Labour conference: Jeremy Corbyn just gave his first conference speech and people loved it

Corbyn's talking points appealed to his supporters and the party base

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Indy Politics

Jeremy Corbyn has given his first speech as Labour leader at the party's annual conference, and it appears to have gone down well with his supporters.

In the speech, Corbyn told the assembled audience that he had a "mandate for change" following his landslide victory in the leadership election, in which he received 59.5 per cent of the vote.

He promised to push for a kinder, more civil politics, laid out his plans to campaign to scrap the UK's nuclear arsenal, and attacked the media for some of the critical stories that have been written about him since his election victory.


The number of people that have joined Labour since Jeremy Corbyn became leader

Corbyn also spoke a lot about Labour's heritage as a socialist party - talking about tackling globalisation-driven inequality and pushing for further democracy and engagement within society.

Although his speech wasn't written to appeal to the "media commentariat" as he put it, it received a good reception amongst the party's base and the tens of thousands of new members who have joined the party since he became leader.

"Straight talking, honest politics"

Many supporters praised Corbyn's commitment to more honest and straight-talking politics, which shadow chancellor John McDonnell referred to in his speech on Monday.

A down-to-earth speech

Unlike his predecessor Ed Miliband, it's Corbyn's unstatesmanlike qualities that have endeared him to many people (whilst still providing ammunition for his critics).

More than any specific policies or promises, it was Corbyn's general demeanour and delivery that struck a chord amongst his audience.

Scrapping Trident

Corbyn has been explicit in his opposition to the renewal of the UK's Trident nuclear deterrent, a stance which has never been common amongst the leaders of mainstream parties.

Speaking about Trident in his speech, he said: "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."

His approach to Trident is one of the factors that prompted the Conservatives to call Labour a "threat to national security" in the aftermath of his victory.

Nonetheless, it was received well by Corbyn loyalists, with his comments being greeted with cheers in the conference hall.

Despite the party backing Trident renewal at the conference, Corbyn said he believed his mandate gave him the right to keep pushing for disarmament.

The jokes

Corbyn has been lampooned heavily for his pretty terrible record on jokes, but he managed to surprise everyone by actually being slightly funny at the beginning of his speech.


Although Corbyn didn't directly offer any solutions to the refugee crisis, he said that Europe and the international community aren't doing enough to help.

Mentioning his past support for refugees (he attended a 'Refugees Welcome' rally hours after becoming leader), he said the UK should "reach out the hand of humanity and friendship" to the hundreds of thousands of refugees currently lanugishing in Europe and elsewhere.

For his supporters and sympathisers, his pro-refugee internationalist comments were received well.

The speech was a crowd-pleaser for his supporters, and was clearly aimed at securing backing amongst those in the hall and the people who voted for him.

However, while addressing international issues and continuing  to promise a "new kind of politics" may have gone down well on Twitter, most agreed that he would have to do more to appeal to the wider electorate.

Labour has now posted the full transcript of Jeremy Corbyn's speech online, you can read it here.