Jeremy Corbyn formally launches campaign to be independent MP for Islington North

Corbyn said he wanted to be an "independent voice for equality, for democracy and for peace"

Jeremy Corbyn speaking at the launch of his campaign to be an independent MP for Islington North

The former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn formally launched his campaign to be elected as an independent MP for Islington North last night (29 May). Corbyn is standing as an independent after being blocked from being a Labour candidate in the general election.

At a packed meeting, Corbyn started the launch by saying that he wanted to be an “independent voice for equality, for democracy and for peace” and slammed what he described as a “political system that is no longer, sadly, offering the hope to so many people that it should.”

Corbyn continued by saying: “Politics should be about hope. Politics should be about making sure that those that are silenced are heard, those that are pushed aside are brought back in, those whose needs are so often unmet. It short, it is about the hope that we can bring to people. That’s what politics ought to do.”

Among the specific policy areas Corbyn pledged to campaign on were scrapping the two child benefit cap, ending sanctions for benefits claimants, taking public services such as water and Royal Mail into public ownership and introducing rent controls in the private sector.

He also claimed that almost the entire constituency had been leafleted since he announced his candidacy less than a week ago.

The Labour Party has selected Praful Nargund to contest the seat. While Labour’s current national poll rating suggests they are on tack for a landslide victory at the election, Keir Starmer’s party will no doubt be worried that Corbyn’s local record and high profile will see him return to parliament on an independent ticket.

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward

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