LONDON – The leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party promised Tuesday to correct a “rigged” economic system if it wins next month’s parliamentary election — but said he won’t try to reverse the country’s decision to leave the European Union.
In a speech Tuesday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the economy is “still rigged in favor of the rich and powerful” and vowed to target “the tax cheats, the rip-off bosses, the greedy bankers.”
Labour trails far behind the governing Conservatives in opinion polls with four weeks to go until the June 8 election. Corbyn is appealing to voters to back him as the anti-establishment candidate.
“People are alienated from politics and politicians,” Corbyn said. “Our Westminster [political] system is broken and our economy is rigged. Both are run in the interests of the few.”
But the veteran socialist leads a party that is divided on his leadership, which many Labour lawmakers regard as disastrous.
Labour is also divided about Brexit, while Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May has put Brexit at the heart of her campaign. May says voters should increase her majority to strengthen Britain’s hand in EU exit talks.
Many Labour voters — and most of the party’s lawmakers — backed remaining in the EU in last year’s membership referendum, but Corbyn said the issue “has been settled.”
He said “the question now is what sort of Brexit do we want,” and promised a Labour government would protect British industries and jobs.