditions across Europe.

Several Leave supporters have stated clearly they want to leave Europe to water down workers’ rights. To rip up the protections that protect work-life balance, that prevent discrimination and prevent exploitation and injustice.

That is why we say, the threat to the British people is not the European Union, it is a Conservative Government here in Britain, seeking to undermine the good things we have achieved in Europe and resisting changes that would benefit the ordinary people of Britain.

A vote to Leave means a Conservative Government would then be in charge of negotiating Britain’s exit. Everything they have done as a Government so far means we could not rely on them to protect the workplace rights that millions rely on. A Tory Brexit negotiation would be a disaster for the majority of people in Britain.

But that’s not to say we can be satisfied with the European Union as it is. We believe Europe can and must do far more to meet the needs of our people. That’s why when we make the case to remain, we also make the Labour case for reform.

A Labour government will protect the gains that have benefited our people, while energetically pushing for progressive reform in Europe, in alliance with our allies across the continent. A vision of a Europe of co-operation and solidarity.

We can reform to get a better deal for consumers;

To strengthen workers’ rights across Europe and prevent the undercutting of wages,

To meet the challenges posed by migration and the refugee crisis,

To end the pressure to privatise public services,

To democratise the EU’s institutions and bring them closer to people,

And for reforms to ensure we generate prosperity across Europe to the benefit of all.

Many people will be taking a European holiday in the coming months they will benefit from lower air fares and cheaper roaming charges on their mobile phones. But there are other areas where working with our political allies in Europe and the 27 other countries representing over 450 million people. We can use our collective negotiating power to stop corporations taking consumers to the cleaners.

A few weeks ago, I raised with the Prime Minister the need for reform of the Posting of Workers Directive to close a loophole that allows workers from one country to work in another and be paid less than local workers doing the same job. Although the instances are relatively few, such incidents undermine community cohesion by exploiting migrant workers and undercutting local workers.

His loophole only benefits unscrupulous employers seeking to drive down wages and Labour is pressuring the UK Government to back the proposals on the table to close this loophole.

It is not migrants that undercut wages, but unscrupulous employers. Migrant workers are often the victims of the worst exploitation, and it is our duty to close loopholes and strengthen enforcement of employment protection here in Britain and across Europe.

A couple of months ago, I held talks with the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras who was elected on a clear anti-austerity platform to resolve his country’s financial crisis.

The way in which Greece was treated by its creditors, including the EU, shows that Europe has to develop fairer and more effective mechanisms to manage such crises for the future. No one benefits from enforcing unpayable debt with yet more destructive austerity and the ties of solidarity are undermined by such counter-productive action.

But although Greece has suffered from enforced austerity, the Greek President and the Greek people are clear that their country wants to stay within a reformed Europe.

That must be a Europe that works together to develop a strategy for renewed and shared growth, and for the gains of that growth to be shared more equally.

Many thousands of people have written to me, with their concerns about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (or T-TIP) the deal being negotiated, largely in secret, between the US and the EU.

Many people are concerned rightly, that it could open up public services to further privatisation – and make privatisation effectively irreversible. Others are concerned about any potential watering down of consumer rights, food safety standards, rights at work or environmental protections and the facility for corporations to sue national governments if regulations impinged on their profits.

I share those concerns.

A few weeks ago the French President, Francois Hollande, said he would veto the deal as it stands and to become law any deal would have to be ratified by each member state. So today we give this pledge, as it stands, we too would reject TTIP – and veto it in Government.

And there is a challenge to the Prime Minister, if it’s not good enough for France; it’s not good enough for Britain either.

David Cameron make clear now that if Britain votes to remain this month you will block any TTIP trade treaty that threatens our public services, our consumer and employment rights and that hands over power to giant corporations to override democratically elected governments.

The EU’s state aid rules, which limit the scope for governments to intervene to support our vital industries, also need to change. But so does how British governments interpret them. The steel crisis highlighted how Germany, Italy, France and Spain all did much better at protecting their steel industries.

They acted within EU state aid rules to support their industries, whether through taking a public stake, investing in research and development, providing loan guarantees or compensating for energy costs.

Nevertheless, the rules are too restrictive and national governments must have the powers to act to protect key industries.

We are committed to bringing the railways into public ownership. That is the democratic will of the public and of our party. That is why our MEPs are scrutinising the Fourth Rail Package currently being negotiated in the European Parliament to ensure that there is no obstacle to a fully socially owned rail network.

More widely, we need reform in Europe to ensure we put a stop to the drive to privatise and break up our public services and utilities. The experience of Britain’s many failed privatisations and the damage done by the outsourcing of our public services is an object lesson in why the pressure to continue this three-decades-old experiment has to be brought to an end. Here and across Europe.

When it comes to the refugee crisis, many European countries have made great efforts in response. Whether taking in large numbers of people fleeing persecution, or funding refugee camps in Lebanon and Turkey as Britain has done.

But collectively, as a continent we have failed, failed to co-ordinate our efforts, failed those countries like Greece and Italy that have seen desperate people land on their shores in unprecedented number. And, tragically, we have failed people who desperately need and deserve our help.

Labour is determined that this failure must never be allowed to happen again and that in future we co-ordinate our efforts as a continent.

On migration, we cannot deny the inevitable; we live in a smaller world. Most of us in Britain know someone who has studied, worked or retired abroad. We have reciprocal arrangements with the European Union. Our citizens, well over one million of them, live in other EU countries and EU citizens come to live and work here.

But it is not that simple, I’ve already talked about how some industries are affected by the undercutting of wages and the action that can be taken to tackle that. But some communities can change dramatically and rapidly and that can be disconcerting for some people. That doesn’t make them Little Englanders, xenophobes or racists. More people living in an area can put real pressure on local services like GPs surgeries, schools and housing.

This isn’t the fault of migrants. It’s a failure of government. The coalition government in 2010 abolished the Migrant Impact Fund; a national fund to manage the short term impacts of migration on local communities. By abolishing it, David Cameron’s Coalition undermined the proper preparation and investment that communities need to adapt.

We are clear, we would restore such a fund and it could be funded from unspent

We cannot and should not want to close the borders. Not for European citizens wanting to come here, tens of thousands of whom work in our NHS. And not for British citizens who want to take advantage of opportunities elsewhere in Europe.

But we do have to make sure that public services are able to sustain the communities we have here, part of that is through a Migrant Impact Fund, but partly too it is about reversing the damaging and unnecessary austerity policies that this government continues to impose on our communities and our country.

We, the Labour Party, are overwhelmingly for staying in, because we believe the European Union has brought investment, jobs and protection for workers, consumers and the environment.

But also because we recognise that our membership offers a crucial route to meeting the challenges we face in the 21st century, on climate change, on restraining the power of global corporations and ensuring they pay fair taxes, on tackling cyber-crime and terrorism, on ensuring trade is fair with protections for workers and consumers and in addressing refugee movements

Britain will be stronger if we co-operate with our neighbours in facing those challenges together.

Europe needs to change. Today, I’ve outlined some areas for progressive reform. But those changes can only be achieved by working with our allies.

There is an overwhelming case to remain and reform so that we build on the best that Europe has achieved.

But that will only happen if we elect a Labour Government, committed to engaging with our allies to deliver real improvements in the lives of the people of our country.

That is why we established the Labour In campaign, because we have a distinct agenda, a vision to make Britain better and fairer for everyone, by engaging with our neighbours.

So please use your vote on 23 June, to vote Remain and then campaign with us for the reforms we need.

Speech by Jeremy Corbyn to Senate House on EU referendum

The people of this country face a historic choice on 23rd June whether to remain part of the European Union, or to leave. I welcome the fact that that decision is now in the hands of the British people. Indeed, I voted to support a referendum in the last Parliament.

The move to hold this referendum may have been more about managing divisions in the Conservative party. But it is now a crucial democratic opportunity for people to have their say on our country’s future, and the future of our continent as a whole.

The Labour Party is overwhelmingly for staying in because we believe the European Union has brought: investment, jobs and protection for workers, consumers and the environment, and offers the best chance of meeting the challenges we face in the 21st century. Labour is convinced that a vote to remain is in the best interests of the people of this country.

In the coming century, we face huge challenges, as a people, as a continent and as a global community. How to deal with climate change. How to address the overweening power of global corporations and ensure they pay fair taxes. How to tackle cyber-crime and terrorism. How to ensure we trade fairly and protect jobs and pay in an era of globalisation. How to address the causes of the huge refugee movements across the world, and how we adapt to a world where people everywhere move more frequently to live, work and retire.

All these issues are serious and pressing, and self-evidently require international co-operation. Collective international action through the European Union is clearly going to be vital to meeting these challenges. Britain will be stronger if we co-operate with our neighbours in facing them together.

As Portugal’s new Socialist Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, has said: ‘in the face of all these crises around us. We must not divide Europe – we must strengthen it.’

When the last referendum was held in 1975, Europe was divided by the Cold War, and what later became the EU was a much smaller, purely market-driven arrangement. Over the years I have been critical of many decisions taken by the EU, and I remain critical of its shortcomings; from its lack of democratic accountability to the institutional pressure to deregulate or privatise public services.

So Europe needs to change. But that change can only come from working with our allies in the EU. It’s perfectly possible to be critical and still be convinced we need to remain a member.

I’ve even had a few differences with the direction the Labour Party’s taken over the past few years but I have been sure that it was right to stay a member some might say I’ve even managed to do something about changing that direction.

In contrast to four decades ago, the EU of today brings together most of the countries of Europe and has developed important employment, environmental and consumer protections.

I have listened closely to the views of trade unions, environmental groups, human rights organisations and of course to Labour Party members and supporters, and fellow MPs. They are overwhelmingly convinced that we can best make a positive difference by remaining in Europe.

Britain needs to stay in the EU as the best framework for trade, manufacturing and cooperation in 21st century Europe. Tens of billion pounds-worth of investment and millions of jobs are linked to our relationship with the EU, the biggest market in the world.

EU membership has guaranteed working people vital employment rights, including four weeks’ paid holiday, maternity and paternity leave, protections for agency workers and health and safety in the workplace. Being in the EU has raised Britain’s environmental standards, from beaches to air quality, and protected consumers from rip-off charges.

But we also need to make the case for reform in Europe – the reform David Cameron’s Government has no interest in, but plenty of others across Europe do.

That means democratic reform to make the EU more accountable to its people. Economic reform to end to self-defeating austerity and put jobs and sustainable growth at the centre of European policy, labour market reform to strengthen and extend workers’ rights in a real social Europe. And new rights for governments and elected authorities to support public enterprise and halt the pressure to privatise services.

So the case I’m making is for ‘Remain – and Reform’ in Europe.

Today is the Global Day of Action for Fast Food Rights. In the US workers are demanding $15 an hour, in the UK £10 now. Labour is an internationalist party and socialists have understood from the earliest days of the labour movement that workers need to make common cause across national borders.

Working together in Europe has led to significant gains for workers here in Britain and Labour is determined to deliver further progressive reform in 2020 the democratic Europe of social justice and workers’ rights that people throughout our continent want to see.

But real reform will mean making progressive alliances across the EU – something that the Conservatives will never do.

Take the crisis in the steel industry. It’s a global problem and a challenge to many European governments. So why is it only the British Government that has failed so comprehensively to act to save steel production at home?

The European Commission proposed new tariffs on Chinese steel, but it was the UK Government that blocked these co-ordinated efforts to stop Chinese steel dumping.

Those proposals are still on the table. So today I ask David Cameron and George Osborne to to start sticking up for British steel and work with our willing European partners to secure its future.

There are certainly problems about EU state aid rules, which need reform. But if as the Leave side argues, it is the EU that is the main problem, how is that Germany, Italy, France and Spain have all done so much better at protecting their steel industries?

It is because those countries have acted within EU state aid rules to support their industries; whether through taking a public stake, investing in research and development, providing loan guarantees or compensating for energy costs.

It is not the EU that is the problem, but a Conservative Government here in Britain that doesn’t recognise the strategic importance of steel, for our economy and for the jobs and skills in those communities.

The Conservative Government has blocked action on Chinese steel dumping. It has cut investment in infrastructure that would have created demand for more steel and had no procurement strategy to support British steel.

A Labour government would have worked with our partners across Europe to stand up for steel production in Britain.

The European Union – 28 countries and 520 million people – could have made us stronger, by defending our steel industries together. The actions of the Conservative Government weakened us.

The jobs being created under this Government are too often low skill, low pay and insecure jobs. If we harnessed Europe’s potential we could be doing far more to defend high skill jobs in the steel industry.

And that goes for other employers of high skilled staff too – from Airbus to Nissan – they have made it clear that their choice to invest in Britain is strengthened by our membership of the European Union.

Of course the Conservatives are loyally committed to protecting one British industry in Europe – the tax avoidance industry.

The most telling revelation about our Prime Minister has not been about his own tax affair, but that in 2013 he personally intervened with the European Commission President to undermine an EU drive to reveal the beneficiaries of offshore trusts, and even now, in the wake of the Panama Papers, he still won’t act.

And on six different occasions since the beginning of last year Conservative MEPs have voted down attempts to take action against tax dodging.

Labour has allies across Europe prepared to take on this global network of the corrupt and we will work with them to clamp down on those determined to suck wealth out of our economies and the pockets of our people.

On Tuesday, the EU announced a step forward on country-by-country reporting. We believe we can go further. But even this modest measure was opposed by Conservative MEPs last December.

Left to themselves, it is clear what the main Vote Leave vision is for Britain to be the safe haven of choice for the ill-gotten gains of every dodgy oligarch, dictator or rogue corporation.

They believe this tiny global elite is what matters, not the rest of us, who they dismiss as “low achievers”.

Some argue that we need to leave the EU because the single market’s rules are driving deregulation and privatisation. They certainly need reform. But it was not the EU that privatised our railways. It was the Conservative Government of John Major and many of our rail routes are now run by other European nations’ publicly owned rail companies. They haven’t made the mistake of asset stripping their own countries.

Labour is committed to bringing rail back into public ownership in 2020. And that is why Labour MEPs are opposing any element of the fourth rail package, currently before the European Parliament, that might make that more difficult.

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is also a huge cause for concern, but we defeated a similar proposal before in Europe, together when it was called the Multilateral Agreement on Investment, back in 1998.

Labour MEPs are rightly opposing the Investor-State Dispute Mechanism opposing any attempt to enforce privatisation on our public services, to reduce consumer rights, workplace protections or environmental standards.

The free market enthusiasts in the Leave campaign would put all those protections at risk. Labour is building alliances to safeguard them.

We must also put human rights at the centre of our trade agreements, not as an optional add-on. We already have allies across Europe to do that. And the EU is vital for promoting human rights at home. As a result of EU directives and regulations, disabled people are protected from discrimination. Lifts, cars and buses need to be accessible, as does sea and air travel.

And it was the Labour Government that signed the Human Rights Act into UK law that transferred power from government – not to Brussels – but to individual citizens.

Climate change is the greatest threat that humanity faces this century. And Britain cannot tackle it alone. We could have the best policies possible but unless we act together internationally, it is worthless. Labour brought in the Climate Change Act, John Prescott played a key role in getting the Kyoto Protocols agreed. Labour has led the debate within Europe.

But despite David Cameron pledging to lead the greenest Government ever, Britain still lags far behind most of Europe in terms of renewable energy production. We have much to learn from what Germany has done in particular.

The Conservative Government has cut subsidies for solar power while increasing subsidies for diesel. It has cut regulatory burdens on fracking yet increased regulations on onshore wind. They say one thing, but do another.

Again, it has been regulations agreed in Europe that have improved Britain’s beaches and waterways and that are forcing us to tackle the scandal of air pollution which will kill 500,000 people in Britain by 2025, unless we act.

Working together in the European Union is vital for tackling climate change and vital in protecting the environment we share.

No doubt debate about EU membership in the next couple of months will focus strongly on jobs and migration. We live in an increasingly globalised world. Many of us will study, work or even retire abroad at some point in our lives.

Free movement has created opportunities for British people. There are nearly three-quarters of a million British people living in Spain and over two million living in the EU as a whole.

Learning abroad and working abroad, increases the opportunities and skills of British people and migration brings benefits as well as challenges at home.

But it’s only if there is government action to train enough skilled workers to stop the exploitation of migrant labour to undercut wages and invest in local services and housing in areas of rapid population growth that they will be felt across the country.

And this Government has done nothing of the sort. Instead, its failure to train enough skilled workers means we have become reliant on migration to keep our economy functioning.

This is especially true of our NHS which depends on migrant nurses and doctors to fill vacancies. This Government has failed to invest in training, and its abolition of nurses’ bursaries, and its decision to pick a fight with junior doctors is likely to make those shortages worse.

As a former representative of NHS workers, I value our NHS and admire the dedication of all its staff. It is Labour’s proudest creation. But right now, it would be in even greater crisis if many on the Leave side had their way. Some of whom have argued against the NHS and free healthcare on demand in principle.

And of course it is EU regulations that that underpin many rights at work, like holiday entitlement, maternity leave, rights to take breaks and limits to how many hours we can work, and that have helped to improve protection for agency workers.

The Tories and UKIP are on record as saying they would like to cut back EU-guaranteed workplace rights if they could.

A Labour government would instead strengthen rights at work making common cause with our allies to raise employment standards throughout Europe, to stop the undercutting of wages and conditions by unscrupulous employers, to strengthen the protection of every worker in Europe.

Just imagine what the Tories would do to workers’ rights here in Britain if we voted to leave the EU in June. They’d dump rights on equal pay, working time, annual leave, for agency workers, and on maternity pay as fast as they could get away with it. It would be a bonfire of rights that Labour governments secured within the EU.

Not only that, it wouldn’t be a Labour government negotiating a better settlement for working people with the EU. It would be a Tory government, quite possibly led by Boris Johnson and backed by Nigel Farage, that would negotiate the worst of all worlds: a free market free-for-all shorn of rights and protections.

It is sometimes easier to blame the EU, or worse to blame foreigners, than to face up to our own problems. At the head of which right now is a Conservative Government that is failing the people of Britain.

There is nothing remotely patriotic about selling off our country and our national assets to the highest bidder. Or in handing control of our economy to City hedge-funds and tax-dodging corporations based in offshore tax havens.

There is a strong socialist case for staying in the European Union. Just as there is also a powerful socialist case for reform and progressive change in Europe.

That is why we need a Labour government, to stand up – at the European level – for industries and communities in Britain, to back public ownership and public services, to protect and extend workers’ rights and to work with our allies to make both Britain and Europe work better for working people.

Many people are still weighing up how they will vote in this referendum. And I appeal to everyone, especially young people – who will live longest with the consequences – to make sure you are registered to vote. And vote to keep Britain in Europe this June. This is about your future.

By working together across our continent, we can develop our economies protect social and human rights, tackle climate change and clamp down on tax dodgers.

You cannot build a better world unless you engage with the world, build allies and deliver change. The EU, warts and all, has proved itself to be a crucial international framework to do that.

That is why I will be am backing Britain to remain in Europe and I hope you will too.

Jeremy Corbyn’s speech to Labour Party Annual Conference 2015

Friends, thank you so much for that incredible welcome and Rohi, thank you so much for that incredible welcome. Rohi, thank you so much for the way you introduced me and the way our family and you have contributed so much to our community. That was absolutely brilliant. Thank you very much.

I am truly delighted to be invited to make this speech today, because for the past two weeks, as you’ve probably known I’ve had a very easy, relaxing time. Hardly anything of any importance at all has happened to me.

You might have noticed in some of our newspapers they’ve taken a bit of an interest in me lately.

Some of the things I’ve read are this. According to one headline “Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the prospect of an asteroid ‘wiping out’ humanity.”

Now, asteroids are pretty controversial. It’s not the kind of policy I’d want this party to adopt without a full debate in conference. So can we have the debate later in the week!

Another newspaper went even further and printed a ‘mini-novel’ that predicted how life would look if I were Prime Minister. It’s pretty scary I have to tell you.

It tells us football’s Premier League would collapse, which makes sense, because it’s quite difficult to see how all our brilliant top 20 teams in the Premiership would cope with playing after an asteroid had wiped out humanity. So that’s a no-no for sure!

And then the Daily Express informed readers that – I’m not quite sure how many greats there are here, but I think there are three or four – great-great-great grandfather, who I’d never heard of before was a very unpleasant sort of chap who apparently was involved in running a workhouse. I want to take this opportunity to apologise for not doing the decent thing and going back in time to have a chat with him about his appalling behaviour.

But then there’s another journalist who had obviously been hanging around my street a great deal, who quotes: “Neighbours often see him riding a Chairman Mao style bicycle.” Less thorough journalists might just have referred to it as just a ‘bicycle’, but no.

So we have to conclude that whenever we see someone on a bicycle from now on, there goes another supporter of Chairman Mao. Thus, the Daily Express has changed history.

But seriously Conference it’s a huge honour and a privilege for me to speak to you today as Leader of the Labour Party.

To welcome all our new members.

More than 160,000 have joined the Labour party.

And more than 50,000 have joined since the declaration of the leadership and deputy leadership election results.

I’m very proud to say that in my own constituency, our membership as of last night had just gone over 3,000 individual members and 2,000 registered supporters. 5,000 people in my constituency.

I want to say first of all thank you to all of the people of my constituency of Islington North and Islington North Labour party for their friendship, support and all the activities we’ve done and all the help and support they’ve given me in the past few weeks. I’m truly grateful to you. Thank you very much indeed to everyone in Islington.

Above I want to welcome all our new members to this party, everyone who’s joined this party in this great endeavour. To change our party, change our country, change our politics and change the way we do things. Above all I want to speak to everyone in Britain about the tasks Labour has now turned to.

Opposing and fighting the Tory government and the huge damage it is doing.

Developing Labour’s alternative.

Renewing our policies so we can reach out across the country and win.

Starting next year.

In Wales.

In Scotland.

In London.

In Bristol.

In local government elections across Britain.

I want to repeat the thanks I gave after my election to all the people who have served the Labour Party so well in recent months and years.

To Ed Miliband for the leadership he gave our party, and for the courage and dignity he showed in the face of tawdry media attacks.

And also for the contribution I know he will be making in the future.

Especially on the vital issues of the environment and climate change.

Thank you Ed. Thank you so much for all you’ve done.

And to Harriet Harman not just for her leadership and service, but for her commitment and passion for equality and the rights of women.

The way she has changed attitudes and law through her courage and determination. The Equality Act is one of many testaments to her huge achievements. Thank you, Harriet, for everything you’ve done and everything you continue to do.

I also want to say a big thank you to Iain McNicol, our General Secretary, and all our Party staff in London and Newcastle and all over the country for their dedication and hard work during the General Election and leadership election campaigns.

And also to all the staff and volunteers who are doing such a great job here this week in Brighton at this incredible conference we’re holding. Thank you to all of them. They’re part of our movement and part of our conference.

Also I want to say a special thank you to the fellow candidates who contested the leadership election for this party.

It was an amazing three month experience for all of us.

I want to say thank you to Liz Kendall, for her passion, her independence, determination and her great personal friendship to me throughout the campaign. Liz, thank you so much for that and all you contribute to the party.

I want to say thank you to Yvette Cooper for the remarkable way in which she’s helped to change public attitudes towards the refugee crisis.

And now for leading a taskforce on how Britain and Europe can do more to respond to this crisis. Yvette, thank you for that.

And to Andy Burnham, our new Shadow Home Secretary, for everything he did as Health Secretary to defend our NHS – health service free at the point if use as a human right for all.

I want to say thank you to all three for the spirit and friendship with which they contested the election.

Thank you Liz.

Thank you Yvette.

Thank you Andy.

I want to thank all those who took part in that election, at hustings and rallies all across the country. Our Party at its best, democratic, inclusive and growing.

I’ve got new people to thank as well.

The talented colleagues working with me in the Shadow Cabinet and on Labour’s front bench.

An inclusive team from all political wings of our Party.

From every part of our country.

It gives us the right foundation for the open debate our Party must now have about the future.

I am not leader who wants to impose leadership lines all the time.

I don’t believe anyone of us has a monopoly on wisdom and ideas – we all have ideas and a vision of how things can be better.

I want open debate in our party and our movement.

I will listen to everyone.

I firmly believe leadership is about listening.

We will reach out to our new members and supporters.

Involve people in our debates on policy and then our Party as a whole will decide.

I’ve been given a huge mandate, by 59 per cent of the electorate who supported my campaign. I believe it is a mandate for change.

I want to explain how.

First and foremost it’s a vote for change in the way we do politics.

In the Labour Party and in the country.

Politics that’s kinder, more inclusive.

Bottom up, not top down.

In every community and workplace, not just in Westminster.

Real debate, not necessarily message discipline all the time.

But above all, straight talking. Honest.

That’s the politics we’re going to have in the future in this party and in this movement.

And it was a vote for political change in our party as well.

Let me be clear under my leadership, and we discussed this yesterday in conference, Labour will be challenging austerity.

It will be unapologetic about reforming our economy to challenge inequality and protect workers better.

And internationally Labour will be a voice for engagement in partnership with those who share our values.

Supporting the authority of international law and international institutions, not acting against them.

The global environment is in peril.

We need to be part of an international movement to cut emissions and pollution.

To combat the environmental danger to our planet.

These are crucial issues. But I also want to add this.

I’ve been standing up for human rights, challenging oppressive regimes for 30 years as a backbench MP.

And before that as an individual activist, just like everyone else in this hall.

Just because I’ve become the leader of this party, I’m not going to stop standing up on those issues or being that activist.

So for my first message to David Cameron, I say to him now a little message from our conference, I hope he’s listening – you never know:

Intervene now personally with the Saudi Arabian regime to stop the beheading and crucifixion of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who is threatened with the death penalty, for taking part in a demonstration at the age of 17.

And while you’re about it, terminate that bid made by our Ministry of Justice’s to provide services for Saudi Arabia – which would be required to carry out the sentence that would be put down on Mohammed Ali al-Nimr.

We have to be very clear about what we stand for in human rights.

A refusal to stand up is the kind of thing that really damages Britain’s standing in the world.

I have huge admiration for human rights defenders all over the world. I’ve met hundreds of these very brave people during my lifetime working on international issues. I want to say a special mention to one group who’ve campaigned for the release of British resident Shaker Aamer from Guantanamo Bay.

This was a campaign of ordinary people like you and me, standing on cold draughty streets, for many hours over many years.

Together we secured this particular piece of justice.

That’s how our human rights were won by ordinary people coming together. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things – that is how our rights and our human rights have been won.

The Tories want to repeal the Human Rights Act and some want leave the European convention on Human Rights.

Just to show what they’re made of, their new Trade Union Bill which we’re opposing very strongly in the House and the country, is also a fundamental attack on human rights and is in breach of both the ILO and the European Convention on Human Rights.

Now I’ve been listening to a lot of advice about how to do this job.

There’s plenty of advice around, believe me.

Actually I quite like that. I welcome that.

I like to listen to advice, particularly the advice which is unwelcome. That is often the best advice you get. The people that tell you, “yes, you’re doing great, you’re brilliant, you’re wonderful”. Fine. Thank you, but what have I got wrong? “Oh, I haven’t got time for that.”

I want to listen to people.

But I do like to do things differently as well.

I’ve been told never to repeat your opponents’ lines in a political debate.

But I want to tackle one thing head on.

The Tories talk about economic and family security being at risk from us the Labour party, or perhaps even more particularly, from me.

I say this to them. How dare these people talk about security for families and people in Britain?

Where’s the security for families shuttled around the private rented sector on six month tenancies – with children endlessly having to change schools?

Where’s the security for those tenants afraid to ask a landlord to fix a dangerous structure in their own homes because they might be evicted because they’ve gone to the local authority to seek the justice they’re entitled to?

Where’s the security for the carers struggling to support older family members as Tory local government cuts destroy social care and take away the help they need?

Where’s the security for young people starting out on careers knowing they are locked out of any prospect of ever buying their own home by soaring house prices?

Where’s the security for families driven away from their children’s schools, their community and family ties by these welfare cuts?

Where’s the security for the hundreds of thousands taking on self-employment with uncertain income, no sick pay, no Maternity Pay, no paid leave, no pension now facing the loss of the tax credits that keep them and their families afloat?

And there’s no security for the 2.8 million households in Britain forced into debt by stagnating wages and the Tory record of the longest fall in living standards since records began.
And that’s the nub of it.

Tory economic failure.

An economy that works for the few, not for the many.

Manufacturing still in decline.

Look at the Tory failure to intervene to support our steel industry as the Italian government has done.

So, as we did yesterday in conference, we stand with the people on Teesside fighting for their jobs, their industry and their community. The company has said that it will mothball the plant and lay the workers off, therefore it is not too late now, again, to call on the Prime Minister even at this late stage, this 12th hour, to step in and defend those people, like the Italian government has done. Why can’t the British government? What is wrong with them?

There’s an investment crisis.

Britain at the bottom of the international league on investment.

Just below Madagascar and just above El Salvador. So we’re doing quite well!

Britain’s balance of payment deficit £100 billion last year.

Loading our economy and every one of us with unsustainable debt for the future.

And the shocks in world markets this summer have shown what a dangerous and fragile state the world economy is in.

And how ill prepared the Tories have left us to face another crisis.

It hasn’t been growing exports and a stronger manufacturing sector that have underpinned the feeble economic recovery.

It’s house price inflation, asset inflation, more private debt.

Unbalanced.

Unsustainable.

Dangerous.

The real risk to economic and family security.

To people who have had to stretch to take on mortgages.

To people who have only kept their families afloat through relying on their credit cards, and payday loans.

Fearful of how they will cope with a rise in interest rates.

It’s not acceptable.

The Tories’ austerity is the out-dated and failed approach of the past.

So it’s for us, for Labour to develop our forward-looking alternative.

That’s what John McDonnell started to do in his excellent speech to conference.

At the heart of it is investing for the future.

Every mainstream economist will tell you that with interest rates so low now is the time for public investment in our infrastructure.

Investment in council housing, and for affordable homes to rent and to buy.

John Healey’s plan for 100,000 new council and housing association homes a year.

To tackle the housing crisis, drive down the spiralling housing benefit bill and so to make the taxpayer a profit. A profit for the taxpayer because the benefit bill falls when the cost of housing falls. It’s quite simple actually and quite a good idea.

Investment in fast broadband to support new high technology jobs.

A National Investment Bank to support investment in infrastructure.

To provide finance to small and medium sized firms that our banks continue to starve of the money they need to grow.

A Green New Deal investing in renewable energy and energy conservation to tackle the threat of climate change.

The Tories of course are selling off the Green Investment Bank. They are simply not interested in this.

This is the only way to a strong economic future for Britain.

That’s sustainable.

That turns round the terrible trade deficit.

That supports high growth firms and businesses.

That provides real economic security for our people.

The economy of the future depends on the investment we make today in infrastructure, skills, and schools.

I’m delighted that Lucy Powell is our new shadow Education Secretary.
She has already set out how the education of every child and the quality of every school counts.

Every school accountable to local government, not bringing back selection.
We have aspirations for all children, not just a few.

Now my first public engagement as Labour leader came within an hour of being elected.

I was proud to speak at the ‘Refugees Welcome’ rally in London. I wanted to send out a message of the kinder politics we are pursuing and a caring society we want to achieve.

I have been inspired by people across our country.

Making collections for the refugees in Calais. Donating to charities.

The work of Citizens UK to involve whole communities in this effort.

These refugees are the victims of war – many the victims of the brutal conflict in Syria.

It is a huge crisis, the worst humanitarian crisis in Europe since the Second World War. And globally it’s the biggest refugee crisis there has ever been.

But the scale of the response from the government, Europe and the international community isn’t enough.

And whilst the government is providing welcome aid to the region, especially in the Lebanon, we all know much more needs to be done. Because it’s a crisis of human beings just like you and just like me looking for security and looking for safety. Let’s reach out the hand of humanity and friendship to them.

Now let me say something about national security.

The best way to protect the British people against the threats we face to our safety at home and abroad is to work to resolve conflict.

That isn’t easy, but it is unavoidable if we want real security.

Our British values are internationalist and universal.

They are not limited by borders.

Britain does need strong, modern military and security forces to keep us safe.

And to take a lead in humanitarian and peace keeping missions – working with and strengthening the United Nations.

On my first day in Parliament as Labour Leader it was a privilege to meet the soldiers and medics who did such remarkable work in tackling the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone.

There is no contradiction between working for peace across the world and doing what is necessary to keep us safe.

Today we face very different threats from the time of the Cold War which ended thirty years ago.

That’s why I have asked our Shadow Defence Secretary, Maria Eagle, to lead a debate and review about how we deliver that strong, modern effective protection for the people of Britain.

I’ve made my own position on one issue clear. And I believe I have a mandate from my election on it.

I don’t believe £100 billion on a new generation of nuclear weapons taking up a quarter of our defence budget is the right way forward.

I believe Britain should honour our obligations under the Non Proliferation Treaty and lead in making progress on international nuclear disarmament.

But in developing our policy through the review we must make sure we all the jobs and skills of everyone in every aspect of the defence industry are fully protected and fully utilised so that we gain from this, we don’t lose from this. To me, that is very important.

And on foreign policy we need to learn the lessons of the recent past.

It didn’t help our national security that, at the same time I was protesting outside the Iraqi Embassy about Saddam Hussein’s brutality, Tory ministers were secretly conniving with illegal arms sales to his regime.

It didn’t help our national security when we went to war with Iraq in defiance of the United Nations and on a false prospectus.

It didn’t help our national security to endure the loss of hundreds of brave British soldiers in that war while making no proper preparation for what to do after the fall of the regime.

Nor does it help our national security to give such fawning and uncritical support to regimes like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain – who abuse their own citizens and repress democratic rights. These are issues we have to stand up on and also recognise in some cases they are using British weapons in their assault on Yemen. We have got to be clear on where our objectives are.

But there is a recent object lesson in how real leadership can resolve conflicts, prevent war and build real security.

It’s the leadership, the clever and difficult diplomacy that has been shown by Barack Obama and others in reaching the historic deal with Iran. A deal that opens the way for new diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict in Syria.

The scale of the destruction and suffering in Syria is truly dreadful.

More than a quarter of a million people killed.

More than ten million driven from their homes.

I yield to no-one in my opposition to the foul and despicable crimes committed by Isil and by the Assad government including barrel bombs being dropped on civilian targets.

We all want the atrocities to stop and the Syrian people free to determine their own destiny.

But the answer to this complex and tragic conflict can’t simply be found in a few more bombs.

I agree with Paddy Ashdown when he says that military strikes against Isil aren’t succeeding, not because we do not have enough high explosives, but because we do not have a diplomatic strategy on Syria.

That’s the challenge for leadership now, for us, for David Cameron.

The clever, patient, difficult diplomacy Britain needs to play a leading role in.

That’s why Hilary Benn and I together are calling for a new United Nations Security Council resolution that can underpin a political solution to the crisis.

I believe the UN can yet bring about a process that leads to an end to the violence in Syria. Yesterday’s meetings in New York were very important.

Social democracy itself was exhausted.

Dead on its feet.

Yet something new and invigorating, popular and authentic has exploded.

To understand this all of us have to share our ideas and our contributions.

Our common project must be to embrace the emergence of a modern left movement and harness it to build a society for the majority.

Now some media commentators who’ve spent years complaining about how few people have engaged with political parties have sneered at our huge increase in membership.

If they were sports reporters writing about a football team they’d be saying:

“They’ve had a terrible summer. They’ve got 160,000 new fans. Season tickets are sold out. The new supporters are young and optimistic. I don’t know how this club can survive a crisis like this.”

We celebrate the enthusiasm of so many people, old and young, from all communities.

In every part of the country.

Joining Labour as members and supporters.

And we need to change in response to this movement.

Our new members want to be active and involved.

Want to have a say in our Labour Party’s policies.

Want to lead local and national campaigns against injustice and the dreadful impact of Tory austerity.

Want to work in their local communities to make people’s lives better.

They don’t want to do things the old way.

Young people and older people are fizzing with ideas. Let’s give them the space for that fizz to explode into the joy we want of a better society.

They want a new politics of engagement and involvement.

Many of them are already active in their communities, in voluntary organisations, in local campaigns.

And we’ve convinced them now to take a further step and join our Labour Party.

What a tremendous opportunity for our Labour Party to be the hub of every community.

The place where people come together to campaign.

To debate, to build friendships, to set up new community projects.

To explain and talk to their neighbours about politics, about changing Britain for the better.

That’s going to mean a lot of change for the way we’ve done our politics in the past.

Our new Deputy Leader Tom Watson is well up for that challenge. He’s leading the charge and leading the change of the much greater use of digital media as a key resource.

That is the way of communication, it is not just through broadsheet newspapers or tabloids, it’s social media that really is the point of communication of the future. We have got to get that.

One firm commitment I make to people who join our Labour Party is that you have a real say, the final say in deciding on the policies of our party.

No-one – not me as Leader, not the Shadow Cabinet, not the Parliamentary Labour Party – is going to impose policy or have a veto.

The media commentariat don’t get it.

They’ve been keen to report disagreements as splits: agreement and compromise as concessions and capitulation

No.

This is grown up politics.

Where people put forward different views.

We debate issues.

We take a decision and we go forward together.

We look to persuade each other.

On occasions we might agree to disagree.

But whatever the outcome we stand together, united as Labour, to put forward a better way to the misery on offer from the Conservatives.

There’s another important thing about how we are going to do this.

It’s a vital part of our new politics.

I want to repeat what I said at the start of the leadership election.

I do not believe in personal abuse of any sort.

Treat people with respect.

Treat people as you wish to be treated yourself.

Listen to their views, agree or disagree but have that debate.

There is going to be no rudeness from me.

Maya Angelou said: “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

I want a kinder politics, a more caring society.

Don’t let them reduce you to believing in anything less.

So I say to all activists, whether Labour or not, cut out the personal attacks.

The cyberbullying.

And especially the misogynistic abuse online.

And let’s get on with bringing values back into politics.

So what are our first big campaigns?

I want to start with a fundamental issue about democratic rights for Britain.

Just before Parliament rose for the summer the Tories sneaked out a plan to strike millions of people off the electoral register this December.

A year earlier than the advice of the independent Electoral Commission.

It means two million or more people could lose their right to vote.

That’s 400,000 people in London. It’s 70,000 people in Glasgow.

Thousands in every town and city, village and hamlet all across the country

That’s overwhelmingly students, people in insecure accommodation, and short stay private lets.

We know why the Tories are doing it.

They want to gerrymander next year’s Mayoral election in London by denying hundreds of thousands of Londoners their right to vote.

They want to do the same for the Assembly elections in Wales.

And they want to gerrymander electoral boundaries across the country.

By ensuring new constituencies are decided on the basis of the missing registers when the Boundary Commission starts its work in April 2016.

Conference we are going to do our best to stop them.

We will highlight this issue in Parliament and outside.

We will work with Labour councils across the country to get people back on the registers.

And from today our Labour Party starts a nationwide campaign for all our members to work in every town and city, in every university as students start the new term, to stop the Tory gerrymander. To get people on the electoral register.

It’s hard work – as I know from 10 years as the election agent for a marginal London constituency.

But now we have new resources.

The power of social media.

The power of our huge new membership.

Conference, let’s get to it. Get those people on the register to give us those victories but also to get fairness within our society.

And, friends, we need to renew our party in Scotland. I want to pay tribute today to our leader in Scotland, Kezia Dugdale and her team of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.

I know that people in Scotland have been disappointed by the Labour Party.

I know you feel we lost our way.

I agree with you.

Kezia has asked people to take another look at the Labour Party.

And that’s what I want people across Scotland to do.

Under Kezia and my leadership we will change.

We will learn the lessons of the past.

And we will again make Labour the great fighting force you expect us to be.

We need to be investing in skills, investing in our young people – not cutting student numbers. Giving young people real hope and real opportunity.

Conference, it is Labour that is the progressive voice for Scotland.

There’s another big campaign we need to lead.

David Cameron’s attack on the living standards of low paid workers and their families through the assault on tax credits.

First, remind people over and over again David Cameron pledged during the election not to cut child tax credits.

On the Question Time Leader’s debate he said he had rejected child tax credit cuts.

It’s a shocking broken promise – and the Tories voted it through in Parliament just two weeks ago.

How can it be right for a single mother working as a part time nurse earning just £18,000 to lose £2,000 to this broken promise?

Some working families losing nearly £3,500 a year to this same broken promise.

And how can it be right or fair to break this promise while handing out an inheritance tax cut to 60,000 of the wealthiest families in the country? See the contrast

So we’ll fight this every inch of the way.

And we’ll campaign at the workplace, in every community against this Tory broken promise.

And to expose the absurd lie that the Tories are on the side of working people, that they are giving Britain a pay rise.

It was one of the proudest days of my life when cycling home from Parliament at 5 o’clock in the morning having voted for the national minimum wage legislation to go through.

So of course it’s good to see a minimum wage.

But the phoney rebranding of it as a living wage doesn’t do anyone any good.

And the Institute of Fiscal Studies has shown Cameron’s broken promise mean millions of workers are still left far worse off.

They can and must be changed.

As I travelled the country during the leadership campaign it was wonderful to see the diversity of all the people in our country.

And that is now being reflected in our membership with more black, Asian and ethnic minority members joining our party.

Even more inspiring is the unity and unanimity of their values.

A belief in coming together to achieve more than we can on our own.

Fair play for all.

Solidarity and not walking by on the other side of the street when people are in trouble.

Respect for other people’s point of view.

It is this sense of fair play, these shared majority British values that are the fundamental reason why I love this country and its people.

These values are what I was elected on: a kinder politics and a more caring society.

They are Labour values and our country’s values.

We’re going to put these values back into politics.

I want to rid Britain of injustice, to make it fairer, more decent, more equal.

And I want all our citizens to benefit from prosperity and success.

There is nothing good about cutting support to the children of supermarket workers and cleaners.

There is nothing good about leaving hundreds of thousands unable to feed themselves, driving them to foodbanks that have almost become an institution.

And there is nothing good about a Prime Minister wandering around Europe trying to bargain away the rights that protect our workers.

As our Conference decided yesterday we will oppose that and stand up for the vision of a social Europe, a Europe of unity and solidarity, to defend those rights.

I am proud of our history.

It is a history of courageous people who defied overwhelming odds to fight for the rights and freedoms we enjoy today.

The rights of women to vote.

The rights and dignity of working people;

Our welfare state.

The NHS – rightly at the centre of Danny Boyle’s great Olympic opening ceremony.

The BBC.

Both great institutions.

Both under attack by the Tories.

Both threatened by the idea that profit comes first, not the needs and interests of our people. That’s the difference between us and the Tories.

So let me make this commitment.

Our Labour Party will always put people’s interests before profit.

Now I want to say a bit more about policy – and the review that Angela Eagle has announced this week.

Let’s start by recognising the huge amount of agreement we start from, thanks to the work that Angela led in the National Policy Forum.

Then we need to be imaginative and recognise the ways our country is changing.

In my leadership campaign I set out some ideas for how we should support small businesses and the self-employed.
That’s because one in seven of the labour force now work for themselves.

Some of them have been driven into it as their only response to keep an income coming in, insecure though it is.

But many people like the independence and flexibility self-employment brings to their lives, the sense of being your own boss.

And that’s a good thing.

But with that independence comes insecurity and risk especially for those on the lowest and most volatile incomes.

There’s no Statutory Sick Pay if they have an accident at work.

There’s no Statutory Maternity Pay for women when they become pregnant

They have to spend time chasing bigger firms to pay their invoices on time, so they don’t slip further into debt.

They earn less than other workers.

On average just £11,000 a year.

And their incomes have been hit hardest by five years of Tory economic failure.

So what are the Tories doing to help the self-employed, the entrepreneurs they claim to represent?

They’re clobbering them with the tax credit cuts.

And they are going to clobber them again harder as they bring in Universal Credit.

So I want our policy review to tackle this in a really serious way. And be reflective of what modern Britain is actually like.

Labour created the welfare state as an expression of a caring society – but all too often that safety net has holes in it, people fall through it, and it is not there for the self-employed. It must be. That is the function of a universal welfare state.

Consider opening up Statutory Maternity and Paternity Pay to the self-employed so all new born children can get the same level of care from their parents.

I’ve asked Angela Eagle, our Shadow Business Secretary, and Owen Smith, our Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, to look at all the ways we can we support self-employed people and help them to grow their businesses.

And I want to thank Lillian Greenwood, our Shadow Transport Secretary for the speed and skill with which she has moved policy on the future of our railways forward.

It was wonderful to see Conference this morning agree our new plan to bring private franchises into public ownership as they expire.

Labour’s policy now is to deliver the fully integrated, publicly owned railway the British people want and need. That’s the Labour policy, that’s the one we’ll deliver on.

Housing policy too is a top priority.

Perhaps nowhere else has Tory failure been so complete and so damaging to our people.

In the last parliament at least half a million fewer homes built than needed.

Private rents out of control.

A third of private rented homes not meeting basic standards of health and safety.

The chance of owning a home a distant dream for the vast majority of young people.

There’s no answer to this crisis that doesn’t start with a new council house-building programme.

With new homes that are affordable to rent and to buy.

As John Healey, our Shadow Housing Minister, has shown it can pay for itself and make the taxpayer a profit by cutting the housing benefit bill by having reasonable rents, not exorbitant rents

And we need new ideas to tackle land hoarding and land speculation.

These are issues that are so vital to how things go forward in this country.

I want a kinder, more caring politics that does not tolerate more homelessness, more upheaval for families in temporary accommodation.

A secure home is currently out of reach for millions.

And John Healey has already made a great start on a fundamental review of our housing policies to achieve that.

And we are going to make mental health a real priority.

It’s an issue for all of us.

Every one of us can have a mental health problem.

So let’s end the stigma.

End the discrimination.

And with Luciana Berger, our Shadow Minister for Mental Health, I’m going to challenge the Tories to make parity of esteem for mental health a reality not a slogan.

With increased funding – especially for services for children and young people.

As three quarters of chronic mental health problems start before the age of 18.

Yet only a quarter of those young people get the help they need.

All our work on policy will be underpinned by Labour’s values.

End the stigma, end the discrimination, treat people with mental health conditions as you would wish to be treated yourself. That’s our pledge.

Let’s put them back into politics.

Let’s build that kinder, more caring world.

Since the dawn of history in virtually every human society there are some people who are given a great deal and many more people who are given little or nothing.

Some people have property and power, class and capital, status and clout which are denied to the many.

And time and time again, the people who receive a great deal tell the many to be grateful to be given anything at all.

They say that the world cannot be changed and the many must accept the terms on which they are allowed to live in it.

These days this attitude is justified by economic theory.

The many with little or nothing are told they live in a global economy whose terms cannot be changed.

They must accept the place assigned to them by competitive markets.

By the way, isn’t it curious that globalisation always means low wages for poor people, but is used to justify massive payments to top chief executives.

Our Labour Party came into being to fight that attitude.

That is still what our Labour Party is all about. Labour is the voice that says to the many, at home and abroad: “you don’t have to take what you’re given.”

Labour says:

“You may be born poor but you don’t have to stay poor. You don’t have to live without power and without hope.

“You don’t have to set limits on your talent and your ambition – or those of your children.

“You don’t have to accept prejudice and discrimination, or sickness or poverty, or destruction and war.

“You don’t have to be grateful to survive in a world made by others.

No, you set the terms for the people in power over you, and you dismiss them when they fail you.”

That’s what democracy is about.

That has always been our Labour Party’s message.

You don’t have to take what you’re given.

It was the great Nigerian writer Ben Okri who perhaps put it best:

“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love”.

But they’re at it again.

The people who want you to take what you’re given.

This Tory government.

This government which was made by the few – and paid for by the few.

Since becoming leader David Cameron has received £55 million in donations from hedge funds. From people who have a lot and want to keep it all.

That is why this pre-paid government came into being.

To protect the few and tell all the rest of us to accept what we’re given.

To deliver the £145 million tax break they have given the hedge funds in return.

They want us to believe there is no alternative to cutting jobs.

Slashing public services.

Vandalising the NHS.

Cutting junior doctor’s pay.

Reducing care for the elderly.

Destroying the hopes of young people for a college education or putting university graduates into massive debt.

Putting half a million more children in poverty.

They want the people of Britain to accept all of these things.

They expect millions of people to work harder and longer for a lower quality of life on lower wages. Well, they’re not having it.

Our Labour Party says no.
The British people never have to take what they are given.

And certainly not when it comes from Cameron and Osborne.

So Conference, I come almost to the end of my first conference speech, and I think you for listening OK, alright, don’t worry. Listen, I’ve spoken at 37 meetings since Saturday afternoon, is that not enough? Well talk later.

So I end conference with a quote.

The last bearded man to lead the Labour Party was a wonderful great Scotsman, Keir Hardie who died about a century ago this weekend and we commemorated him with a book we launched on Sunday evening. Kier grew up in dreadful poverty and made so much of his life and founded our party.

Stood up to be counted on votes for women, stood up for social justice, stood up to develop our political party.

We own him and so many more so much. And he was asked once summaries what you are about, summarise what you really mean in your life. And he thought for a moment and he said this:

“My work has consisted of trying to stir up a divine discontent with wrong”.

Don’t accept injustice, stand up against prejudice.

Let us build a kinder politics, a more caring society together.

Let us put our values, the people’s values, back into politics.

Thank you.