Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn pays tribute to Jarrow marchers at dinner event

Sophie Huntley, 17, presents Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with a framed photo celebrating the Jarrow march.
Sophie Huntley, 17, presents Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with a framed photo celebrating the Jarrow march.
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Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has paid tribute to the Jarrow marchers during his visit to South Tyneside.

The MP was at the Lakeside pub in Fellgate, last night, where he was guest of honour at a dinner hosted by the Jarrow Constituency Labour Party.

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn is guest speaker at a dinner hosted by the Jarrow Labour Constituency Party

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn is guest speaker at a dinner hosted by the Jarrow Labour Constituency Party

Accompanied by his wife Laura, Mr Corbyn praised the bravery of those who took part in the Jarrow crusade led by then Labour MP Ellen Wilkinson 80 years ago.

It was one of a number of topics spoken by the Labour leader during his speech which touched upon government funding cuts to local authorities, poor working conditions of some employees, the National Health Service and education.

Mr Corbyn called on people to defend the NHS and highlighted mental health as being an area which he felt needed to be looked into more, announcing he would be appointing a shadow cabinet member to look into and deal with the issue.

He said: "We need to recognise there is a big problem with mental health and mental health conditions across this country. One in four of us in our lifetime will have some kind of stress or stress related crisis. Some of us will get through it, we'll have support, friendship to help them get through it, others won't because the service isn't there, because the money isn't there for it, because the voluntary sector that does so much for it as well doesn't have the resources or the funds to do it, and too many people end up committing suicide as a result of the isolation and the terrible place they're in."

He went on to say as a movement they needed to stand up for mental health workers and those work places that support their workers going through stress-related issues.

His speech was met with support from those attending the event who gave the Labour leader a standing ovation as he called on communities to unite in the face of "massive challenges" as a result of the EU referendum and to support a Labour government which would "invest in infrastructure, invest in industry, invest in housing, invest in education and protecting the NHS.

Mr Corbyn added: "We have met in memory of the Jarrow Crusade, those brave people thatsuffered so much to march all the way to London in awful conditions in order that the voice of those in this town could be heard. They did so that their children, their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren would get to go to school, would have enough food to eat, they would live in clean, dry sustainable housing, that they would get jobs so that their creative ambitions could be fulfilled.

"They marched because they wanted a different and a better society. Those principles will never go away, those principles are the very heart of what we as a movement is all about, that is what makes us so strong, and that is why we are going to win."

Mr Corbyn, who will be at Monkton Stadium later today to take part in the rally and community event to mark 80 years since the Jarrow Crusade, was presented with an image of the marchers by 17-year-old Sophie Huntley who attended the event.

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn who backed Mr Corbyn in the leadership election invited said: "I'm delighted he is here. I'm a Jarrow lad and the MP for the area and to have the Leader of the Labour party here turning up at such an important event for us as a town, it makes me so proud."