POLITICS
29/10/2015 20:02 GMT | Updated 30/10/2015 07:59 GMT

BBC Question Time: Billy Bragg Hopes Labour MPs Critical Of Jeremy Corbyn Are 'Squirming In Their Seats'

Billy Bragg
BBC
Billy Bragg

Jeremy Cobyn backer Billy Bragg hopes Labour MPs sceptical about the party’s new leader are “squirming in their seats” at the rise of the “grass roots”.

Speaking on BBC Question Time, the musician and political activist claimed Mr Corbyn was representative of an “urge for change” in politics.

Addressing an audience in Edinburgh, Mr Bragg hit back at an audience member who suggested the new Labour leader would not be able to win votes back from the Scottish National Party.

Mr Bragg claimed some of the buzz generated in last year’s Scottish referendum campaign which preceeded the SNP’s Westminster landslide was already beginning to be felt in England for Mr Corbyn.

Addressing the audience member sceptical about Labour’s electoral chances in Scotland, Mr Bragg said: “To sit up there and tell me what’s going to happen to Jeremy Corbyn, mate, I think you’ve got another thing coming.”

He added: “What people want from politics is changing, that’s easily visible here in Scotland, it’s not quite so visible in England but Corbyn is a representative of that urge for change. This is grassroots Labour.

“The reason why Red Ed, so called, didn’t win last time was because that was the old way of doing things. It was a hollowed out party, top down orders and the membership disregarded. All this is changing.

“We just have to convince first the Parliamentary Labour Party and then everybody else that he really does represent genuine positive change.”

When the audience member claimed Mr Corbyn could not even persuade many Labour MPs to back him, Mr Bragg replied: “We first need to convince our own party and as they all watch this programme I’m hoping they are squirming in their seats at home and thinking about this.”

Earlier in the show, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale admitted she voted for Yvette Cooper in the leadership election subsequently won by Mr Corbyn.

Ms Dugdale praised the national party leader has a man of tremendous principles but struck a more ominous note when pressed on how electorally successful he would be.

She said: “I wouldn't write him off yet.”

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