JEREMY CORBYN urged the public yesterday to direct their anger at the Tories and their cuts rather than immigrants in the run-up to the EU referendum.
The Labour leader blamed the EU for lowering living standards across the rest of Europe, but warned that pressure on infrastructure would not vanish in the event of a Brexit.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Corbyn countered criticisms that Labour’s EU referendum campaign has done little to address concerns over immigration, arguing that the far right was exploiting problems created by Tory government failures.
He said: “I think the free movement of labour means you have to balance the economy, so you have to improve living standards and conditions and so that means the European Union’s appalling treatment of Greece — particularly the European Central Bank as well as the European Union — is a problem.
“If you actually deliberately lower living standards and increase poverty in certain countries in south-east and eastern Europe, then you’re bound to have a flow of people looking for somewhere else to go.
“Surely the issue is (the need for) an anti-austerity growth package all across Europe, rather than this.”
In an attempt to address voters’ concerns, he welcomed an intervention by former archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams who criticised “unfounded” claims that Britain is “full.”
Mr Corbyn said: “The far right have been able to grasp the agenda. (Nigel) Farage, for example, puts up that appalling poster, which has a picture of a lot of desperate people fleeing from war, saying they’re coming to threaten us.
“I think Rowan Williams called it absolutely right when he said we have to play our part when dealing with the refugee crisis.
“It’s a failure of our government to properly fund local authorities. It’s a failure of our government to provide housing for people. It’s a failure of our government (that it is), for the first time in 20 or 30 years maybe, attacking school budgets.
“It’s that that is the problem and they should turn their anger towards the government and the austerity that’s been put forward by Cameron and Osborne over the past six years.”