POLITICS
30/09/2015 05:40 BST | Updated 30/09/2015 05:59 BST

Jeremy Corbyn: Blogger Richard Heller Who Wrote Recycled 1980s Speech Says 'I Am Delighted'

The man whose writing was said to have been plagiarised for use in Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party conference speech has said he is "delighted" it happened and denied it was plagiarism.

Mr Corbyn's speech contained an extract on how powerful people amass power and wealth while denying it to others, which was taken from author and former advisor Richard Heller, who had offered it to every Labour leader since Neil Kinnock and published it on his blog in 2011.

In an extract adapted from what Mr Heller wrote, Mr Corbyn told his conference: "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.

"And time and time again, the people who receive a great deal tell the many to be grateful to be given anything at all."

The claim this was "plagiarism" featured heavily in write-ups of the speech but Mr Heller has said he did not regard what happened plagiarism.

jeremy corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn giving his speech yesterday

"I have always been proud of that passage, both for its content and its cadences," he wrote for The Guardian.

"I also discovered that some British media were suggesting that his use was unauthorised.This is quite untrue.

"I am delighted that the passage has been used, and am sorry that a spurious story might detract from its message. I have many disagreements with Corbyn, but I now have to admire his rhetorical judgment."

Mr Heller said he offered Corbyn the passage just after his election as leader and, having heard nothing, travelled to Pakistan to research a book he is writing about cricket.

He was stuck in a Karachi traffic jam when he heard Mr Corbyn had used it.

Mr Heller told Channel 4 News' Michael Crick that he was "very happy" Mr Corbyn had done so, adding: "He's the first Labour leader to appreciate great political rhetoric, the first leader with taste."

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