‘I’m like glue – I have great stickability’
Upbeat Corbyn talks up Labour’s future
JEREMY CORBYN has said he “sticks around like Bostik” after toughing out plots to get rid of him and leading Labour to a better- than- expected General Election result.
The Labour leader claimed that, like the glue, he had “great stickability” and talked up his party’s chances of taking power after a five-day visit to Scotland.
Mr Corbyn has been Labour leader since 2015 but has faced votes of no confidence from his own MPs and a leadership challenge.
The Islington North MP, who Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale previously said was unable to unite the party and lead it into Government, saw off the revolt and led the party to dozens more seats than expected in June’s snap poll.
Asked if he felt vindicated for toughing out the intense pressure on him to quit last year, he said: “Absolutely”.
Mr Corbyn added: “I have got great stickability.
“It is the Bostik question. I stick around like Bostik.
“It’s been fun. I am a relentlessly optimistic person. I was given a 200-1 chance of winning. I am not a betting man but many in my family wish I was.
“We went into the General Election being dismissed by what you might call the commentariat but we mounted a campaign which was transformational.
“I am not content ( with the result) but I recognise the party put a huge effort into this.” Mr Corbyn batted away criticism of Labour’s position on Europe as “muddled”, saying his party respected the referendum result and was committed to getting the best Brexit deal possible for the UK.
He said: “The referendum happened, we have got to work with the result but that does not mean we give up on important trading relations.
“Tariff free trade access is vital. We will ensure workers’ rights, consumer rights and environmental rights will be moved into British law.
“We will challenge the Government on the trade deal if it is less than tarifffree access because of the effect on jobs in Britain. That is key.
“The supply chains of modern industry are very long and complicated. For example, Ford engines from Bridgend ( in Wales). Many people don’t realise that bits and pieces of cars often travel across the channel many times. It is a very tightly-run system so if you have to pay a tariff every time you move a crankshaft from Germany to Britain back and forth ... Well, it is not going to happen.”
The SNP administration at Holyrood has threatened to withhold consent for the UK Government’s Brexit plan unless there are significant compromises and Labour has “six tests” it will assess each part of the trade deal with.
Asked if he would support the SNP if there were no concessions made and the UK Government’s plan failed his six tests, the Labour leader said: “That is some way down the line.”
Meanwhile, Mr Corbyn yesterday restated his party’s commitment to older people and the young as he attended a pensioners’ tea party at St Bryce Kirk in Kirkcaldy, Fife.