The leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn made a visit to an independent bookshop after speaking at the funeral of miners' leader Davey Hopper today.
The MP visited the People's Bookshop, in Saddlers Yard, Durham, where his social media campaign was born.
The visit was made soon after he spoke at Durham Miners’ Association leader Davey Hopper’s funeral, which was held at the organisation's head quarters in Redhills.
The bookshop was the location for the very first social media campaign to get Mr Corbyn onto the ballot in early June 2015, and became a hub for the Corbyn campaign during last summer.
Since then, the venue's leaders say it has blossomed into a large collective, with many young people getting involved in the running of the bookshop and the continuing campaign to revitalise the Labour Party.
Mr Corbyn talked to the collective about the political and economic situation in the North East, the sense of disenfranchisement in former Labour heartlands and the teaching assistants campaign against the 23% cuts to pay proposed by Durham County Council.
After an hour long discussion, and the selfies with the group, he headed to York, where he is speaking at a rally this evening.
The People’s Bookshop opened in June 2011 and describes itself as a radical bookshop, committed to social change and equality.
It has become a hub for the left in Durham, with book launches, poetry events, campaigning and organising initiatives bringing in an ever increasing circle
of activists and book lovers.
Founder Ben Sellers said: "While some people might say that Jeremy Corbyn should have been using his time after Davey Hopper’s funeral making a scheduled visit, or meeting dignitaries of Labour Party officials, he did what came natural to him: he went to meet a group of committed, grassroots activists, to discuss the issues they were facing in the North East, the challenges that face the Labour Party Post-Brexit – and their hopes for the future.
"That is totally in keeping with who Jeremy Corbyn is: someone who is always learning, always absorbing fresh ideas – and engaging with people young and old.
"That’s the kind of leader we need at the head of this movement, and at the head of the Labour Party.”
Volunteer Tom Raeside said: "It was just fantastic to be able to discuss serious issues face-to- face with the leader of the Labour Party, along with about 8 other people.
"How many people get the chance to do that? It’s a massive honour.”
Volunteer Charlotte Austin said: “Jeremy was so interested throughout, really engaging with all of us, as well as joking.
"I literally couldn’t wipe the simile off by face throughout the whole session.”