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Corbyn hopes for ‘more democratic party’ with ‘widest possible participation’

UK News | Published:

He plans to give his grassroots support a greater role.

Jeremy Corbyn said his drive to give Labour members more control over the party will help him enter Downing Street.

He said plans to give his grassroots support a greater role will not only help oust Theresa May it will also change the “system of inequality and injustice” in society, he claimed.

The Labour leader, who arrived at the party’s conference in Brighton to the familiar “oh Jeremy Corbyn” chant, hit out at austerity measures which “disproportionately” hit women.

At the Labour women’s conference, which was taking place before the formal start of the full national event on Sunday, Mr Corbyn said his proposed review of party democracy would ensure wider support for his policies.

He wants a “more open, more democratic party” with the “widest possible participation”.

Addressing the women’s conference he said: “Wide participation in policy making leads to more support for the policies we get, leads us to that movement that will bring about the end of this government but – beyond that – the end of the system of inequality and injustice in our society.”

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Mr Corbyn’s supporters secured an important victory in the party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) over changes to the leadership election rules.

In a compromise move, the NEC agreed to a proposal to cut the number of nominations a candidate needs to run from 15% to 10% of the party’s MPs and MEPs.

The change – which now needs to be approved by conference – is expected to make it easier for a left-wing candidate to secure a place on the ballot paper when 68-year-old Mr Corbyn finally steps down.

In a further strengthening of the left’s position, the party also increased the number of NEC delegates from members and unions as well as authorising the democracy review.

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Mr Corbyn hit out at targets including the Tories and US President Donald Trump as he addressed the women’s conference.

“It’s without question the Labour Party is the party of women’s equality, no matter who else might try to claim that mantle,” he said.

“I acknowledge that the Tories have a woman leader but their policies have actually hurt women a lot.”

Mr Corbyn hit out at the abuse targeted at women Labour MPs including Luciana Berger and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott.

“The unbelievable and disgusting and disgraceful levels of abuse that women receive in public life is unacceptable – from anybody, to anybody – it has got to stop.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

In a message to some Labour supporters who have engaged in vitriolic attacks at women MPs from other wings of the party he said: “All women who represent our party deserve our unqualified support.”

Before arriving at the conference centre, Mr Corbyn played table tennis at a club which provides support for people with learning difficulties and refugees.

Meanwhile, shadow women and equalities minister Dawn Butler launched a “period poverty campaign” with a promise to provide funding for free sanitary products for secondary schools, foodbanks and homeless shelters.

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