Jeremy Corbyn to hold rally in ex-Tory MP Anna Soubry's constituency as he hits out at The Independent Group

'I am disappointed that a small number of Labour MPs have decided to leave our party and join forces with disaffected Tories, who say they have no problem with austerity that has plunged thousands into desperate poverty and insecurity'

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Saturday 23 February 2019 01:20
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Jeremy Corbyn calls on Labour defectors to call by-election

Jeremy Corbyn will today hold rally in ex-Tory MP Anna Soubry's constituency as he claims former Labour MPs have joined forces with advocates of austerity in a scathing attack on the newly-formed Independent Group.

The Labour leader's remarks come as ninth MP - Ian Austin - quit on Friday as he labelled the party "broken" and protested against its handling of antisemitism allegations in recent months.

During the rally in Broxtowe - the constituency Ms Soubry - the Labour leader will be joined by senior members of his top team, including the shadow chancellor John McDonnell and the shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry.

"I am disappointed that a small number of Labour MPs have decided to leave our party and join forces with disaffected Tories, who say they have no problem with austerity that has plunged thousands into desperate poverty and insecurity," he will say on Saturday.

“Our programme for change won huge support in the general election because we offered hope, instead of the same old establishment demand for cuts, privatisation and austerity."

Addressing the dramatic schism in the party amid rumours that more MPs could quit Labour, he will add: "Over the last few years, Labour's membership has grown dramatically and set our party on a new course. I understand why that has been difficult for some.

"As leader of the party's it necessary of course to listen to the concerns of our MPs as well as our members and affiliates."

Mr Corbyn will add: “Our movement, the labour movement, is the greatest force for progressive change our country has ever known.

“We created the NHS and the welfare state, we brought in the Equal Pay Act and every piece of anti-racist legislation of the 20th century. We introduced the minimum wage and the world’s first Climate Change Act.

“We, the Labour Party, are a movement of half a million people in every city and town in our country."

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