Jeremy Corbyn in Telford: Parents ‘said sorry about the election’ during school visit - with pictures
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said parents at a Telford school apologised to him for the general election result.
Mr Corbyn said parents picking up their children wished him good luck for the future during a visit to Newdale Primary School.
The school was the first stop during Mr Corbyn’s visit to the borough yesterday, where he met year five and six pupils who had recently been to the finals of a Jaguar Land Rover competition to design their own cars.
And he took on Councillor Kuldip Sahota in a best-of-three set of races using some of the cars made by the youngsters, which 'Team Sahota' won.
- 'We'll win Telford back' Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tells rally - with video
- Jeremy Corbyn in Telford: 'Another election coming soon' - with photos from the rally
After a tour of the school he spoke to parents picking up children at the school gates.
He said: “Actually all of the parents said sorry about the election result, good luck and make sure you win it next time. I said I was equally sorry about the election result, because obviously I had hoped we’d win it.
“We did put on three million votes, the biggest increase in Labour votes since 1945. I’m proud of that achievement and I will be even prouder when we put on a few more and win the next general election.”
Spending time with the youngsters also gave Mr Corbyn the chance to reminisce about his own childhood in the county, speaking with a young pupil who was heading to his former secondary school, Adam’s Grammar in Newport.
The youngster asked Mr Corbyn how the school got him interested in politics.
He said: “I learned about myself, when I was there.”
Speaking afterwards, Mr Corbyn said: “I told him about the perils of cross country running. I remember being sent off in cross country runs in November and December. I was actually quite good at it and enjoyed it but I’m not sure everyone else did – the others used to take a short cut.”
Headteacher Rachel Cook said pupils from year five had just been on their own trip to Parliament and having visitors in like Mr Corbyn, and Telford MP Lucy Allan - who visited the school on Marlborough Road last week to celebrate its outstanding Ofsted report - helped engage the children more in politics and current affairs.
She said: “We feel honoured that he has visited and it is a big thing for us because it helps to bring the curriculum to life.
“We do a lot of learning about British Values. Today, when things happen, like the recent terror attacks, the pupils ask really grown up and mature questions, like what are the Government going to do now?”
Mr Corbyn also used the visit to address the other big issues that he said would be a priority in a future election campaign for Shropshire. Speaking to the Shropshire Star, he highlighted investment in health and sustainable industries.
He said: “I am concerned about the removal of the maternity unity from Telford across to Shrewsbury because a great deal of money was spent on it in the first place, it seems to me an unwise use of public expenditure not to use it to its fullest potential.
“But the other key point is investment in a growing economy for the future, investment in future sustainable industries and ensuring that our young people all get a decent chance in life.”
He added: “I was talking to children in this school about their love of engineering; very impressive.
“They’ve got car racing going on here. The kids made their own cars, they understood what aerodynamics were, they understood, therefore, the efficiency of how you design something.
"I thought it was great and they are working with Jaguar Land Rover to achieve that. I don’t want them to have to pay fees when they want to become engineers, I don’t want them to get into £50k of debt in order to go to university.”
He added: "The Labour Party is in good heart. Membership has now gone up to 500,075 - the biggest ever in my lifetime - and I grew up in Shropshire where our membership is about a thousand."