It has been confirmed that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will speak at the 2017 Durham Miners’ Gala on Saturday July 8th.

Mr Corbyn spoke at the 2016 Gala, at which he urged Labour-led Durham County Council to resolve its dispute with its teaching assistants. Now the Durham Miners’ Association (DMA), which organises the Gala, has announced that Mr Corbyn will also address this year’s event.

Alan Cummings, the DMA’s secretary, said, “We are proud to announce that Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, will address this year’s Durham Miners’ Gala.”

“Jeremy has spoken at the Gala on numerous occasions over the years as a backbench MP, a Labour leadership candidate and as Labour leader.”

“This summer we hope he will address the Gala as Labour prime minister.”

“The Durham Miners’ Association are strong supporters of Jeremy’s leadership of the Labour Party and we believe that the general election manifesto is the best in generations.”

“We particularly welcome the manifesto commitments to return transport and utilities to public ownership, introduce a real Living Wage, scrap the inhumane Work Capability Assessment, restore proper funding for our NHS, ban zero-hours contracts, hold inquiries into the events at Orgreave and blacklisting, and scrap the Tory Trade Union Act.”

“Jeremy has described the Big Meeting as ‘simply the greatest demonstration of working-class culture in Britain’ and we are very pleased that once again he has accepted our invitation to speak.”

In addition to Jeremy Corbyn, another famous speaker at the Durham Miners’ Gala will be the film director Ken Loach. Mr Loach’s recent film I, Daniel Blake chronicles the struggles of a Newcastle craftsman with the benefit system after he has suffered a serious heart attack.

The Durham Miners’ Gala – or Big Meeting, as it is known locally – is the largest community and trade union event in the world.

As well as famous speakers, the Gala is due to feature marching bands, a special service in Durham Cathedral, a funfair, exhibitions and a two-day music festival.

(Featured image courtesy of Garry Knight, from Flickr Creative Commons)

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