Corbynism declared the new '˜political mainstream' as Labour leader unveils plans to empower communities

Jeremy Corbyn has declared Labour's agenda of nationalisation and social justice as the 'new political mainstream' as he delivered his keynote speech to a buoyant party conference.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn om stage at party conference

Despite acknowledging that the party “remains in opposition for now”, the Labour leader played the victor as he promised to tackle inequality, rebuild the NHS and rebalance economic investment.

Taking the stage to chants of “oh, Jeremy Corbyn”, he mocked Theresa May’s Conservative Government for a series of embarrassing policy U-turns while claiming that the party was “tearing itself apart” over Brexit.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“It is Labour that is now setting the agenda,” he announced to delegates. “We are now the political mainstream.”

The speech was delivered to a packed conference hall, with the party enjoying a surge in membership in the wake of a surprise performance at the election.

Despite underlying tensions surrounding the growing influence of the left-wing group Momentum, Mr Corbyn said it was clear that Labour had achieved unity and “left our own divisions behind”.

He told activists that party now needed to show that it had the “credible and effective” plans and the competence needed to deliver “socialism for the 21st century, for the many, not the few”.

“We must make our unity practical. We know we are campaign-ready. We must be government-ready too,” he said.

The main policy announcement was a proposal to give communities the power to block council-led regeneration schemes if it is felt they do not “benefit the local people”.

He stated that regeneration too often means “forced gentrification and social cleansing” of communities, “as private developers move in and tenants and leaseholders are moved out”.

He also promised that a Labour government would guarantee “unimpeded access” to the single market, in its bid to establish a “new co-operative relationship with the EU”.

He contrasted this with the “shambolic” approach to Brexit displayed by the current Government, which he claimed was “tearing itself apart”.

He said: “The election result has already delivered one Tory U-turn after another over some of their most damaging policies.

The reality is that barely three months since the election this coalition of Conservative chaos is... bereft of ideas and energy.”

Launching a fresh attack on the failures of the free market and the “dogmas of neo-liberalism” he reaffirmed the party’s commitment to economic reform.

He told supporters that Labour “is looking not just to repair the damage done by austerity but to transform our economy with a new and dynamic role for the public sector”.

“Now is the time that government took a more active role in restructuring our economy. Now is the time that corporate boardrooms were held accountable for their actions, And now is the time that we developed a new model of economic management.” he said.

First Secretary of State Damian Green said Mr Corbyn’s speech “summed up the problem with Labour”. “Lots of big promises, but no explanation of how they would deliver them,” he said.

“Labour say they are ready for power but everything we’ve seen this week suggests they’re not fit to govern – and it’s ordinary working people who would end up footing the bill.”