Home Secretary Amber Rudd tried to attack Jeremy Corbyn on his leadership credentials in the BBC debate on 31 May. But it didn’t go well for her, because it prompted Corbyn to raise one simple point. And it showed that he potentially has what it takes to win this election.
One audience member asked panellists what leadership qualities they had that showed they could take the country forward. Rudd responded, in part, by attacking Corbyn. She raised the Labour Party coup initiated by MPs in 2016. And she used the example to suggest Corbyn wouldn’t be able to negotiate Brexit, or show good leadership. But in response, Corbyn said, quite simply:
300,000 people elected me to lead this party and I’m very proud to lead this party.
The audience erupted at this comment, clapping and cheering his reply. Because in response to Rudd’s probe, Corbyn highlighted his success in doing the only thing that gets any politician into 10 Downing Street: public votes. Not votes from other politicians.
Without that, all the bluster about who’s stronger, or who’s a better negotiator, amounts to nothing. Because it doesn’t put you into the leadership position in the first place.
What are we voting for?
Prior to that, Corbyn had laid out exactly what sort of leadership he wants the country to vote for. He said:
Leadership is about understanding the people you represent; is about being prepared to learn; is about not being so high and mighty you can’t take advice. It is also about bringing people with you. It is also about ensuring that your responsibility’s to protect the safety and security of everybody in this country. And to lead a government that cares for everybody in the country, and doesn’t walk by on the other side when there are people that are homeless, there are people that are starving, and we have millions of our children living in poverty.
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It’s leadership to lead a government that is prepared to say to our society we cannot go on like this.
We have to start putting more money into our public services… We have to have an economy that works for all. And we don’t have to have a spiv economy that hands tax relief to the biggest corporations and the wealthiest people whilst ignoring the desperate cries for social help of so many people in our country.
This vision of leadership also drew heavy applause.
And Theresa May’s vision of leadership? Well, she didn’t even turn up. That tells you everything.
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) May 31, 2017
Featured image via screengrab
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