Coronavirus crisis response proves Labour was 'right' about spending, Corbyn says

Published by Rhys Taylor-Brown on March 29th 2020, 10:00am

Outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has told the BBC that new financial measures introduced by the government in response to the COVID-19 crisis prove that the Labour party was "right" about public spending prior to the 2019 general election.

Corbyn said: "I didn't think that it would take only three months for me to be proved absolutely right by the amount of money that government is now prepared to put in - and Parliament has just voted through - to deal with the coronavirus crisis."

Corbyn told the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg that "ten years of austerity" and "under-funding the National Health Service" meant the UK was "ill-prepared" for the coronavirus pandemic.

He added that the government had been "shocked" into shape by the scale of the crisis and forced to move away from "free market economics".

He also accused the government of failing to understand the scope of people who were working in "insecure" employment, prior to calculating its plans to respond to the pandemic.

Corbyn explained: "They've now suddenly realised that they have to spend money to invest in the state, as we have always said as a party, and they have come around to a lot of that position."

The Islington North MP also believes that the political landscape will be forever changed as a result of the outbreak.

"I think our society and our politics will never be the same again, because we have suddenly realised as a society and a community, we need everybody - and everybody has a contribution to make.

"This is a change in our politics, which the coronavirus crisis has actually meant in every country in the world."

Corbyn will be replaced as Labour leader on April 4, when the result of the party's leadership contest will be announced. One of Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey or Lisa Nandy will succeed him.

Corbyn is standing down after four-and-a-half years as Labour leader, following two general election defeats under his tenure.

Discussing Labour's performances at the polls under his leadership, Corbyn said: "I did everything I possibly could to win both elections and to say to the people of this country, the only way our society can come together is if we're prepared to invest.

"I was denounced as somebody that wanted to spend more money than we could possibly afford, in order to right the social wrongs of this country."

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Rhys Taylor-Brown
Junior Editor
March 29th 2020, 10:00am

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