Hundreds turned out to show their support for Jeremy Corbyn as the Labour leader returned to his sun soaked home turf of north London last night (16 July). The large crowd gathered to hear from the Islington North MP and his allies at the left-winger's Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) rally.
Corbyn, addressing his supporters from the top of a fire engine provided by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), warned that hate crime was rising in the UK and promised to tackle "systematic disadvantage".
"More than half of all young black people are unemployed. Black people are a shocking 37 times more likely to be stop and searched," the Labour leader said.
"Labour must be a party that fights for black, Asian and ethnic minority communities - and a diverse and united Britain.
"Words matter. We must never pander to elements of the right-wing press, which sow division in our society and demonise Muslim communities. We must stand against antisemitism, Islamophobia and all forms of racism, wherever they exist.
"But it also means going further – and addressing the systematic disadvantage that so many people face. To build a society that works for everyone, we will end austerity and invest £500bn ($645bn) in jobs, infrastructure and public services as part of our plan to rebuild and transform Britain so that no one and no community is left behind."
Owen Smith, Corbyn's sole challenger for the leadership, was rarely mentioned during the two-hour-long rally (at least by name). But Samayya Azfal, a member of the National Union of Students (NUS) executive, was critical of the Pontypridd MP's support for the government's controversial counter-terrorism strategy, the Prevent programme.
"When Jeremy won the leadership contest last year, that was the only time I felt my views being heard and being represented at a national level," she told IBTimes UK.
"This time around what's really convinced me is, given how much the government's counter-terrorism policy has affected young Muslims in particular, Jeremy's stance on Prevent has really convinced me."
'Blair and Brown are the real entryists'
A few Socialist Party activists were also in attendance, handing out leaflets and collecting signatures. The Trotskyist group, a familiar feature at left-wing rallies, have enjoyed more attention after Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson claimed Marxist revolutionaries were attempting infiltrate his party.
Corbyn's camp have dismissed the claims, while accusing Watson of "peddling conspiracy theories". But the Socialist Party, which used to trade under the Militant brand, have said they are open to electoral pacts and the group's leader, Peter Taaffe, has revealed that he wants to re-join Labour.
Claire Laker-Mansfield, a youth organised for the Socialist Party, told IBTimes UK the "real entryists" in Labour were the likes of former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
"[They] really had aims which were alien to the traditions of the Labour Party. They were supporters of neo-liberal Thatcherite economic policies, and in reality, of having another party similar to the Tories which would act in the interests of the rich and the 1%."
Laker-Mansfield also said the Socialist Party would support the idea of Labour "being opened up to all anti-austerity forces". She added: "I would support a federal structure, which would allow for people to have their own views, to discuss among themselves, but which would also create a unified force to help build a movement against austerity."