Jeremy Corbyn unveils his plans to revitalise the North


Jeremy Corbyn has unveiled his own alternative to George Osborne's Northern Powerhouse project in the latest stage of his campaign for the Labour leadership.

The backbench MP, who has seen a surge in support for his campaign, launched his Northern Future plans at an event in Leeds.

The event comes after crowds packed a rally for the veteran left-winger in North London in the latest indication of the popularity of his anti-austerity message which has shocked figures in the Labour establishment.

Although shadow health secretary Andy Burnham is the bookmakers' favourite to claim victory on September 12, Mr Corbyn has received the symbolically important backing of more constituency Labour parties and influential trade unions.

Mr Corbyn's paper is the first in series of plans as part of his wider "Vision for Britain 2020" ambitions.

The document criticises Local Enterprise Partnerships as being too Treasury-led, attacks the unfair funding of the arts, condemns policies it claims have deliberately led to the decline of UK manufacturing and calls for rebalancing transport investment towards the North of England.

Mr Corbyn, who canvassed activists for ideas, said: "I was delighted to see the volume and detail of responses from the Labour Party members on the hugely important issue of growing our northern economies.

"The Northern Future paper includes my own ideas to show the direction I want to take as leader, along with a sample of the 1,200 excellent contributions we received.

"There is a lack of faith in the Conservatives' Northern Powerhouse agenda which combines power cuts for rail electrification with the devolution of crude cuts.

"Despite this, the need for re-industrialising the north of England and providing the investment and freedom to innovate and prioritise has never been stronger. There is an appetite for a real alternative and this important conversation has begun."

The event follows a mass rally in north London which saw Mr Corbyn address supporters who could not get into his event from the top of a fire engine outside the Camden Centre, shortly before speaking at a packed rally which spilled over into several rooms.

In a 30-minute speech made without notes, Mr Corbyn told activists: "After September 12, whatever the result, don't go away and say that was a good summer 2015 ... stay together to defend what we have got but above all, stay together to bring about a country that doesn't thrive on inequality and injustice and poverty.

"That voice cannot be silenced. That voice cannot be stopped. That power cannot be denied - together we are very strong. The alternative of staying home and shouting at the television will achieve absolutely nothing."

In a sign of Labour's difficulties, community organiser Arnie Graf, who was brought over from the US to help under Ed Miliband's leadership, claimed the party's hierarchy had no connection with voters in key seats.

He revealed that for one event, Mr Miliband was due to talk to a worker on the minimum wage in front of the press - but local activists had not been able to arrange one.

In an article on the LabourList website Mr Graf said he was able to locate someone to take part in the event but added: "Throughout the four days that I worked on this and right after seeing our guest to her taxi, I felt this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach.

"How could it be that the Labour Party, supposedly the party of working people, was not in relationship with a single minimum wage worker? It was stunning!"

He added: "The leadership and the party staff reside in separate quarters physically and mentally. Policies and major campaigns are developed with little or no input from the staff in the field. This leads to a lot mistakes and resentments."