Jeremy Corbyn has said he has let the Labour Party ready to win the next general election – despite leading the party to its worst showing since the 1930s during the December election.
The Islington North MP said he regretted not being able to lead Labour back to power but – in what will be read as a warning to his successor not to deviate from the left-wing path set during his leadership – added: ‘We have the ideas, policies, energy and organisation to win a Labour government next time.’
In his farewell Facebook post, Corbyn said: ‘Over the past five years we have changed the agenda on austerity and how the economy is run.
‘In 2015, opposing austerity was seen as radical – today it is the political mainstream.
‘Of course, we could have achieved so much in government, and I am sorry that under my leadership we did not get there.
‘In 2017 we came close, winning the biggest increase in the popular vote since 1945.
‘Sadly, the 2019 election was a Brexit election and our attempt to bridge the gap between Leave and Remain voters was unsuccessful.’
Corbyn’s comments come after his wife, Laura Alvarez, accused the media of having ‘vilified’ the outgoing Labour leader and said he was ‘attacked by his own party’ during his four-and-a-half years in the top job.
In a rare public intervention, Alvarez also said the NHS would have been better prepared for the coronavirus pandemic if Labour had united to win power at the 2017 and 2019 elections while her spouse was at the helm.
Corbyn’s wife of seven years has largely steered clear of making public comments since the 70-year-old was elected Labour leader in 2015.
But, in an article in The Mirror, the Mexican revealed it was difficult for her to watch from the sidelines as her husband faced criticism from both the press and the party.
‘It has been incredibly hard for me to watch my husband vilified and to hear his words twisted by his political opponents and some in the media,’ said the former human rights lawyer.
‘It has been even harder to watch him be attacked by his own party.
‘The brutal irony is that if we had pulled together, we would have been ready to lead the country rather than suffer more austerity under the Tories.’