Jeremy Corbyn attacks "rigged system" that protects the powerful

Mr Corbyn said power, wealth and opportunity, "lies in hands of the privileged few" and said the Tories have "spectacularly failed even to begin to share the wealth"

Jeremy Corbyn attacks "rigged system" that protects the powerful

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, 10-Jan-2017. Image: Chris Radburn PA Wire/PA Images

The leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn has attacked the "rigged system" in Britain where he said "power is in the wrong hands."

In a speech to the Fabian Society, he hit out at the British 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.

"The people who run Britain have been taking our country for a ride,” he said. “They've stitched up our political system to protect the powerful."

He also accused the Conservatives of slashing taxes for the richest - with cuts of £70bn over the next five years - while cutting pay and public services.

Labour is facing the prospect of two by-elections after the recent resignation of Jamie Reed and the announcement from former shadow education secretary Tristam Hunt that he was also standing down.

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."

"The Leave and Trump campaigns succeeded because they both recognised the system was broken and the people weren't being listened to,” Mr Corbyn said in his speech.

He accused the British government of standing by while "wages are driven down, industry declines and public services are sent into meltdown."

He claimed the Conservatives have been cutting council budgets by at least 40% and have "devolved austerity" instead of creating a "northern powerhouse."

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."