I was delighted to be invited, along with Hayley Jackson the South Swindon CLP secretary, to go to Oxford to go canvassing with Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, and Andrew Smith, the outstanding local MP. We joined a group of canvassers in the Iffley Road area and met some very friendly residents, all of whom were keen to vote Labour.
We then made our way to a packed out Church Hall where an expectant crowd were waiting for Jeremy to speak. He was introduced by Andrew Smith and the passionate and hard-working local MEP Anneliese Dodds who talked about the upcoming elections. Jeremy came on to a standing ovation and made an engaging speech setting out the Labour plans for the the local and PCC elections as well as making a strong case for voting to staying in Europe in the upcoming referendum. He took a wide range of questions on a variety of subjects, making a compelling case for the Government to step in in Port Talbot on behalf of the British Steel Industry.
Following the speech and questions, and more standing ovations, Jeremy spent a huge amount of time talking to the audience and posing for selfies! I would love to know how many selfies he has posed for since winning the Labour leadership election last year. His staff estimated at least 400 a day!
He was really pleased to hear that we had come from Swindon to see him speak, and talked knowledgeably about the town. He mentioned being born in Chippenham and how that made him a 'Moonraker'! He was very encouraging about our efforts to save Swindon's Libraries and was clear about the role of Labour in opposing the cuts that the Tory government and local administration are forcing through, as he sees the impact on ordinary people's lives. He was delighted to pose with the Save Swindon's Libraries logo, and wished us all the best with the campaign and the local elections campaign.