Monday, July 10, 2017

BBC – Jeremy Corbyn at Durham Miner's Gala attracts record 200,000

8 July 2017

Jeremy Corbyn called the Durham Miners' Gala Europe's largest demonstration of working class cultureLabour leader Jeremy Corbyn has led speeches at the 133rd Durham Miners' Gala.

More than 200,000 people are estimated to have attended the Durham City event, the most since the 1960s.
There was an increased police presence including armed officers although Durham Police said there was no direct threat against the gala. 
It is the second year in a row that he has spoken at the gala. Film director Ken Loach also addressed the crowd.

Mr Corbyn told crowds: "It's incredibly important for everyone to be here today. It is the most amazing demonstration of community strength.

"It's grown out of the struggles of the miners during the 19th, 20th and now in this century, it's a community event."

Cannes winner Ken Loach, centre, also attended the 133rd gala

Corbyn thanked those who supported Labour's general election campaign and said he was leading a "government in waiting".

He pledged to "call time on austerity" and scrap a cap on public sector pay rises as well introduce a national living wage of £10 an hour.

Mr Corbyn added: "I don't want to live in a Britain of food banks, I want to live in a Britain where people are properly fed because they are paid the wages to be able to afford the food."

He drew boos from the crowd when he mentioned Margaret Thatcher, adding: "Never again must we go through a political attack on a community such as that Thatcher mounted against the mining community."

The event is a celebration and commemoration of Durham's mining industry
Mr Corbyn was almost finished when there was a disturbance on the stage and he was interrupted by a woman.

She appeared to be pleading with the Labour leader to speak to her and he said he would talk to her after he had finished his address.

There were chants of "Ooh Jeremy Corbyn" from the crowd throughout the afternoon and he was cheered loudly when he finished, holding his arms aloft.

The various bands started the day in different villages and towns around County Durham before meeting in Durham
There was an increased police presence at the event, including armed officers

Alan Cummings, secretary of Durham Miners' Association, said he had been predicting crowds of 200,000 people and "looking around it looks like we have got that".

He said it was a celebration of the area's history and heritage.

He also downplayed allegations that some Labour MPs who had previously criticised Mr Corbyn had been banned from attending the official functions.

Bands parade past Corbyn

The bands paraded through the city past the County Hotel from where the dignitaries watch the event parade

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