The crowds that turned out for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in West Yorkshire on 15 May were so big that they even left the BBC stunned.
Massive turnout in Leeds
On the last day before Labour’s official manifesto launch, local BBC reporters were clearly impressed by the number of people who came out to show their support for Corbyn.
BBC Look North political reporter James Vincent was in Leeds, where thousands of people apparently turned out to see the Labour leader. Vincent said:
If anybody tells you politics is boring, they weren’t in Leeds this afternoon. There was a huge crowd here… It was amazing. People hanging onto lampposts, hanging onto trees.
Co-presenter Harry Gration, meanwhile, admitted:
Now by anyone’s standards, that was a remarkable reaction today.
Vincent then pointed out the difference between Corbyn’s events and those of Conservative leader Theresa May:
He’s making a trademark of these stump speeches – old school campaigning on the stump. It’s something that Theresa May has not been doing a great deal of. Her events have been typified by her having a lot of party members around her… but not really big public events.
Excellent journalism from BBC Yorkshire reporting the groundswell of support for Jeremy Corbyn in Yorkshire today pic.twitter.com/zLEvqtTrGr
— Tory Fibs (@ToryFibs) May 15, 2017
Vincent also tweeted out a number of pictures from the event, along with a video of this popular young boy:
This lad is the crowd favourite.
— James Vincent (@BBCJamesVincent) May 15, 2017
And a video of Corbyn telling the crowd:
There’s nothing inevitable about this election. Let’s go out there and show: We. Can. Do. This. Thing. Together!
— James Vincent (@BBCJamesVincent) May 15, 2017
A busy day for Corbyn
Corbyn didn’t only visit West Yorkshire’s biggest city, though. He was also in the smaller market town of Hebden Bridge, where he had to give the same speech twice because of all the people who’d come out to hear him. And his message was clear:
This election is about how we deal with an economy. Do we spend the next five years reducing tax for corporations and the very rich? Or do we spend the next five years investing all across the country in good infrastructure, in sustainable industries, in the good services that we need, in our young people and the skills that they need?
The Labour leader also took apart the Conservatives’ attempts to position themselves as a workers’ party:
There’s a story going around in some of the papers that the Tory party have now become the friend of the working class and the workers. I simply ask this question. Would you call a government that allows six million people to earn less than the living wage ‘a friend of those in work’? Would you call a government that allows one million people to be working on zero hours contracts – not knowing what their pay’s going to be from one week to the other [‘a friend of those in work’]? Would you call a government that charges fees and costs for those that take their case for justice to an employment tribunal ‘on the side of those that are at work’? Obviously not.
— I was a JSA claimant (@imajsaclaimant) May 15, 2017
Two very different campaigns
The pro-Corbyn crowds seen above, which even seemed to leave the BBC impressed, once again exemplified the massive difference so far between Corbyn’s campaign and Theresa May’s; and between the two very distinct visions they have for Britain’s future.
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