Jeremy Corbyn tears into the Daily Mail in Labour Party conference speech

<em>Jeremy Corbyn believes Labour are on the verge of power (PA)</em>
Jeremy Corbyn believes Labour are on the verge of power (PA)

Jeremy Corbyn launched a scathing attack against the Daily Mail during his speech at the Labour Party conference.

The party leader said that while the newspaper devoted 14 pages to attacking him in the run-up to the 2017 General Election, Labour’s vote share increased by 10%.

‘Never have so many trees died in vain,’ he joked.

<em>The key words used in Jeremy Corbyn’s speech (PA)</em>
The key words used in Jeremy Corbyn’s speech (PA)

Addressing the paper’s editor Paul Dacre directly Mr Corbyn said: ‘Next time, make it 28 pages.’

He made the comments in a speech that was met with a rapturous reception, and in which he somewhat broke from tradition in order to sing ‘happy birthday’ to Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott.

He began by saying that the Labour Party is on the “threshold of power”, after taking to the stage greeted by standing ovations, cheers and chants of “oh Jeremy Corbyn” as he took to the stage in Brighton.

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Praising the gains Labour made in June’s General Election, he said: “It’s a result that has put the Tories on notice and Labour on the threshold of power.”

Mr Corbyn’s popularity within the party has never been higher and the excitement at the conference has not gone unnoticed.

But mixed in with the excitement are some criticisms of the leadership and its current direction in terms of policy.

Here are five things we have learned during the annual gathering…

<em>Labour Party conference this year has had more than its fair share of talking points (PA)</em>
Labour Party conference this year has had more than its fair share of talking points (PA)

Jeremy Corbyn’s position is secure.

Chants of “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” greeted the Labour leader wherever he went as his loyal supporters demonstrated their commitment to the man they believe has revitalised the party and offered a radical alternative to traditional politics.

Significantly, one of those chanting was deputy leader Tom Watson, who had questioned whether Mr Corbyn could continue during the revolt by MPs against him last year. Other prominent former critics, including London Mayor Sadiq Khan, also used the conference to publicly praise Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

The party is preparing for government sooner rather than later

Labour frontbenchers used the conference to unveil a range of new policies and the party has produced an “implementation manual” designed to make sure that Mr Corbyn’s plans can be put into effect as soon as he enters Number 10. The Labour leader believes Theresa May’s Government has “run out of steam” and his party is ready for another election before the next scheduled poll in 2022.


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Labour is braced for a backlash if it wins power

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has admitted that one of the scenarios being planned for is a run on the pound. Mr McDonnell said he did not expect such a scenario to unfold but the party had to be ready for an “assault” by opponents in the City, media and Parliament.

Europe is an issue within the party

Jeremy Corbyn faced pressure from senior pro-EU figures within the party to commit Labour to remaining in the single market on a permanent basis after Brexit or even promise a second referendum to potentially overturn the decision to break away from Brussels.

Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale hit out at the party’s “lacklustre” efforts in the referendum campaign and blamed Mr Corbyn for failing to use his popular appeal to convince traditional Labour voters of the benefits of EU membership.

<em>Even Tom Watson became a Corbynite this year (PA)</em>
Even Tom Watson became a Corbynite this year (PA)

Mr Corbyn, who has never been a Europhile, said that although Brexit would be difficult there would be “positives”, suggesting it could make it easier to pursue a programme of nationalisation and state support for industry.

Distractions remain – as does controversy

The Labour leadership will have been disappointed that controversial comments at fringe events have overshadowed efforts to portray Labour as a party of government. Rows over anti-Semitism led Warren Morgan, the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove Council, to suggest that the party could be banned from staging future conferences in the city unless action was taken.

He said: “I will need reassurances that there will be no repeat of the behaviour and actions we have seen this week before any further bookings from the party are taken.

Meanwhile, senior figures spent the hours before Mr Corbyn’s keynote speech defending the Royal Family after MP Emma Dent Coad reportedly questioned Prince Harry’s ability to fly a helicopter and suggested he and his brother William were “not very bright”.