Jeremy Corbyn leaves door open for possible pact with Caroline Lucas
Scroll down for our interview with Jeremy Corbyn.
Jeremy Corbyn has left open the possibility of an electoral pact with Green MP Caroline Lucas.
When asked by The Badger if he would like to see the Green Party’s sole MP lose her seat to a Labour candidate, the potential Labour leader said:
“I think that Caroline Lucas is a huge plus for parliament, a plus for British politics, and I’ve got a huge amount of admiration for her.
“We’re good friends, we work together on lots of things and, indeed, I supported her NHS reinstatement bill
“I’m not going to get involved in electoral pact issues; that’s for the party to decide in the future.”
Lucas has previously called on Labour to embrace electoral agreements.
Jeremy Corbyn has topped the latest YouGov poll, with the poll suggesting that 43% of Labour supporters will choose him as their first choice of new leader.
His first policy announcement after standing was a promise to scrap university tuition fees.
The Badger sat down with Corbyn to talk about his ideas for the Labour Party and the country.
Corbyn on international students
“We’re putting up so many visa restrictions on overseas students that we are losing out. I talk to students in Mexico who don’t want to come here because the visa requirements are too stringent.
“I think we just have to recognise that we live in a global economy. We live in an era of global migration, lets be proud of it. I welcome the overseas students here. Some of them want to stay on and contribute to our society as doctors, engineers and whatever else. Is that so bad?”
Corbyn on adult education
“We now have about forty-five percent of school leavers or young people going to university and I think that is something we can be proud of. I think we need to be careful of saying that those who don’t go into university are somehow second-rate.
“We should support a comprehensive approach to adult education and so I do think the government is right in increasing the number of apprenticeships. I’m in favour of vocational education and vocational training but I also think it should be linked to college based education as well.
“All young people deserve to get the student experience and interaction with people doing completely different disciplines, understanding each other. That’s what makes a more cohesive society.”
Corbyn on young people
“What’s inspiring these days are the numbers of young people who take part in all kinds of activities and who certainly have a vision of a better society but don’t themselves vote, because they don’t feel inspired by any of the political parties. We can mobilise a lot of young people.”
Corbyn on political reform
“We’ve got huge issues that we’ve got to face as a party and a country on structures of regional and local government. We have complete differences of powers between Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, London and other English regions. We need an elected house of Lords or upper chamber.
I’m suggesting that, in opposition, Labour sets up a constitutional convention which would look at all these issues and bring in a much wider group of people, so there is a real conversation.”
Corbyn on being “unelectable”
“It’s for others to decide not me. If Labour works with people you get support. When you take people for granted, take the working class folk for granted, take the vote of the poorest people for granted – that’s when you lose. Never take people for granted.
Corbyn on Israel/Palestine
“I’m very serious about a peace process in the Middle East. I have met people from all stretches of the political spectrum in Palestine and in Israel. Does it mean I agree with all of them? Of course it doesn’t. Does it mean that I recognise that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is wrong? Yes I do. The settlement policy is wrong and the siege of Gaza is wrong. I want to see a peace process and I do think that we have to say to Israel: your security is actually enhanced by recognising Palestine. Your security is enhanced by lifting the siege of Gaza not by continuing with it.”