Wales politics

General election: Corbyn rallies hundreds in Cardiff

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Media captionMr Corbyn said all the Tories offered was "fear and misery"

Jeremy Corbyn has led a rally of hundreds of supporters in Cardiff - calling for voters to join him on a journey of "hope and excitement".

In his first general election event in Wales, Mr Corbyn visited Cardiff North - a seat Labour wants to recapture from the Conservatives.

The leader used the event to heap praise on the Welsh Government.

But Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies claimed the Welsh Labour team would be "gritting its teeth" during the visit.

Mr Corbyn was joined by First Minister Carwyn Jones, as well as Cardiff North AM Julie Morgan.

Speaking on Whitchurch Common to a crowd of around 700, Mr Corbyn said: "I urge you to come with us on this journey of hope and excitement, not this journey of fear and misery which is all the Tories offer."

Image caption Jeremy Corbyn was surrounded by supporters after he wrapped up his rally in Whitchurch Common

Mr Corbyn said the UK government was slicing the money from normal state schools for free and grammar schools.

He criticised the UK government for cutting the Welsh budget.

"In Wales it is different, because you've got a government that is determined to properly fund education and give every child an opportunity," he said.

Friday's event came after Mr Corbyn said children were being crammed "like sardines" into "super-sized" school classes in England, as Labour focused its general election campaign on education.

But the Tories called the comments "a massive own goal", saying the Labour-led Welsh Government had overseen increases in class sizes in Wales.

Education in Wales is devolved and Liberal Democrat Education Secretary Kirsty Williams has announced a £36m fund to reduce infant class sizes in Wales.

'Hope and opportunity'

In the wideranging speech, Mr Corbyn said seven years of the Tory government and the earlier coalition had brought "greater poverty, greater insecurity, greater misery", and that Labour was the party of hope and opportunity.

He said Labour would maintain the triple-lock on pensions, while he claimed big firms would not be allowed "cosy" tax negotiations with HM Revenue and Customs.

Mr Corbyn was surrounded by a large crowd of well-wishers and supporters as he left the scene.

Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones said Labour would create a "fairer society" after 8 June.

"The time has come for change," he said.

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Media captionWelsh Conservative Andrew RT Davies said the general election was between hardworking Tories and the "chaos" of Labour

But Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said: "After nearly two decades in government, Labour's record is a smorgasbord of failure evidenced by Wales having the worst-performing education system in the UK, the lowest take-home pay, and the longest hospital waiting times."

Jonathan Edwards, Carmarthenshire East and Dinefwr Plaid Cymru MP, said: "Given the current weakness and chaos plaguing Labour, the prospect of a UK Labour government is a complete fantasy."

Meanwhile, Rhondda MP Chris Bryant said he was "fully supporting" the leader, despite being a vocal critic when he was voted into the role.


Analysis by BBC Wales political correspondent Arwyn Jones

Make no bones about it - it would have been a good boost for Mr Corbyn to see so many hundreds of his supporters turn out in Cardiff.

But it is not enough for him to rely on the votes of Labour supporters.

Take a place like Cardiff North, where the Conservatives have a got a majority of 2,137 votes.

It is those voters that it will need to attract, that will sometimes vote Labour, sometimes vote for the Conservatives.

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