Jeremy Corbyn hails Labour's election performance while demanding Theresa May quit as Prime Minister

Labour says it will try to form a government 'whenever we get the opportunity' 

Joe Watts
Political Editor
Friday 09 June 2017 04:15
Jeremy Corbyn majority increased by 11,000 votes

Jeremy Corbyn has hailed his party’s election performance as a vote for “hope” and demanded Theresa May quit as Prime Minister.

In his victory speech at his own Islington North count he said the time had come for a government that is “truly representative of all of the people of this country”.

His shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said Labour would try to form a government at the earliest possible opportunity, even if it was in a minority.

With results pointing to his party performing considerably better than it had in 2015 under Ed Miliband, Mr Corbyn said the UK could be a “different and fundamentally better place”.

He went on: “Politics is not going back into the box where it was before.

“What’s happened is people have said they have had quite enough of austerity politics, they have had quite enough of cuts in public expenditure, underfunding our health service, underfunding our schools and our education service and not giving our young people the chance they deserve in our society.”

People were “voting for hope for the future and turning their backs on austerity”, he said.

Turning his fire on Ms May, he said: “The Prime Minister called the election because she wanted a mandate. Well the mandate she has got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence.

“I would have thought that’s enough to go, actually, and make way for a government that will be truly representative of all the people of this country.”

He added: “In the new parliament we will do everything we can to ensure that everything we have said in this campaign and everything that is included in our manifesto is put before Parliament so that this country can be a different, and I believe, fundamentally better place.”

Mr McDonnell arrived at the count for Hayes and Harlington to back his leader’s call up, pointing out Ms May’s U-turn over calling an election.

He said: “I think Theresa May actually called a general election despite promising some seven times not to. And people thought this was unnecessary. And she put party before country.

“I think even some Conservative MPs now consider her position is increasingly untenable. I think she has committed a … political error for her own political career.

“More importantly she has put us through a general election which was unnecessary. She put party before country and that’s unacceptable.”

John McDonnell: Theresa May's position as PM untenable

Underlining his party’s intention to form a government, he said: “Whenever we get the opportunity we will do.

“If it’s a minority government we will. But we don’t know the results of this election yet.

“We are extremely cautious, let’s see what the results are.”

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