Outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said the government’s response to the coronavirus proves he was ‘absolutely right’ about his approach to public spending in the party’s manifesto at the general election.
Corbyn said that he had been denounced in the election as someone ‘that wanted to spend more money than we could possibly afford’ to fix society
But he said the fact the Tories were now spending vast sums in response to the coronavirus crisis highlighted ’10 years of austerity, of underfunding the National Health Service and underfunding our benefit system’.
Speaking to the BBC, the Islington North MP said the Tory government have finally woken up to the issue as a result of the national emergency.
‘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.’
He continued: ‘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.
‘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.
‘So this is a change in our politics, which the coronavirus crisis has actually meant in every country in the world.
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‘There’s suddenly a realisation that we’re only as healthy as the safety of our neighbour.’
Corbyn added that the coronavirus epidemic will change the political landscape forever.
‘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.’