Thousands attend Leeds Corbyn rally as Labour leader vows not to get involved in '˜gutter' sniping
Thousands of people flocked to the Royal Armouries as Jeremy Corbyn spoke at a rally in Leeds.
The hall was packed to the rafters with more than 2,000 people and there was standing room only - with around 1,000 more unable to get in.
Mr Corbyn spent half an hour talking to the crowd outside before delivering his main speech, where he promised to make saving the NHS his main priority as he bids to hold off a leadership challenge from Owen Smith.
He had earlier held an equally packed rally in Hull.
Referring to the in-fighting that has defined his one-year tenure and the latest challenge on his leadership of the Labour party, he vowed not to involve himself “at any level with personal abuse” and the “gutter” sniping.
And he urged supporters to “put forward our ideas and policies and our hope, but don’t resort to trolling and Internet abuse of anybody”.
“It doesn’t take anybody further forward,” he said. “We are better than that and we will always be better than that.
”Over the past year we have been trying to put forward different ideas and approach.
“Our strength and our justice comes from those who came before us - the suffragettes who suffered so people might get the right to vote.
“It also comes from the cultural values we have - from great writers, great thinkers, artists and poets.
“So I unashamedly say this to you - in creating a fairer, better, more equal society, developing an economy that works for us all, do a couple of things.
“One is - don’t allow ourselves to turn on each other, be proud of our multi-ethnic, multi faith Britain.
“But also work hard to develop our ideas.”
East Leeds MP Richard Burgon, who also delivered a passionate speech, said: “It was a fantastic event.
“Thousands of people turned up and there were at least 1,000 outside who sadly couldn’t get in so Jeremy went outside to speak to them as well.
“What it shows is that people are interested in politics.
“Party members want to have their voices heard and they are enthusiastic about Jeremy and his ideas and his vision.
“I think it was an inspiring event, because we take inspiration from the people who turn up to these events.
“I would be delighted if some of the people who have been trying to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s ideas had turned up tonight, and listened to view of the speakers and the thousands of people in the audience. That could change their minds.”
He added: “It was a huge event, an even bigger event than last time we were here at the Royal Armouries last year for the leadership election, and it shows that people aren’t going to stand by and watch a decent man be bullied by the political establishment.
“It shows that people are enthusiastic for a new kind of politics, that people don’t want to return to the failed status quo that hasn’t served the people of Leeds well whatsoever.”