Jeremy Corbyn was last seen heading off grid along Hadrian’s Wall in northern England. His only brush with the public was buying his wife an upcycled woolly wrap in Bardon Mill Village Shop and Tea Room.
But although the Labour leader famously enjoys his privacy, the Prime Minister’s speech has brought him thundering back into the public sphere.
Theresa May rounded off a conference where her ministers suggested companies should list foreign workers and there should be more controls on international students.
Usually there is a gentleman’s agreement among parties to ignore each others’ conferences, but Corbyn broke his silence after May had finished.
He said: “Conservative Party leaders have sunk to a new low this week as they fan the flames of xenophobia and hatred in our communities and try to blame foreigners for their own failures.
“Drawing up lists of foreign workers won’t stop unscrupulous employers undercutting wages in Britain. Shutting the door to international students won’t pay young people’s tuition fee debts, and ditching doctors from abroad won’t cut NHS waiting lists.
“The Conservatives will instead foster division and discrimination in our workplaces and communities.”
Corbyn accused the Tories of making “false promises” on immigration, and “turning people against each other”.
He demanded a “positive agenda” for fair migration rules going into the Brexit negotiations.