New Year's Eve 2017: Jeremy Corbyn says Labour will occupy 'new centre ground' in annual message

Labour leader declares 'the old political consensus is finished' 

Sunday 31 December 2017 10:21
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Jeremy Corbyn says Labour is 'a government in waiting' in New Year message

Jeremy Corbyn has used his New Year message to say Labour is now “staking out the new centre ground in British politics” and that “the old political consensus is finished”.

The Labour leader, who had a successful 2017 after increasing the number of Labour MPs in a shock result at the general election, claimed his party was "a government in waiting".

In a video message released on New Year’s Eve, Mr Corbyn said the UK was being “held back by a self-serving elite who look after themselves and their friends”.

"I’d like to wish you all a Happy New Year. Ours is a fantastic country full of wonderful, caring and talented people with the hope of a great future ahead of us, where we all share in the wealth we create,” Mr Corbyn said.

"But we are being held back by a self-serving elite, who look after themselves and their friends and a failed system which delivers staggering wealth at the top, while more and more people struggle to simply make ends meet."

Highlighting the recent general election and taking aim at “the establishment”, Mr Corbyn said they had “no idea” how to fix the “broken system”.

"In 2017 we said: no more. There is an alternative and millions joined our cause in the general election,” he said.

"And now the establishment’s secret is out: they’re not as strong as they appear. Let’s face it, they have no idea how to fix their broken system or upgrade our stagnant economy.

"In 2018, Labour’s mission is to give our people support and security and use their talents, unleash their creativity and fulfil their hopes.

"The old political consensus is finished. We are staking out the new centre ground in British politics, backing the things which most people want but are blocked by vested interests."

In an attack on Theresa May and the Conservatives, Mr Corbyn described the current government as "weak and divided” and said they were “stuck in an outdated rut".

"We are a government in waiting, while the Conservatives are weak and divided and stuck in an outdated rut with no new ideas.

"The hope of a new Britain, run in the interests of the many, not the few, is closer than ever before. Together we can, and we will, deliver it," Mr Corbyn added.

In her New Year message, Ms May said 2018 would bring “renewed confidence and pride” to Britain as she sought to heal Brexit divisions and draw a line under a tumultuous 12 months.

The Prime Minister used her message to hail the “good progress” made in the Brexit negotiations but she also made clear that the EU withdrawal was “not the limit of our ambitions”.

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