Corbyn: I’ll return to the Borders before another 50 years are up

Ian Davidson leads Mr Corbyn, Richard Leonard and Scott Redpath to the party campaign headquarters.
Ian Davidson leads Mr Corbyn, Richard Leonard and Scott Redpath to the party campaign headquarters.

Jeremy Corbyn became the first Labour leader in more than 50 years to come to the Borders when he visited Selkirk on Monday.

Joined by Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, Mr Corbyn talked to apprentices at Eildon Housing at the town’s Ettrick Mill before joining party members in supporting Scott Redpath’s candidacy in the forthcoming Selkirkshire by-election.

And he finished off his trip with a visit to Cameron’s bakers in the High Street.

He said his trip had been “fantastic”, adding: “We had a very good discussion with Eildon Housing this morning, and talked with apprentices and trainees there.

“I’m very impressed with the work they have been doing towards sustainable housing being built on the social rented model which is something I want to see rolled out across the UK because we are only going to deal with the housing crisis by proper investment in the guaranteed social planned housing.”

He added: “I’m also here to support Scott in his campaign for this by-election, making sure there is a Labour voice being heard in every part of Scotland.

“Richard and I are travelling all over the country. During the summer, I started a long campaign, starting in the Western Isles and the central belt, and today we are here in the south.

“I’m trying to get to every part of Scotland and I’m listening to people as well.

“I understand I’m the first Labour leader to come here in 50 years, but it won’t be another 50 before I come back.”

Labour has struggled to gain any kind of foothold in the area for several years.

We asked how the party could turn voters round.

He said: “We have support across the Borders. We have had Labour MEPs in the Borders and we have had councillors in the past.

“But clearly, we have to build our support all across Scotland and that is exactly, under Richard Leonard’s leadership, what we are doing.”

A beaming Mr Corbyn walked out of the bakers shop, where he purchased three Selkirk Bannocks, macaroni pies and cakes for his trip home.

He said: “We’ve had a fantastic visit ... a great atmosphere,” asking the crowd outside to “go in and buy some bannocks, because they are fabulous.”