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Real Change for Britain

This is the text of Jeremy Corbyn speech following his reelection as head of Britain’s Labour Party.

I’m honoured to have won the results of a majority of members, affiliated supporters and registered supporters, who’ve given me the second mandate in a year to lead our party.

I want to thank all the volunteers in our amazing campaign. The tens of thousands who’ve helped all over the country in my campaign.

I also want to thank all those volunteers and worked so hard and helped in Owen Smith’s campaign as well.

Volunteers and the work they put in are the very life blood of democracy and we both had amazing sets of volunteers. So I say thank you, to all of them, for all the work they did over the summer.

And I want to say thank you to Owen Smith as well. Owen, we’ve had an interesting summer of debates all over the country, thank you very much for all of that, for the good discussions and good humoured debates that we’ve had. And no doubt it will continue, because we’re part of the same Labour family and that’s how it’s always going to be. Thank you.

And it has been an amazing summer, we’ve had good weather of course, and we’ve had events and rallies and hustings all over the place.

But it’s been about our Labour family facing the future of how we do things together in the future.

I will do everything I can, to repay the trust and the support, to bring our party together. To make it an engine of progress for our country and the people that depend on the Labour party, to protect their interests and win power to deliver real change in this country.

Elections are passionate and often partisan affairs and things are sometimes said in the heat of the debate on all sides which we sometimes later come to regret.

But always remember in our party: We have much more in common than that which divides us.

As far as I’m concerned, let’s wipe that slate clean, from today, and get on with the work we’ve got to do as a party together.

We are proud as a party to that we’re not afraid to discuss openly, to debate and disagree. That is essential for a party that wants to change people’s lives for the better. That isn’t prepared to accept things as they are.

It’s also an essential part of what has drawn half a million people into membership of what is now the largest political party anywhere in Western Europe. We have almost tripled our membership since last spring.

Those new members are part of a nationwide movement who can now take our message into ever community in the country. To win support for the election of a Labour government.

Our party has a duty of care to our members. That means intervening to stop personal abuse and also abiding by the principles of natural justice in the way that we handle it.

Politics is demeaned and corroded by intimidation and abuse. It’s not my way and it’s not the Labour way and never will be.

Now, friends, is the time for all of us to focus every ounce of our energy on exposing and defeating the Tories and the damage they are doing to our country.

Theresa May’s government isn’t a new government. It’s David Cameron’s government with a hard right edge, repacked with progressive slogans, but threatening to take the country backwards and dithering as we face the historic challenges of Brexit.

So, if you believe that education is better than segregation; that we need an NHS that isn’t threatened with breakdown and loaded with debt; that older people deserve dignity and  care they need in their own home; that we have a duty as a country to refugees and promote peace, rather than conflict; if like me, you believe that it’s a scandal that here in Britain, the sixth largest economy in the world, four million children are in poverty, six million workers are paid less than the living wage; and if like me, you believe we can do things far better, then help us build support for a genuine alternative that would invest in our future.

A more prosperous future, in which the wealth we all create is shared more equally.

Together, arguing for the real change this country needs, I’ve no doubt that this party can win the next general election, whenever the Prime Minister calls it, and form the next government.

To do that, we need to work together. This time next week, we’re all going to hit the streets, united as a party. I’m calling on Labour party members, all over the country, to join us in a national campaign for inclusive education for all, next Saturday.

The Tories’ plans for grammar school segregation of our children exposed their divisive and damaging agenda for our country.

My responsibility as Labour leader is to unite this party – at conference this week, here, in the wonderful city of Liverpool, in Parliament and in every community around the country.

But it’s also the responsibility of the whole party – MPs, councillors, party members and our wonderful supporters across the country – to work together and respect the democratic choice that’s been made.

Labour is a party brimming full of ideas, of talent, of creativity. And so is this country. Unleashing that potential is the job of all of us.

Let us work together for real change in Britain.

Thank you very much.

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Jeremy Corbyn is leader of the British Labour Party.

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