British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has urged the left not to abandon its socialist principles as a populist right-wing wave threatens to sweep through Europe.
Labour leader Mr Corbyn said that it was vital left-wing parties in Europe did not let their principles become diluted. Making a keynote address at the Party of European Socialists conference in Prague, Mr Corbyn said that too often the left were not seen as a model for economic and social change.
He called on other left wing parties not to allow people to scapegoat refugees and migrant workers because any unfair blame simply played into the hands of the right trying to win greater power across Europe.
His comments have been taken as a criticism and a move away from policies under former New Labour leaders Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, as well as a warning to his own deputy leader Tom Watson, who he does not see eye to eye with on immigration policy.
His warning comes following a number of shocks in world politics. Britain voted for Brexit in June, even though pollsters widely believed the Remain camp would win by a narrow margin. Many voters said they were taking a stand against immigration, which they said was out of control. Then, Donald Trump took the American presidency in another shock victory.
The Freedom Party is pushing for presidency in Austria, with pollsters saying that the far right canidate Norbert Hofer has a very good chance of winning. Meanwhile, the National Front, headed by Marine Le Pen is hoping for success in France.
While the Labour leader agreed that it was tricky to persuade jobless people that the reason they were unemployed was not because immigrants were arriving to “steal their jobs”, he said they must be convinced that the reason for unemployment was actually because of failed economic policies brought in by the right.