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Jeremy Corbyn kicked of his election campaign in earnest on Thursday, with the Labour leader telling supporters it was the party’s “historic duty to make sure the people prevail” in the face of a “rigged system”.

He said the “media and the establishment” believe the June 8 election is a “foregone conclusion”, but that such scepticism was the result of fear of the challenge a Labour government would pose.

He lashed out at the “wealth extractors” of the elite and said:

We don’t accept that the British people just have to take what they’re given. The establishment and the media are right; I don’t play by their rules, and if a Labour government is elected on June 8, we won’t play by their rules either.

Labour MPs Alan Johnson, Pat Glass, Iain Wright, Tom Blenkinsop, Andrew Smith and Gisela Stuart are all quitting parliament, as opinion polls give the Conservatives an 18-point lead.

Mr Corbyn dismissed the scale of the Tory lead in the opinion polls, noting that he was given a 200/1 chance of securing his role as leader of the Labour party.

Anyone who stands up to create a better, fairer more decent society gets vilified. Our party gets vilified, But I tell you what, we’re bigger than we’ve ever been, we’re stronger than we’ve ever been and we’re more determined than we’ve ever been.

(Image: Bloomberg)

Read more: Labour draws up most leftwing manifesto since Michael Foot years

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