Jeremy Corbyn is accused of ‘narcissism’ after boasting that the coronavirus pandemic proved he was ‘absolutely right’ on public spending
- Outgoing Labour leader said he had been ‘denounced’ over spending plans
- But has told the BBC his views were vindicated by government rescue funds
- Corbyn led Labour to one of the worst defeats in its history at 2019 election
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Jeremy Corbyn was accused of narcissism last night after he claimed the coronavirus crisis had proved him ‘absolutely right’ on public spending.
The outgoing Labour leader said he had been ‘denounced as somebody that wanted to spend more money than we could possibly afford’ to fix social wrongs.
But Mr Corbyn – who led his party to its biggest defeat since 1935 – told the BBC he had been vindicated by the vast sums the Government was spending on the current crisis.
And he said it showed the Conservatives have now realised they need to invest in the state.
Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of narcissim after he told the BBC that the government’s coronavirus rescue plan vindicated his economic views
Jeremy Corbyn at PMQs in the House of Commons on Wednesday
‘I didn’t think that it would take only three months for me to be proved absolutely right by the amount of money that Government is now prepared to put in – and Parliament has just voted through – to deal with the coronavirus crisis,’ he said.
Politicians lined up to condemn his comments.
Former Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop tweeted: ‘Jeremy Corbyn says he was proved right on public spending. Or, alternatively, Corbyn has proven how much of a narcissist we knew he was. Goodbye Corbyn, we won’t miss you.’
Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith added: ‘This is arrogant nonsense. He is saying what we are going through now is like what life would have been under him. That is not a vision of hope, it’s a vision of hell. This is a health and economic crisis which has nothing to do with normal politics, and if he thinks it is – thank God the electorate had the good sense to keep him out of power.’
Tory MP Andrew Percy said: ‘Corbyn has a history of using the deaths of others to claim he has been vindicated, as he has done following terror incidents. Using this outbreak to create a false narrative about him being right is pretty disgusting.
‘Moreover, it is untrue as it is only because public finances have been handled properly that we’re able to access hundreds billions of pounds to support the fightback.’
Jeremy Corbyn is pictured above visiting a mosque in Finsbury Park, London, on March 3
Jeremy Corbyn sitting next to John McDonnell in the House of Commons on March 11
In the interview, Mr Corbyn said the country had been badly prepared for the coronavirus pandemic because of ‘ten years of austerity, of underfunding the National Health Service and underfunding our benefit system’.
He added that the Government had been shocked by the national emergency, as their instincts were for ‘free market economics and the small state’. ‘They’ve now suddenly realised that they have to spend money to invest in the state, as we have always said as a party, and they have come around to a lot of that position,’ he said.
Mr Corbyn claimed the pandemic had changed the political landscape forever.
‘I think our society and our politics will never be the same again, because we have suddenly realised as a society and a community, we need everybody and everybody has a contribution to make,’ he said.
Mr Corbyn’s insistence he had been right will provoke memories of Labour’s claim it had ‘won the argument’ despite its 2019.
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