Corbyn says he would happily serve in new Labour leader’s shadow cabinet

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Outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he would serve in his successor’s shadow cabinet if they asked him to.

Leadership contender Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, has suggested she would offer Corbyn a job if she becomes Labour’s new leader in April. Deputy leadership contender Richard Burgon has also said previously that he would like Corbyn to be shadow foreign secretary.

“I am happy to serve the party in any capacity”

Corbyn said during a visit to flood-hit South Wales:

I am happy to serve the party in any capacity because my whole life has been about making my contribution in Parliament, holding governments to account and of course speaking out on policy areas…

I have been proud to lead the party for the past five years, proud of the policy achievements we have made and of the huge growth in membership.

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At the last count, the party had around 518,000 members – remaining, under Corbyn’s leadership, at levels not seen previously since the 1970s.

If Corbyn remained on Labour’s frontbench, he would become the first leader since Ramsay McDonald to do so.

The ballot in the leadership contest had been due to open on Friday, but it emerged voting was being delayed until Monday. Labour did not immediately explain why.

“Re-balance our economy and our society”

Corbyn also spoke about the party’s development in recent years, stressing:

We have developed policies which are about sharing the wealth of our society, about challenging austerity and inequality…

Insisting that “Brexit was a chasm too great for us to cross” in the 2019 election, he added:

I simply say to all those that want to analyse our party: this country is one of the most unequal; we have more people sleeping rough than 10 years ago; we have more people living in serious poverty in this country.

The idea that we would turn to some kind of market-led economic analysis by the Labour Party is not the way forward.

The way forward surely is to recognise the need to re-balance our economy and our society.

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