POLITICS
29/09/2015 14:59 BST | Updated 29/09/2015 15:59 BST

Jeremy Corbyn's Speech Used Extracts From A Draft 'Rejected By Five Previous Labour Leaders'

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29:  Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers his first speech as leader of the party on September 29, 2015 in Brighton, England. The four day annual Labour Party Conference takes place in Brighton and is expected to attract thousands of delegates with keynote speeches from influential politicians and over 500 fringe events.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Jeff J Mitchell via Getty Images
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers his first speech as leader of the party on September 29, 2015 in Brighton, England. The four day annual Labour Party Conference takes place in Brighton and is expected to attract thousands of delegates with keynote speeches from influential politicians and over 500 fringe events. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Parts of Jeremy Corbyn’s conference speech were taken from an unused draft sent to every Labour leader since Neil Kinnock, it has been revealed.

Richard Heller, who served as chief of staff to ex-Labour deputy leader Denis Healey in the early 1980s, confirmed he wrote some of the key passages of the speech delivered today in Brighton.

The passages were sent to the previous five Labour leaders, including Ed Miliband, but never used.

Aides to Mr Corbyn initially denied lifting the passages from Mr Heller, who posted them on his blog in 2011.

A spokesman later confirmed Mr Corbyn had indeed used the sections after Mr Heller had sent them in to him.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Heller said: “I have offered passage up to many other Labour leaders. I was surprised they used it but very glad.”

Channel 4’s Michael Crick also contacted Mr Heller, who told him "He's the first Labour leader to appreciate great political rhetoric, the first Leader with taste."

The similarity between the two speeches was initially noticed by the Spectator.

This afternoon, Mr Corbyn said: "Since the dawn of history in virtually every human society there are some people who are given a great deal and many more people who are given little or nothing. Some people have property and power, class and capital, status and clout which are denied to the many.

"And time and time again, the people who receive a great deal tell the many to be grateful to be given anything at all. They say that the world cannot be changed and the many must accept the terms on which they are allowed to live in it."

Mr Heller’s blog reads: “Since the dawn of history, in virtually every human society there are some people who are given a great deal and many more people who are given little or nothing. Some people have property and power, class and capital, status and even sanctity, which are denied to the multitude.

"And time and time again, the people who receive a great deal tell the multitude to be grateful to be given anything at all. They say that the world cannot be changed and the multitude must accept the terms on which they are allowed to live in it.”

Later in his speech, Mr Corbyn said: "These days this attitude is justified by economic theory. The many with little or nothing are told they live in a global economy whose terms cannot be changed. They must accept the place assigned to them by competitive markets.

"By the way, isn’t it curious that globalisation always means low wages for poor people, but is used to justify massive payments to top chief executives.

"Our Labour Party came into being to fight that attitude. That is still what our Labour Party is all about. Labour is the voice that says to the many, at home and abroad: 'you don’t have to take what you’re given'."

Mr Heller had written: "For many years, this attitude was justified in terms of high philosophy, spiritual values or religious faith. ‘The rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate He made them high or lowly And ordered their estate.’ More recently, this attitude has been rationalized by economic theory.

"The multitudes with little or nothing are told that they live in a global economy whose terms cannot be changed: they must accept the place assigned to them by competitive markets.

“The Labour Party came into being to fight that attitude. That is still what the Labour Party is all about. Labour is the voice that says to the multitude, at home and abroad: ‘you don’t have to take what you’re given’.”