Jeremy Corbyn visited volunteers in Walthamstow as ballot papers are sent out to Labour members ahead of the party’s leadership election.

Mr Corbyn met campaigners running a phone bank at the Ghousia Community Centre yesterday evening (Monday, August 22).

During the visit, Walthamstow supporters made the 200,000th call of Mr Corbyn’s campaign.

Addressing supporters at the community centre, he said the leadership contest "wasn't what we wanted to be doing this summer" but he was determined to fight to ensure Labour moved forward.

He added: "This leadership campaign has been brought about because, as you know, there were a series of resignations from the shadow cabinet.

"There was then a series of people who then declined to serve in the shadow cabinet.

"We appointed others to fill their places and I wanted to say a huge thank you to those people who took on completely new jobs.

"Richard Burgon, Becky Long-Bailey, Angela Rayner, Cat Smith. Diane [Abbott] took on a different role in taking on health, and so on.

"And those people have all worked incredibly hard, in very, very difficult circumstances, to get the Labour view across."

The first ballot papers were sent out yesterday to the estimated 640,000 members and supporters who will decide whether Mr Corbyn carries on as leader or is replaced by Owen Smith.

Polling will not close until September 21. However, this week has been seen as a crucial to the contest, with many members expected to cast their votes in the coming days.

Mr Corbyn said of the leadership battle: "We are doing it because we are absolutely determined that there will be no turning back to the days of a Labour Party, fighting election, promising cuts in public expenditure.

"There will be no turning back to abstaining on a welfare reform bill which was taking £12 billion out of the pockets of the poorest and most vulnerable within our society and there will be no return to illegal wars like Iraq”.