ON a day in which he was attacked by the UK’s right-wing media for not fastening his top button and riding a “Chairman Mao-style bike”, Jeremy Corbyn slammed the Tories as “poverty deniers” who are “ignoring the growing queues at food banks”.

Corbyn, who has been pilloried by the UK press over the past couple of days, was addressing the TUC conference in his first major speech since becoming Labour leader on Saturday.

In the speech, he assured delegates that Labour could win the next General Election, after walking on to a standing ovation from the audience of trade unionists.

Corbyn also said Labour would vote against the Welfare Bill in the Commons last night. When the Bill last went before MPs, Labour’s interim leader Harriet Harman asked her colleagues to abstain. The resulting upset likely led directly to a rise in support for Corbyn.

“They call us deficit deniers; they spend billions cutting taxes for the richest families and for the most profitable businesses. What they are is poverty deniers.” he said of David Cameron’s Government.

“They are ignoring the growing queues at food banks, they are ignoring the housing crisis, they are cutting tax credits … let’s be clear: austerity is actually a political choice that this Government is taking and they are imposing it on the most vulnerable and poorest in society.”

Breaking away from Ed Miliband’s manifesto at the General Election, Corbyn also outlined his party’s opposition to a benefits cap. The party had promised to keep the cap, and look at regional variations.

“We oppose the benefit cap. We oppose social cleansing. We will bring the welfare bill down by controlling rents and boosting wages, not by impoverishing families and socially cleansing our communities,” he said.

Corbyn also used the speech to address criticism that there weren’t enough women in his cabinet. “After consideration and thought, we have appointed a shadow cabinet with a majority of women members for the first time ever.”

He also revealed that Labour has gained 30,000 new members since his election, and that total party membership was at about a third of a million.

Many of them have come from 176,000 registered supporters and affiliated supporters who paid £3 to vote in the leadership race. Party workers have been phoning round offering a reduced rate to try and encourage them to become full members.

Corbyn laid out plans on how he would change his party’s structure to make it more democratic for members.

“People came forward to take part in this process, came forward, yes, because they were interested, yes, because they were hopeful but, yes, because they wanted to be part of democratic process where we make policy together.” he said.

Under his leadership, Corbyn said, Labour would end “top-down” policy making. “I want everyone to put their views forward, every union branch, every party branch so we develop organically the strengths we all have the imagination we all have.”

During the speech, Corbyn also said the Government’s Trade Union Bill would be repealed when Labour become the party of government in 2020.

The GMB general secretary, Paul Kenny, welcomed the speech. Kenny noted that, unlike previous Labour leaders, “there were no walkouts this time”.

“There is very much in Jeremy’s leadership for the working people of this country.” he said.

Earlier in the day, Corbyn had his first encounter with David Cameron after becoming leader. The two men briefly shook hands at a memorial service marking the anniversary of the Battle of Britain in Westminster Abbey.

The service also Corbyn come under fire from some of the right wing press for how he looked. The Telegraph was near apoplectic that Corbyn had not fastened the top shirt button underneath his tie, and that he wore a mismatching suit jacket and trousers.

The paper also criticised him for not singing along to God Save The Queen.

It followed on from a bizarre line in a story in the Times where has was accused of riding a “Chairman Mao-style bike”.

Today Corbyn will face Cameron at the dispatch box as he makes his first appearance at Prime Minister’s Questions. He has been preparing by talking to Ed Miliband and Dennis Skinner.

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