UK Politics

Jeremy Corbyn accuses Donald Trump of 'fake anti-elitism'

Nigel Farage and Donald Trump Image copyright PA
Image caption Nigel Farage and Donald Trump are accused of adopting "fake anti-elitism"

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has accused US President-elect Donald Trump and interim UKIP leader Nigel Farage of adopting "fake anti-elitism".

In a party speech, Mr Corbyn said this was "farcical at one level, but in reality it's no joke at all".

He told a forum in Loughborough that politicians had to choose between playing on fears or restoring hope.

UKIP said the Labour leader's criticism was the "tired, middle-class rhetoric of an Islington radical".

'Rich, white men'

In a speech to Labour's National Policy Forum, Mr Corbyn said: "Politicians and political parties have a choice in this age of understandable cynicism.

"Do we play on people's fears and anxieties? Or do we take what might be the more difficult approach - to restore hope?

"We can see the choice being taken by politicians on the hard right - to whip up division against migrants, Muslims, Mexicans, women, LGBT people, people with disabilities.

"The fake anti-elitism of rich, white men - like Nigel Farage and Donald Trump - is farcical at one level, but in reality it's no joke at all.

"We've seen a similar phenomenon in the US since last week's presidential election as we saw after Brexit: an appalling rise in hate crime.

"Saying anything to win a vote has consequences on the ground afterwards."

Mr Farage campaigned alongside Mr Trump in the race for the White House and was the first politician from the UK to meet the president-elect after his election victory.


Image copyright AP

By Iain Watson, BBC political correspondent

Jeremy Corbyn's message was clear. If you have lost trust in politicians, well, don't go for fake anti-elitism. Go for the real thing. Him.

But in order to distance himself from conventional parliamentarians he renewed his attack on the pre-Corbyn Labour leadership which, he said, had become too complacent about inequality.

He now wants his National Policy Forum to turn the pledges he made in his leadership campaign in to detailed policy.

But while the broad anti-austerity thrust of his message is unlikely to be challenged, he may find the policy forum won't simply rubber stamp all of his ideas.

In an internal election for that body's vice-chair, the left-wing candidate closest to his own views was roundly defeated.

And a potential showdown with critics over future leadership rules has been put on hold as his team believe an early general election is likely.

But Mr Corbyn said it was "down to Labour to restore hope - and give people the chance to take back real control", echoing the slogan of the EU referendum's Leave campaign.

He said the Tories had "fanned the flames of fear over immigration, whipping up hatred in the referendum campaign - egged on by their UKIP sidekicks".

Rejecting some Labour MPs' calls to commit to net migration targets, Mr Corbyn said: "We have to choose a different path; there can be no accommodation, now and never, with hate.

"We will not make false promises on immigration targets as the Tories have done or sow divisions, but we will take decisive action to end the undercutting of workers' pay and conditions, reinstate the Migrant Impact Fund to support public services, and back fair rules on migration."

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