Jeremy Corbyn: I would give up Chequers for a homeless family if I become PM

Posted On: 
4th December 2019

Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to give up Chequers for a homeless family if he becomes Prime Minister.

Jeremy Corbyn has said he would give Chequers to the homeless.
PA Images

The Labour leader said he would follow the example of John McDonnell, who has previously pledged to do the same with 11 Downing Street.

Mr Corbyn made the promise in an interview with ITV's Julie Etchingham in which he again apologised for Labour's handling of anti-semitism by some of his supporters, and insisted that he believed Israel has a right to exist.

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In September, Mr McDonnell said he planned to continue living in his Hayes and Harlington constituency if Labour wins the election.

He said that rather than move into 11 Downing Street, he would let a homeless family live there instead to "solve part of the housing crisis”.

Asked if he would do the same with Chequers, the Prime Minister's traditional country retreat, Mr Corbyn said: "I would indeed. It can't be right. We're a country with 150 billionaires, and we've still got people sleeping on the streets."

The Labour leader also revealed that he usually visits a homeless shelter on Christmas Day.

"I enjoy the presence of my family and friends around Christmas," he said. "Obviously, like everybody else does. And, I also visit the homeless shelter, either on Christmas Day, or the day before, to talk to, and listen to people's lives, about how they could be made better with a government that cared for them."

On anti-semitism in the Labour Party, Mr Corbyn said: "Anti-semitism is a vile evil, in our society. I am not a racist, in any form. I've spent my life opposing racism.

"And, I think the treatment of Jewish people that suffer from anti-semitism is appalling. And where there's been delays, by my party, in instituting a process, of course, I apologise to those that suffered, as a result of it."

Asked whether Israel has a right to exist, the Labour leader said: "Yes. Of course ... but we would recognise alongside that, a Palestinian state."