Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has attacked what he calls a “rigged system” where “power is in the wrong hands”.
He hit out at the Government, saying: “The Prime Minister may say she wants a shared society but the Tories have spectacularly failed even to begin to share the wealth fairly across society or the nations or regions.”
He claimed power, wealth and opportunity “lies in hands of the privileged few” and was concentrated in and around London.
In a speech to the Fabian Society, he focused on fairness, accusing the Conservatives of slashing taxes for the richest while cutting pay and public services.
It comes as Labour faces another battle for voters after former shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt announced he was standing down as an MP to become director of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
His departure triggers a by-election in Stoke-on-Trent Central.
The party is already facing a by-election in Copeland and Leigh after the resignation of Jamie Reed ans Sky News sources say at least two other senior Labour MPs are considering quitting.
Labour backbencher Hilary Benn defended the state of the party, telling Sky News: “The challenge for us as a political party is to ensure that we can win the people’s trust and confidence at a time that is very turbulent in the world.”
In his speech, Mr Corbyn promised to take failing care homes into public ownership if Labour gets into power, warning that the social care system is at “serious risk of breakdown”.
He argued that rising costs and falling fee payments from councils have seen 380 care home businesses declared insolvent since 2010.
Mr Corbyn also pointed to figures from the Care Quality Commission which found last year that one in five nursing homes did not have sufficient staff on duty to ensure residents received good care.
The opposition leader accused the Government of standing-by while “wages are driven down, industry declines and public services are sent into meltdown”.
Mr Corbyn said in a post-Brexit Britain it was “vital that the Government gives local authorities more powers and resources to innovate and generate prosperity and, crucially, to reduce inequality at the same time”.
He said he wanted 2017 to be a year of “new beginnings and opportunities”.
He went on: “What’s our mission? To restore hope. To show we can challenge and overturn a rigged system, hand back wealth and power to people and communities.
“And create a fairer, more equal society, not let up in our demands that this Government gives the National Health Service and social care the support it needs.”
“Our party, and movement, of over half a million members…. coming together to campaign for what we believe in… a country in which power and wealth is in the hands of the many and not the few.”
He said: “The Leave (EU) and Trump campaigns succeeded because they both recognised the system was broken and the people weren’t being listened to.
“We’re going to call time on this rigged system because power is in the wrong hands.”
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