Forecast of growing anti-austerity movement
Corbyn: ‘I would work with SNP in Labour government’
The frontrunner said in an interview he would back a “supply arrangement” with the Scottish Nationalists if Labour could form a minority government.
Mr Corbyn’s offer to the SNP is in stark contrast to Ed Miliband’s refusal to work with the SNP, a decision which some believe contributed to his downfall.
Mr Corbyn told a news website he would not rule out a deal with the the SNP ahead of the 2020 election.
“If there isn’t a Labour majority but a minority and we’ve got to work with other parties – probably on the basis of a day-to-day arrangement or … a supply arrangement – then do that,” he told Novara Media.
“Now, obviously you have to work with other parties to get things through, and I would be prepared to do that.”
He said he was not in agreement with the direction taken by the party in the past, including policies promoted by former leader Tony Blair.
He also wants a constitutional convention to look at powers across the UK and the voting age.
Asked if a left wing government would face a flight of capital and an attack on the pound, he said: “What I am suggesting is good for the people who are suffering in this country and is good for the rest of the world.
“Are there going to be problems with capital movement and capital flight? Possibly.
“We are dealing with an issue in the world where there is far too little accountability of global corporations. We are are about to make it worse through the transatlantic trade and investment partnership.
“We have to use our levers of power such as the Bank of England to regulate the banking system.”
Responding to the difficulties faced by left wing leader Alexis Tsipras in Greece, Mr Corbyn said the European Central Bank had given the Greek government a bailout and the money had gone straight to the banks and unemployment went up.
“At some point in the next five years the ECB might begin to realise the appalling error of its ways over the anger of the people of Greece when it tries the same tactics on Spain, Portugal and Italy.
“I have got a feeling there is going to much stronger and popular anti-austerity movements in the next five years. Things are not going to be the same in 2020 as they are now.”
His comments came as Labour’s policy chief, MP Jon Cruddas, said there was no appetite for the party joining forces with the SNP in an “anti-austerity’” pact.
Just 16% of voters disagreed that “cutting the deficit is the top priority”. Even among Labour voters, 32% backed austerity while 34% opposed it. Nearly two-thirds of English and Welsh voters were against the SNP being in government.
Mr Cruddas said: “We are currently fighting for our life … the public appear to think anti-austerity is a vote loser. We cannot ignore that.”