“The strength of a society that cares” – Corbyn’s PMQs closing speech

Outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn delivered a closing speech on “the strength of a society that cares” at his final Prime Minister’s Questions as leader of the opposition this afternoon.

“All I can say to the Prime Minister on this is: please make sure you make yourself available for scrutiny by this House and by everybody else. Because we represent people who are desperately worried about their health, about their economic wellbeing,” Corbyn told the Commons.

“And if you’re living in a small flat, and you’re told to isolate, and you have a large family and a large number of children, the levels of stress are going to be huge. The levels of stress throughout our society are huge.

“It’s up to all of us to do what we can to reduce those levels of stress, and obviously bring this whole situation to a conclusion as quickly as we can. So we need clarity, not confusion. We need delivery, not dither.

“This crisis shows us, Mr Speaker, how deeply we depend on each other. We’ll only come through this as a society through a huge collective effort. At a time of crisis, no-one is an island. No-one is self-made.

“The wellbeing of the wealthiest corporate chief executive officer depends on the outsourced worker cleaning their office. At times like this, Mr Speaker, we have to recognise the value of each other and the strength of a society that cares for each other and cares for all.”

Earlier in the session, which was a special ‘double’ PMQs to allow for physical distance between MPs in the chamber, Boris Johnson paid tribute to Corbyn. The Prime Minister said the Labour leader had done “a very difficult job”, adding: “No-one can doubt his sincerity and his determination to build a better society.”

Corbyn replied: “I believe in a decent, socially just society. And he was talking as though this was a sort of obituary. Just to let him know: my voice will not be stilled. I’ll be around. I’ll be campaigning. I’ll be arguing. And I’ll be demanding justice for the people of this country – and indeed the rest of the world.”

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