This is the full text of Jeremy Corbyn’s new year message, published December 29, 2016
I think it’s fair to say, that 2016 is a year that will live long in all our memories.
It saw 12 months of enormous change not just in Britain but the world.
But the New Year gives all the opportunity to start afresh.
One of the best things about my job as Leader of the Labour Party is meeting some fantastic people all over the country.
But every day I see the political system letting down the people of this country; how decisions made in Westminster are making people’s lives harder.
Whether that’s elderly people not receiving the care at home they deserve, putting huge strain on them and their family, or whether it’s the people waiting longer in A&E or on trolleys because our National Health Service and social care system is at breaking point, despite the best efforts of the wonderful and dedicated staff.
Whether it’s the homeless families who are being priced out of a housing market that only works for the few. This Christmas, 120,000 children didn’t have a home to call their own. That’s scandalous. And it’s damaging those young people’s formative years. Our children also need a first class education for everyone, not just for a privileged few.
As well as insecure housing there is massive insecurity at work too. Millions of people can’t plan their lives because whether on temporary or zero hours contracts they don’t know what job or what hours they’ll have from day to day, week to week or month to month. And for many, pay is so low that it doesn’t make ends meet.
2016 will be defined in history by the referendum on our EU membership. People didn’t trust politicians and they didn’t trust the European Union.
I understand that. I’ve spent over 40 years in politics campaigning for a better way of doing things, standing up for people, taking on the establishment, and opposing decisions that would make us worse off.
We now have the chance to do things differently. To build an economy that invests and works for everyone across all our nations and regions.
Labour accepts and respects the result of the referendum. We won’t be blocking our leaving the European Union, but we won’t stand by.
Those in charge today have put the jobs market, housing, the NHS and social care in crisis. We can’t let them mess this up. It’s about everyone’s future.
A Brexit that protects the bankers in the City and continues to give corporate handouts to the biggest companies is not good enough.
Labour was founded to stand up for people, and we founded the institutions that do that day in, and day out, like our NHS. We are the party that listens to you and makes Britain better. Let’s do that, together, in 2017.
The following is an email from Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to party members Christmas 2016.
"As we approach the end of the year I want to take the opportunity to thank each and every Labour Party member and wish you all a very merry Christmas.
If there is one thing that is certain, it is that the Labour Party's biggest asset in meeting our challenges is you, our members and supporters.
The party has never grown faster — with more new members in the last 20 months than in the previous 20 years.
New members and old, together, are a formidable force in British society and politics. When we campaign together we have great results.
In the last year we forced the Tories to drop their appalling plan to cut Personal Independence Payments for those with disabilities and they were forced to retreat on cuts to Working Tax Credits.
We have forced back their plan for 'every school an academy', defeated Tory changes to Sunday trading, and forced them to put their plans for Brexit before Parliament and the country.
In recent weeks, we have campaigned for our National Health Service and social care, which are in crisis due to Tory cuts and mismanagement.
The truth is that the rules of politics and the economy are rigged. Over the last decade most people have seen their living standards stagnate or fall, while an elite few prosper. There may be a new Prime Minister in Number 10 but the rules are still rigged against the majority of the British people.
Six years of austerity has hit public services, living standards and opportunities for many people. The Tories' long-term economic plan has been all pain for little gain. Public service cuts for the many, to fund tax cuts for the few.
The consequences are stark: increased poverty and street homelessness, oversized classes in many of our schools and 120,000 children spending this Christmas in temporary accommodation without a home to call their own.
It does not have to be like this.
Labour would invest to grow our economy, raise wage levels and ensure no one and no community is left behind.
Brexit is a huge challenge for our country. We have to heal the divides in our country — and speak for both those who voted Leave and Remain, to stop the Tory vision for Brexit — of a country where workers are easier to exploit and taxes easier to avoid. We will not obstruct the democratic decision to Leave, but we will oppose policies that harm our people.
It is our party, our movement, that will unite people to change Britain for the better, and give us the chance to bring more humanity and peace to a troubled world.
Let us work together — and enjoy the common endeavour we are embarked on.
Thank you for all that you do for our party, and I hope you have the opportunity to spend some time with loved ones over the Christmas period.
Jeremy Corbyn has written to Theresa May, urging her to take immediate action to avert the deepening social care crisis. Read and share his letter ↓
Dear Prime Minister,
I am writing to request urgent talks at the highest level to agree urgent action to avert the deepening social care crisis facing many older people this Christmas.
The social care system is breaking down from lack of support. I hope you will be prepared to discuss both emergency support for social care to tide services over until April, as well as longer-term solutions to the funding and restructuring of social care provision.
After £4.6 billion of cuts to social care budgets since 2010, more than a million elderly people are not getting the care they need. Social care is in a crisis which threatens the wellbeing, dignity and lives of hundreds of thousands of older people.
The failure of your government, and that of your predecessor, properly to fund our social care system, has meant the burden has increasingly fallen on local authorities, which have themselves suffered heavy and continuous cuts.
Relying on the council tax to plug the shortfall will lead to a postcode lottery and shift the cost on to hard-pressed council taxpayers. The government must take responsibility.
In the sixth richest country in the world, it is a national disgrace that elderly and disabled people are being denied the dignity and care they so desperately need.
This is a question of priorities. Your government has chosen to cut corporation tax while over a million of Britain's disabled and older people are being denied the care they deserve.
We can avert the crisis this winter while developing a sustainable solution that treats all of our disabled and older people with the dignity that they have earned.
There is an opportunity to avert a crisis this winter. Will your government agree to take it?
Labour Press Release
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Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, in a speech to the Party of European Socialists Council in Prague today, said:
"Colleagues and comrades, I want to thank you for inviting me here today, and for the reception we have received from our hosts in this magnificent city.
It is fitting we are in Prague to discuss the challenges ahead for democracy in Europe.
This is a city which has been at the heart of the history of our continent and the convulsions of the past century - of war, revolution and the struggle for democracy and social justice.
We are in a city that also suffered the scourge of Nazi occupation and the horror of its genocidal crimes.
Today I will also be visiting the Terezin memorial which commemorates the victims of Nazi political and racial persecution in the Czech Republic, a permanent testimony to the threat posed by far right politics, anti-semitism and racist scapegoating.
On behalf of the British Labour party I will be paying tribute and remembering those who died, whose suffering is a reminder of the scars left by the far right, not just on this country or this continent, but on the whole world.
Today, we live in a different time with different pressures and opportunities.
But it is clear, across Europe and beyond there has been an alarming acceleration in the rise of the populist right.
Whether it be UKIP in Britain, Donald Trump in the United States, Jobbik in Hungary or Marine Le Pen’s National Front in France.
Politics has been shaken across the world and, as socialists and progressives, we know very well why the populist right is gaining ground. But we are finding it increasingly hard to get our message heard and it is up to us to offer the political leadership needed for a real alternative.
We know the gap between rich and poor is widening. We know living standards are stagnating or falling and insecurity is growing. We know that many people feel left behind by the forces unleashed by globalization - powerless in the face of deregulated corporate power.
Often the populist right do identify the right problems but their solutions are the toxic dead ends of the past, seeking to divert it with rhetoric designed to divide and blame.
They are political parasites, feeding on people’s concerns and worsening conditions, blaming the most vulnerable for society’s ills instead of offering a way to take back real control of our lives from powerful elites who serve their own interests.
But unless progressive parties and movements break with that failed economic and political establishment it is the siren voices of the populist far right that will fill the gap.
It can be difficult to convince the long-term unemployed that the reason there is no work is not that immigrants are stealing their jobs but the result of the economic programme of the right that has failed to deliver sustainable growth, security and rising living standards for all.
Or It can be hard to make clear that our public services are being run down because of years of austerity and predatory privatisation, rather than overspending and government waste, but it is vital that we do.
We cannot abandon our socialist principles because we are told this is the only way to win power. That is nonsense.
The reason we are losing ground to the right today is because the message of what socialism is and what it can achieve in people’s daily lives has been steadily diluted.
Many people no longer understand what we stand for.
Too often in recent years the left in Europe has been seen as apologists for a broken system rather than the answer to how to deliver radical social and economic reform for the 21st century.
Too often the left has been seen as the accomplice to reckless, unfettered capitalism rather than a challenge to it.
Too often the left has been seen as standing up for the privileged few rather than for the many we exist to represent and defend.
If we are only seen as protectors of the status quo how can we expect people to turn to us when they can see that status quo has failed?
We must stand for real change, and a break with the failed elite politics and economics of the past.
If we do, I have every confidence that the principles of solidarity, internationalism and socialism that we stand for can be at the heart of European politics in the 21st century.
That’s why it is vital that our rhetoric cannot be used to legitimise the scapegoating of refugees or migrant workers.
When we talk about refugees we need to talk about them as human beings, not as numbers, or as a burden, but instead as children, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters.
And when we face the challenge of migration we need to work together to halt the exploitation of migrant labour to undercut pay and conditions in a race to the bottom across Europe. We cannot allow the parties of the right to sow divisions and fan the flames of fear.
When it comes to Britain’s referendum vote to leave the European Union we in the Labour party respect that decision, and we want to work together with Socialist and progressive parties across Europe to find the best possible solution that benefits both Britain and the EU in the Brexit negotiations.
Labour is calling on the British Government to guarantee the rights of all EU Citizens before Article 50 negotiations begin, and not to use them as a bargaining chip in negotiations.
Labour is pushing for Brexit negotiations to be carried out in a transparent manner, in a spirit that aims to find a deal that works for all across our the continent.
That is why I am inviting leaders from socialist and progressive parties and movements across Europe to a special conference in London in February.
I believe our movement has the new ideas to take on and beat the populist right.. But we must harvest those ideas and that energy, allow a space within our parties for new ideas to be heard and build a movement with a democratic culture at its very heart.
It is when people lose faith in the power of politics to improve people’s lives that the space opens up for the far right to scapegoat and blame. Our task is harder, to restore people’s confidence that we have both the vision and an understanding of the lives of those we represent to change them for the better.
As we head towards 2017 many people are worried about the direction that Europe is taking. Well now is time for us to turn the tide. To put the interests of working people front and centre stage and to fight for our values, of social justice, solidarity, equality and internationalism.
If we do that together, and break with the failed politics of the past, I am confident we can overcome the challenge from the populist right.
Jennie Formby: Labour's new general secretary