Party leader says he will still be in charge in 2022, if Theresa May hangs on until then – but predicts she will go to country sooner
Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed he wants to lead his party into the next general election, as he ruled out holding a second Brexit referendum.
Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, the next general election is due in 2022.
But the Labour leader predicted there would be another election before then because Conservative PM Theresa May’s deal with the Democratic Unionist party was “not sustainable”.
Corbyn said he had the energy and momentum to stay in charge even if it takes that long. In an interview with the i newspaper and the Independent, he said: “We’ve got lots of energy. I’ve got loads of energy. I’m fine, I eat porridge every morning. Porridge and energy bars and I keep off alcohol and meat.”
He is facing warnings from remain campaigners and from within his own party that he could lose support if he does not consider giving voters a second say on Brexit.
But Corbyn appeared to rule out that possibility, saying: “We are not advocating a second referendum.”
He predicted his party would do well at the local elections in May, which will see contests in a number of big urban areas where support for Corbyn is strong.
“The biggest elections are going to be in the main cities, particularly London, Birmingham, Newcastle – we’re going to be working very hard on them. In London particularly, they are going to focus on housing,” he said.
“But it’s also emphasising the way local authorities have been so underfunded by this government that they are all facing real difficulties … this is the product of seven years of austerity.
“I’m hoping we do very, very well, but I’m not putting a figure on it.”
As part of the party’s focus on housing and dealing with homelessness, he said Labour would end “no fault” evictions – where landlords can recover possession of a property by giving two months’ notice.
He added there would be an emphasis on longer tenancies as part of a “more regulated” private rented system under Labour.
“I am very determined to bring some order and stability to their [tenants’] lives by longer tenancies and eviction that can only be there for good reason rather than just what can be retaliatory eviction,” he said.