We're here in Brighton for the Labour conference 2017. Two years ago, Jeremy Corbyn came here when he was newly elected as leader of the Labour party. Fast forward two years, and what a difference that time has made. Back then, Mr. Corbyn seemed an isolated figure within Westminster, with most of his own MPs sceptical about his leadership. And since then, last summer, we had a massive coup against him by 173 of his own MPs who declared that they had no confidence in his abilities to lead the party.
But back in June, we had the general election in Britain where Labour got 40% of the vote. And that proved wrong all of those critics within the Parliamentary Labour party, within the media, and elsewhere, who said that his brand of old-style socialism could not do well with the British public at large. And what we saw in June-- Theresa May from the Tories tried to make the election all about Brexit. Mr. Corbyn campaigned very strongly on issues such as public sector pay, the austerity programme of the government, and he picked up a large groundswell of support, particularly from young people.
Now, that doesn't mean that Mr. Corbyn's problems are completely over. He still needs to get 60 more seats for the next general election in order to have become prime minister. And yes, his position is assured, in terms of the internal mechanics of the Labour party, but it doesn't mean that there is no argument, no dissent is still going on. And the argument happening today and tomorrow is over whether the conference will have a chance to debate whether or not to support freedom of movement after Brexit. It's an issue that Mr. Corbyn's team would love to bury. They have a very neutral position where they accept Brexit and they accept an end to freedom of movement once we leave the European Union. A lot of delegates want to discuss it, and we can see behind this here there's protests going on at the moment in favour of open immigration. And that's one issue that Mr. Corbyn can't get away from this week.
But elsewhere, spirits are high. There was a rally last night with more than 6,000 supporters of Mr. Corbyn in a park in Brighton, and compared to the feuding Tory party, labour looks relatively united.