Jeremy Corbyn: 'I will probably be prime minister in the next 12 months'

In a new interview, Labour leader said another election was likely but declined to back another referendum

Joe Watts
Political Editor
Tuesday 19 December 2017 09:57 GMT
Mr Corbyn say he has been ‘horrified’ by the sexual harassment allegations that have rocked Westminster
Mr Corbyn say he has been ‘horrified’ by the sexual harassment allegations that have rocked Westminster (PA)

Jeremy Corbyn has said he believes he will probably be prime minister by the end of 2018.

The Labour leader said it was likely there would be an election and that his party was ready to take responsibility for leading the country.

In a wide-ranging interview with Grazia, Mr Corbyn also accused some people of having been “extremely irresponsible” in the way they campaigned for the last June’s referendum, but declined to back a second public vote on Brexit.

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The interview, billed as his first with a women’s magazine, also saw Mr Corbyn say he has been “horrified” by the sexual harassment allegations that have rocked Westminster.

Earlier in the year, following the shock general election result, Mr Corbyn was reported to have said he thought he would be in Downing Street by Christmas.

But in the new interview, Mr Corbyn said he believed he was on the verge of entering No 10 in the next year as “there will probably be another election in the next 12 months”.

"I think we'd probably win it, with a majority, but we're working very hard on that," he said.

On Brexit, Mr Corbyn said that some people during the referendum campaign had been “extremely irresponsible in what they did and said”, but that “we have to recognise it was the largest participation of people in an electoral process ever in Britain, and they chose to leave”.

Pressed on why he was not campaigning for a second referendum, he said: “I think we should continue putting pressure on the Government to allow a transition period to develop, because at the moment we’re in danger of getting into a complete mess in March 2019.”

A number of Labour and Tory MPs have been caught up in Westminster sleaze allegations that emerged in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in Hollywood. .

As an MP for 35 years, Mr Corbyn was asked whether he had heard whispers about inappropriate conduct.

“Not many whispers, no. I was very shocked,” he told Grazia. “I’m horrified and appalled by it all. I think sexism is a real challenge in society that needs to be dealt with.

“The allegations are all investigated and dealt with as appropriate. We support the people making them as well as the people being alleged against.”

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Mr Corbyn said Labour was “not dealing with huge numbers” of allegations, but added: “We’re dealing with some cases and they are of course disturbing when you get them.

“But we have a process, including a confidential hotline and an independent person to investigate. I’m utterly determined all Labour Party events will be a safe place for women to go to.”

On Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, Mr Corbyn – known for his republican beliefs – said “she’s clearly a very decent person”.

The royal family will pay for the wedding, including the church service, the music, the flowers and the reception, the palace said.

But the security costs for the high-profile celebration will fall to the taxpayer.

Mr Corbyn said: “Weddings come pretty pricey, I understand, but I think the cost should be borne by the family themselves.”

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