Jeremy Corbyn visited Wythenshawe shopping centre after launching Labour’s general election campaign in Manchester, when he accused the Tories of holding Britain back.
The Labour leader was well received as he chatted to local people to get the party’s message across with four weeks to go to the general election when Mike Kane will be defending the Wythenshawe and Sale East seat for the party in four weeks time.
Among the dozens of people he talked to was Liz Curran, aged 63, from Peel Hall who was impressed by Mr Corbyn. She told the Reporter: “He seemed like a good guy. I hope he is elected for the sake of working people in places like Wythenshawe.”
Mr Corbyn arrived at Wythenshawe Forum in the party’s battle bus on Tuesday, emblazoned with the election slogan “for the many not the few”,
He said Labour would transform Britain to roll back attacks on working class people and highlighted the bedroom tax, the closure of Sure Start children’s centres and cuts in disability benefits introduced when Tory Prime Minister Theresa May was a government minister.
Labour has so far promised to ban zero hours contracts, stop parking charges at hospitals, affordable homes, a fully funded NHS and change an economy which is “rigged in favour of the rich and powerful.”
He said: “There is no doubt this country is being held back. If your children are not getting the education they deserve because the class sizes are too high, then your children are being held back. If you’re a young couple, anyone trying to get a home, and can’t make a home because rent and house prices are too high, then you’re being held back.
“If you’ve worked hard all your life, but you can’t pursue your dreams of retirement because you’re supporting your family well into their adulthood, then you too are being held back.
“Don’t wake on up on 9 June to see celebrations from the tax cheats, the press barons, the greedy bankers, Philip Green, the Southern Rail directors and crooked financiers that take our wealth, who have got away with it because the party they own, the Conservative Party, has won.
“We have four weeks to ruin their party! We have four weeks to have a chance to take our wealth back.”
Labour candidate Mike Kane said: “Jeremy got a fantastic reception from local people today and we now have 30 days to get our message across to return a Labour government on June 8.
Mr Corbyn has faced a deluge of resignations from his shadow cabinet following what his critics called a “lacklustre” performance in the EU referendum campaign. He will face a vote of no confidence motion today.
But 10,000 supporters who gathered for a hastily organized rally in Parliament Square last night were promised the Labour leader was “going nowhere”.
Members in Wythenshawe and Sale East voted to support Mr Corbyn in July last year when he stood as a candidate for the party leadership. He was elected with 59.5 of the vote, the biggest mandate of any British political leader, in an election campaign which saw an influx of thousands of new members.
Mr Corbyn has been criticised by Labour MPs for not being forceful enough in arguing for Labour’s official position to remain in the European Union. Mr Corbyn supported remaining to protect jobs and workers rights while expressing reservations about the EU.
And MPs who support the leader said Mr Corbyn’s position chimed with the views of many in working class communities who shared his reservations.
If Mr Corbyn continues to stand firm and defy MPs it is likely that Labour Party members will decide his future in what is expected to be a bitter leadership battle with the prospect of a general election to choose a new government before the end of the year.
Wythenshawe’s Labour MP, Mike Kane, has abstained in the vote in the first debate in parliament over the government’s Welfare Reform Bill, within a fortnight of heckling the Chancellor over £12 billion of cuts which will hit 60 per cent of families in the town.
The bill, which will cap the total benefit entitlement for a family at £385 a week as well as slash child and tax credits for low paid workers, was opposed by 48 Labour MPs, who defied an order from their acting party leader Harriet Harman not to vote.
Mr Kane voted for a Labour bid to halt the bill whilst supporting the benefit cap. But when the amendment was defeated, the MP towed the party line by remaining neutral and abstained in the final vote on the bill.
The Wythenshawe MP was reprimanded by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons during the budget speech on July 8th when he and two other MPs tried to drown out Chancellor George Osborne as he tried to announce cuts.