POLITICS

Jeremy Corbyn And John McDonnell Tell Election Rally Labour Will 'Bring The Tories Down'

'We can win.'

07/07/2017 01:44 BST | Updated 07/07/2017 10:49 BST

Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have pledged to unseat Theresa May and her Conservative government, as a poll showed Labour had surged ahead of the Tories.

The Labour leader and shadow chancellor were the headline acts at a mass rally in north London on Thursday arranged to celebrate the unexpected general election result.

Corbyn was greeted as a hero by his supporters at the event in the 2,300 capacity venue in Kentish Town, with chants of “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn”.

“I can’t wait for the next election campaign to come along. I can’t wait for that day we can win an election,” Corbyn told the crowd to cheers.

PA Wire/PA Images

McDonnell said Labour came very close to winning the election, but just needed more time.

“If we had another couple of weeks of the campaign we would be in government now,” he said.

“During that election campaign the Labour Party, the rank and file, and yes, even the Parliamentary Labour Party, appeared united. And it demonstrated a united party, a united movement, can win.

“Don’t underestimate the ability of the Tories to maintain their grip on power no matter what.

“But also don’t underestimate the ability of us to bring them down. Every day in parliament we will be using every opportunity we can to defeat them, to hold back austerity, to ensure we can demoralise them and divide them and yes, bring them down.”

The two men were speaking as a YouGov poll for The Times was released that showed Labour was ahead on 46% compared to the Conservatives on 38%.

Corbyn opened the event by asking for a minute’s silence for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Corbyn also told the crowd McDonnell had “assured” him that there would not be another Labour leadership challenge this summer.

It is almost a year to the day that McDonnell told a rally at the same venue that Labour MPs plotting the second leadership challenge were “fucking useless”.

McDonnell, who spoke from the stage last night before Corbyn, referenced the incident. “Last time I was on this stage I cracked a few jokes, wound up in the Daily Mail and was almost lynched by the Parliamentary Labour Party,” he said.

“I hope these are not perennial,” he said of Labour leadership elections. “It’s quite exhausting not having a holiday for three years.”

Since the election the Labour leadership has moved moved to consolidate its control over the party.

HuffPost UK understands Corbyn could back radical plans to make it easier for party members to deselect sitting Labour MPs.

Chris Williamson, a shadow minister, earlier today suggested Labour needed “fresh” MPs who backed Corbyn.

New party chair Ian Lavery also told HuffPost UK last week that he wanted “different ways and means” of selecting MPs and in a warning to those on the right, suggested the party was now “too broad a church”.