Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn pledged to scrap Universal Credit - in a visit to the constituency of its architect.

Mr Corbyn spoke at a rally in Chingford, the constituency of MP Iain Duncan Smith, who introduced Universal Credit as Work and Pensions Secretary.

He set out Labour’s plans to replace Universal Credit with a social security system that would focus on “alleviating and ending poverty, not driving people into it”.

Criticising Universal Credit in a speech, Mr Corbyn said: “Universal Credit has been an unmitigated disaster. As well as being behind schedule and over budget it is inhumane and cruel, driving people into poverty and hardship.

“Social security is supposed to give people dignity and respect, not punish and police them, make them wait five weeks for the first payment or fill out a four-page form to prove their child was born as a result of rape.”

Tottenham Independent:

Jeremy Corbyn in Chingford at the weekend (Photo credit James Cowen)

Following his speech on Saturday, we spoke to the leader of the Labour Party to discuss Brexit and issues surrounding the Labour Party.

No-deal Brexit

When asked if in power what Labour would do stop a no-deal Brexit, Mr Corbyn said the party would invoke the law Parliament has passed, stating that if no agreement is made with the EU by October 19, the Government must apply to the EU for an extension.

He said: “The idea of spending billions on preparing for a no-deal exit when it would be perfectly possible to do it in a more sensible way seems ludicrous.

“Therefore our position is to stop a no-deal exit because of all the damage that it would do.”

“The thing behind all this is Boris Johnson’s determination to do a sweetheart trade deal with Donald Trump and the last time I looked Donald Trump only ever followed America-first trade policies which would threaten workers’ rights and environmental regulation.”

General Election

Mr Corbyn claimed that an emergency Government was getting “more likely” as the current Government was “collapsing”.

He also said that he was ready to become an interim prime minister should it become necessary.

But when asked how the party would reduce its carbon footprint when campigning up and down the country if a General Election was called, Mr Corbyn said his staff would travel by train.

Mr Corbyn had attended the Climate Strike protest two weeks ago and aims to lower his party’s carbon footprint.

He said: “We do all of our journeys by train to lower our carbon footprint and my office works on that basis, as does our conference.”


Claims of anti-Semitism within Labour have been an on-going issue for the party.

Earlier this year a BBC Panorama documentary featured former Labour staff speaking about their experiences of anti-Semitism, although Mr Corbyn claimed the documentary had featured “many inaccuracies”.

When asked what Mr Corbyn would say to Jewish people voting for Labour, he said: “There is no place for racism in our society no place what so ever.

“The foul language used this week (in parliament) then becomes the language of the racist on the streets, just as it did in the 1920s against Jewish people, it is now used against Muslim people in our society.

“The only way forward is the respect of each others faith, diversity and come together, which is what I’ve tried to do all my life.”

Thomas Cook

Last week Thomas Cook said it needed £200 million to avoid entering administration, but announced it was shutting down after being unable to find the money.

It meant that all bookings, flights and holidays with the 178-year-old travel agent have been cancelled.

Mr Corbyn said executives had paid themselves “very handsomely and well”, put at risk hundreds of thousands of pounds and jobs and the travel agent had not been run in a proper manner.

Mr Corbyn added: “I would say the Government should support the company to get through this present crisis and talk to the work force about how they think the company should be run.

“It’s those that have taken so much out of the company that has caused its collapse.”