Jeremy Corbyn pledged to bring a ‘fairer economy’ and ‘just society’ as he spoke in Birmingham for the first time since Theresa May announced a general election this morning.
The Labour leader, who was speaking at the BVSC carers’ hub in Digbeth, added that he was ‘very very confident’ that he could be the next Prime Minister.
Mr Corbyn said that Labour would be setting out a ‘positive vision’ to make a fairer economy and investment in jobs in the future.
He added that social care and the state of the NHS would be key issues as they approached the snap election on June 8.
“I am very happy, very happy indeed, that the first speech I make towards the General Election on June 8 is about the needs of social care and the needs for social care within our society.
“Because if there’s anything that represents a clear difference between us and the Tory government it’s this.
“Social care is at breaking point. Those most in need, elderly, disabled, those who have learning difficulties and need support and often unable to get the care that we, as a civilised society, must and will deliver for all of them.
“That is the kind and society and world I want to live in and I think it’s the same world that you want to live in as well.
“Our national health service is not growing, it’s getting smaller. Our hospitals face closure, A&E face closures, maternity wards face closures with huge waits at A&E in some places, and many who cannot leave hospital because social care is not available for them.
“The failure of the NHS and social care under the Tories is quite serious indeed.”
Mr Corbyn, who was joined by Perry Barr MP Khalid Mahmood was in Birmingham to announce a long-planned keynote policy, to boost the Carer’s Allowance by £10.
Inside the venue, he said: “I’ve been elected to lead this party, I’m very proud to lead this party – I simply say to everyone, our party is here to deliver that fair, decent and just society.
“That’s what brought people to the Labour Party in the first place, that’s what sustained the party.
“I invite all of them: come on board with us and see what we can do together, to create that decency in Britain.
“People laid down their lives to get us all the right to vote.
“I think we owe it to them, as well as we owe it to ourselves, to vote in the election and make the choice that we want.
“We’re putting forward our case for how we think Britain could develop into a decent fairer society.”
Asked how he could convince doubters at the polls, he said: “We convince people by our message, we convince people by our determination and by our actions.
“And I tell you this there’s going to be a lot of people convinced, by June 8, that a Tory government is not the answer.”
Mr Corbyn declined to answer a reporter when asked whether he would still be leader on June 9 if Labour lost the election.