Corbyn says he'll get on his bike - and cycle around Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 16:43 07 January 2016 | UPDATED: 09:25 08 January 2016
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn vowed today to spend more time in Norfolk and cycle around the county "from vote to vote".
Speaking at the Newspaper Conference’s annual lunch in Westminster, he said he was disappointed Labour had failed to gain both the Norwich North and Great Yarmouth seats from the Conservatives in last May’s election.
But he said an increase in Labour membership in the east of England since his election as leader left him hopeful.
“In Norwich and further out in Cambridge we did gain,” he said. “We are doing a lot of campaigning in the area - you will see me cycling around Norfolk from vote to vote.”
Mr Corbyn praised Norfolk’s only Labour MP Clive Lewis, who holds the Norwich South seat - and who, on Wednesday, gifted the leader three bottles of so-called Corbyn Ale from a Norwich microbrewery as a belated Christmas present.
Mr Lewis’ maiden speech in the House of Commons on the future of the Hewett School, where he criticised academy chain the Inspiration Trust was praised by Mr Corbyn.
“Clive is a great friend of mine and he’s doing very well,” he said. “I was really impressed with the way he dealt with the education issues when he first came in here in May.
“I talk to Clive a lot and I have learnt a lot from him.”
During the lunch, which was held for members of the regional press, Mr Corbyn covered issues including devolution and the housing crisis.
He said the country faced three main problems on housing - extortionate private rent, a lack of council houses being built and a lack of house-building in general.
“The issue of housing is an absolute priority for Labour,” he said.