Jeremy Corbyn reacts angrily to question about his Labour leadership from 'utterly obsessed' media

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand

Jeremy Corbyn has reacted angrily to suggestions he should stand aside as Labour leader in the wake of the party's poor poll showings.

Mr Corbyn accused ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand of being "utterly obsessed" with the question of his leadership - and claimed the media had failed to report fairly on the Labour Party.

His comments came ahead of the launch of the May 4 election campaign in Newark, Nottinghamshire, where Mr Corbyn described the Tories as "running Britain down".

The Islington North MP revealed that Labour would be championing "underfunded" social care, housing and education during the campaigns.

But he claimed that the media were "failing" to report fairly and thoroughly on Labour's alternative policies after being questioned several times about his leadership.

Mr Corbyn branded the media as "utterly obsessed" with the matter.

Speaking of his leadership, Mr Corbyn said: "You're obsessed with this question, utterly obsessed with it."

He emphasised the importance of having a strong opposition to the government, saying: "We have a strong opposition in this country if you bothered to report what we were doing.

"If you bothered to report what Jon Ashworth [shadow health secretary] is doing on the health service, if you bothered to report what Angela Rayner [shadow education secretary] is doing and saying on schools, if you bothered to report what the Labour Party is actually saying.

"It's your responsibility to make sure the opposition voice is heard as well as the government's voice. It's your failings."

  • Jeremy Corbyn on his pride at leading the Labour Party

Mr Corbyn revealed that housing, education and social care would form the main thrust of Labour's local election campaign.

He said Labour would support investment for council housing, promotion of low-start mortgages for younger people and channelling more money into underfunded schools.

In Newark he told supporters that Labour were offering a "real alternative" to the Conservative government's plans to turn Britain into a post-Brexit "low-wage tax haven for big business".

Mr Corbyn claimed that home ownership, opportunities for children, wages, working conditions, the NHS and social care were all going backwards under Mrs May's stewardship.

Meanwhile Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said that his party were increasingly being seen as the "real opposition" to the Conservatives.

Mr Farron described the Government as taking Britain in the "wrong direction" over Brexit and under-funding of the NHS, social care and economy.

The Liberal Democrats would, if in power, channel more funds into social care and reverse central government cuts to education and the NHS,

Tim Farron said the Liberal Democrats were the 'real opposition'. Credit: ITV News

Conservative MP Patrick McLoughlin told ITV News that he hoped Tory councils would continue to provide good local services.

However he stressed that at the same time local authorities would be made to look for savings while also keeping council tax low.

He added that extra money had been channelled into social care by the government, but admitted that improvements still needed to be made.

"I make no apology for saying I want Conservative councils to provide good services, look for savings, but keep council tax low," he said.

Ukip's Peter Whittle said that his party would be focussing on issues which other parties "simply won't touch" in the upcoming elections.

Mr Whittle cited migration - an issue which he claimed the government hoped would "go away - and radical Islam as being issues the party would champion.