Jeremy Corbyn: My Labour party is now the political 'mainstream'
The Labour party now represents the political "mainstream", Jeremy Corbyn has declared.
He also insisted that following the general election, which saw the Tories lose their Commons majority, the Government lacks "any sense of direction".
Mr Corbyn said the recent furore surrounding Boris Johnson, who challenged Theresa May's authority with a Daily Telegraph article setting out his Brexit vision, simply "would not happen" in Labour because his Shadow Cabinet is so united.
Speaking ahead of Labour's annual conference, which kicks off in Brighton this weekend, Mr Corbyn also said his party is preparing for another general election by selecting candidates, putting together policy and hosting rallies in key marginals in a bid to unseat Tories.
He told The Guardian: “The election has changed politics in this country. We are now the mainstream. The Government lacks any sense of direction. They are hiding behind parliamentary power grabs to avoid scrutiny.
“It is a Government that is in disarray. We will keep up pressure in parliament. There is a social agenda, investment in housing, health and social care and industrial needs … We are ready for an election and we will keep on demanding that this takes place in parliament. That is the process in parliament.”
He added: “We are preparing by selecting candidates in key seats, by putting detailed policy papers together on all aspects of policy; we are preparing by campaigning over the country, continuing to challenge austerity.
“And we have made enormous progress in changing the political debate. The campaign showed what Labour can do when we go out with a message of hope.”
Mr Corbyn said he found Mr Johnson’s Brexit “strange” and, asked how he would react if one of his shadow ministers behaved like that, replied: "They wouldn’t do it. It wouldn’t happen. We would expect and they would consult with my office before it was done."
But a Conservative spokesman said: “Labour’s top team are hopelessly divided. Whether it’s over the basic principles of Brexit, economic policy or on key parts of national security policy like Trident, they contradict each other and backtrack on their promises.
"The simple fact is they’re not fit to govern – and it’s people who would pay the price for that failure."