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  1. ITV Report

Labour does not rule out backing freedom of movement after Brexit, says Corbyn

Labour does not rule out backing continued freedom of movement when Britain quits the European Union, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

Mr Corbyn made the comments during a speech just hours after it was briefed that he was "not wedded" to the principle.

The Opposition leader set out plans to prevent cheap migrant labour from the EU undercutting British workers.

Speaking in Peterborough, Mr Corbyn said the party supports reasonable management of migration as part of the exit settlement.

But he told supporters that he did not want comments on freedom of movement, which were viewed as an attempt to clarify the party's position after months of confusion, to be "misinterpreted".

"Labour is not wedded to freedom of movement for EU citizens as a point of principle, but I don't want that to be misinterpreted, nor do we rule it out," he said.

Mr Corbyn earlier came under fire for refusing to commit to a reduction in immigration after Brexit.

Mr Corbyn told ITV News Polticial Editor Robert Peston: "What I'm more concerned about is the way in which migrant workers have been grotesquely exploited, brought into this country to undercut wages and conditions... we are ensuring better working conditions for everybody."

Mr Corbyn said closing cheap labour loopholes and strengthening employment laws would "probably" reduce the number of migrant workers in the UK.

He said: "Labour supports fair rules and the reasonable management of migration as part of the post-Brexit relationship with the EU, while putting jobs and living standards first in the negotiations.

"At the same time, taking action against undercutting of pay and conditions, closing down cheap labour loopholes, banning exclusive advertising of jobs abroad and strengthening workplace protections would have the effect probably of reducing numbers of EU migrant workers in the most deregulated sectors, regardless of the final Brexit deal."