Theresa May admits Jeremy Corbyn has 'changed the political consensus'

Prime Minister says Tories must once again make the case for 'free markets and wealth creation'

Benjamin Kentish
Monday 02 October 2017 15:44
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Theresa May claims Jeremy Corbyn 'changed the political consensus'

Theresa May has admitted that Jeremy Corbyn has “changed the political consensus” in Britain.

The Prime Minister was speaking to female Tory activists at a Women2win fringe event at the Conservatives’ conference in Manchester.

She said: “We’ve now got a job to do as a party. Yes, learn the lessons from the general election, but actually we’ve got a job to do to ensure that people understand the importance of some of the those issues that we thought we had won the argument about over the years - free market economics, the importance of fiscal prudence, wealth creation.

“We thought there was a political consensus. Jeremy Corbyn has changed that. It’s our job to go out and make those arguments all over again.”

The speech was recorded by HuffPost.

Ms May was speaking hours before the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, launched an extraordinary attack on Mr Corbyn and his brand of politics.

Addressing Tory activists during his keynote speech, Mr Hammond claimed the Labour leader posed a “clear and present danger” to the UK’s prosperity and said there would be food shortages in Britain if he were to win power.

He also highlighted problems in socialist countries around the world and claimed Mr Corbyn would inflict the same on Britain.

He said: “Like Cuba, which I visited last year as Foreign Secretary, where curiously, I found cows in the fields but no milk in the shops.

“Or Zimbabwe – once one of the most productive and prosperous countries on the continent but after decades of socialism, not so much a breadbasket, as a basket case.

“And Venezuela, a country rich beyond imagination in natural resources but where the economic policies of Hugo Chavez, publicly supported by Jeremy Corbyn, have so tragically impoverished the country that it can longer feed its people and inflation is over 1,000 per cent and growth this year will fall for the fourth year in a row.”

Speaking at Labour’s conference last week, Mr Corbyn told party members they had created a “new consensus”.

He said: “This is the real centre of gravity of British politics. We are now the political mainstream.

“Today’s centre ground is certainly not where it was twenty or thirty years ago.

“A new consensus is emerging from the great economic crash and the years of austerity, when people started to find political voice for their hopes for something different and better."

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