Theresa May has conceded Jeremy Corbyn has “changed” the political consensus in the country.
The prime minister was speaking at a reception for women Tory activists and MPs at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester on Sunday evening.
“We’ve now got a job to do as a party,” she said. “Yes, learn the lessons from the general election, but actually we’ve got a job to do to ensure that people understand the importance of some of the those issues that we thought we had won the argument about over the years - free market economics, the importance of fiscal prudence, wealth creation.
In comments that can be seen in a HuffPost UK video of her speech, May said: “We thought there was a political consensus. Jeremy Corbyn has changed that. It’s our job to go out and make those arguments all over again.”
May says Corbyn has changed the centre ground:
In his speech to the Labour Party conference last week in Brighton, Corbyn said his brand of socialism was now the centre ground.
“This is the real centre of gravity of British politics. We are now the political mainstream,” he said.
“Today’s centre ground is certainly not where it was twenty or thirty years ago.
“A new consensus is emerging from the great economic crash and the years of austerity, when people started to find political voice for their hopes for something different and better.
The Labour leader added: “2017 may be the year when politics finally caught up with the crash of 2008 - because we offered people a clear choice.”
May apologises to MPs who lost their seats:
May was speaking at a drinks party for Women2win, the campaign organisation she founded in 2005 to increase the number of female Tory MPs.
The prime minister used her speech to apologise for the election result that saw several women Tory MPs lose their seats.
“I’m sad that we lost some very good female colleagues at the general election and I’m sorry about that,” she said.