Corbyn: Labour party needs to be 'true to its roots'

Corbyn said his party showed it was 'incapable' of offering voters a political alternative in the last election Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

Jeremy Corbyn has urged his party to be "true to its roots" and offer "a credible alternative" to voters today as the race to become the new Labour leader continues.

Speaking on BBC1's Andrew Marr show, the Islington North MP said his party failed to give the electorate an alternative in the last election and that needed to change.

He said: "I'm not talking about the Labour party being a revolutionary party, it certainly isn't.

"What we are doing here is putting forward a view that the Labour party has to offer a credible alternative that is true to the roots of the Labour party - the roots are essentially democratic, potentially socialist and potentially community.

"What we were offering for the past 5-10 years has been essentially austerity light."

Corbyn, who polls suggest is the current frontrunner in the Labour leadership race, was referred to by The Sunday Times as the "hard-left candidate" today as the paper published claims that many voters were signing up to the Labour party to vote him in.

Addressing the allegations, made by MP John Mann to the newspaper, that "hard left infiltration is fuelling a huge surge in party membership" and propelling his popularity Corbyn said he was only interested in attracting new "genuine" supporters.

He said: "I've said all along from the very beginning I only want people to register as Labour supporters if they are genuine Labour supporters and intend to stay for the long run."