Jeremy Corbyn to spell out 'transformative' arts vision


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is to set out a "transformative" vision for the arts as he continues his campaign in Scotland. 

Mr Corbyn will take his battle for the party leadership to Edinburgh, where he will launch his culture policy against the backdrop of the capital's festivals.

Despite his location north of the border, where education and the arts are devolved matters, he will detail plans to introduce an arts pupil premium to every primary school in England, similar to that for PE, to ''reverse cuts to real terms arts expenditure''.

Mr Corbyn will also say a Labour government under his leadership would introduce a cross-departmental Cabinet committee to increase participation in the arts and culture.

He is expected to say: ''Drawing on Britain's rich cultural heritage, Labour under my leadership will commit to extending access and participation in the arts to all people and all communities across Britain.

''There is creativity in all of us but we need to give people the opportunities for this creativity to flourish.

''Central to Labour's vision to rebuild and transform Britain must be a radical, transformative vision for the arts.

''Labour will reverse Tory cuts to arts expenditure and set out a bold and inspiring policy programme for the arts building on our proud cultural heritage.''

Mr Corbyn will later travel to Dundee for a campaign rally to boost support for his leadership campaign among Scottish Labour Party members, after admitting he was "disappointed" not to have the support of leader Kezia Dugdale, who is backing challenger Owen Smith.

The visit follows the accusation from Mr Smith that Mr Corbyn is responsible for Labour finishing third behind the SNP and Conservatives in May's Holyrood election.

Mr Smith claimed during a hustings in Glasgow on Thursday night that the party north of the border had gone backwards under Mr Corbyn's watch and he had failed to win back support for the SNP.

But Mr Corbyn used the hustings, as well as an earlier speech and rally in the city, to attack the SNP for imposing an "austerity programme" on Scotland.

Ruling out any kind of progressive alliance, he claimed the party was ''underfunding'' Scottish local authorities, and said Scotland's £14.8 billion deficit in 2015/16 placed a huge question mark over the SNP's independence mission.

During the hustings Mr Corbyn was also accused of being "happy" about the vote for the UK to leave the EU, amid repeated questions from Mr Smith about how he had voted on the issue.

The Labour leader hit back at claims he was ''complacent and passive'' about Brexit, insisting he had voted Remain and saying he was "very surprised and disappointed" by the line of questioning from his opponent.