Jeremy Corbyn’s Concession Speech
12 December 2019
Could I start by saying a huge thank you to the returning officer and all the staff and the police that have ensured a fair and democratic election that has taken place today.
And also to congratulate and thank my fellow candidates for their participation in this election. And also a very heartfelt thanks to the people of Islington North for electing me again for the 10th time to represent Islington North in Parliament.
I’m very, very proud to do so and I’ve learned so much from the people of Islington North and it’s my pride and my pleasure to continue to be their representative in Parliament.
I also want to thanks Ruth Hayes – our agent for this election, and all of the wonderful friends, comrades and supporters in Islington North Labour Party for the huge effort they put in in this election campaign and they put in all the time to carry a message of hope and justice, all over our constituency and through me, I hope to a wider world.
The pressure on those surrounding politicians is often very, very high indeed. The media intrusion on people’s lives is very high indeed. And the attacks that take place against family and loved ones of politicians continue and they are disgraceful and frankly, they are disgusting.
I want to take this opportunity to thank my family, my close friends, and those that have been close by and been very supportive during this and every other election campaign. I want to thank my three sons for the huge support they give me and I thank my wife, Laura Alvarez, for all which she puts up with because of the way in which the media behave towards me, towards her and indeed, towards my Party during this election campaign.
And this…this is obviously a very disappointing night for the Labour Party with the result that we’ve got. But I want to say this, in the election campaign, we put forward a manifesto of hope, a manifesto of unity and a manifesto that would help to right the wrongs and the injustices and inequalities that exists in this country. For those who need housing, those who need an effective health service that will deliver for them, and those children that need a school that is properly funded, and they’re not being taught in oversized classes. And a manifesto that gave hope in dealing with the environmental crisis the world faces, by investing for the future through a green industrial revolution.
All of those policies were extremely popular during the election campaign and remain policies that have huge popular support all across this country. However, Brexit has so polarised and divided debate in this country, it is overridden so much of a normal political debate. And I recognise that has contributed to the result that the Labour Party has received this evening all across this country. The issues of social justice and the issues of needs of people will not go away. Just because Brexit is dealt with in the way in which Boris Johnson presumably plans to deal with it at the moment, all those issues will come back centre-stage in the debate.
And the fundamental Labour message about justice and equality within our society is going to be one that is there for all time because it’s the very core of what my Party believes in and what I will always advocate on behalf of my constituency, and on behalf of my Party.
I want to also make it clear that I will not lead the Party in any future general election campaign. I will discuss with our Party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result, and on the policies that the Party will take going forward. And I will lead the Party during that period to ensure that discussion takes place and we move on into the future.
Because I’m very proud of the trust that our half million members put in me to lead this Party. And I’m very proud of the way that we fought this election campaign. We did not descend into the gutter, we did not undertake personal abuse; we undertook the task of getting a message of hope and justice to every part of this country.
And I’m very grateful to the Labour Party in Islington North for being very tolerant to the fact that I didn’t spend as much time in this election campaign in Islington as obviously I would want to do because I’ve been traveling around the whole country to ensure that Labour message is put there.
But I want to say this, I will remain the MP for Islington North and I’m proud to represent the people of Islington North, and I’m proud in Parliament and outside, that we will forever continue the cause for socialism for social justice, and for a society based on the needs of all rather than the greed of a few.
That’s what makes our Party what it is. And I’m very proud of the achievements of our Party and the development of its manifesto and its ideas.
And I tell you what? Those ideas and those principles are eternal, and they will be there for all time. I thank the people of Islington North once again for putting their faith and trust in me. I will work, as I always have, to represent and defend the people of my constituency, because they’re very special and I owe them so much and they have all taught me so much.
Thank you very much.