DURHAM Miners’ Gala is preparing for 200,000 people to descend on the city for its biggest event since its heydays thanks to the pull of Jeremy Corbyn.

The Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) says there will be a bigger police presence than in previous years, with additional road closures and armed officers on the streets in a bid to ensure the safety of the crowd.

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will be the star attraction of the annual Big Meeting, which takes place on July 8. It follows his appearance last year, which drew crowds of 150,000 – a modern record.

DMA secretary Alan Cummings said: “Last year on the streets of Durham there were about 150,000 and after what’s happened recently with the General Election we think it will put 50,000 on the crowd.

“We think there’s going to be a massive turnout. We’re talking about what it was like in the 1960s and 1950s when there were two platforms of speakers.

“It’s something we would never have imagined after the last pit closure in 1993.

"I think we're going to have more people coming to hear what Jeremy has to say."

He added: “There will be really toughened up security. People will see a bigger police presence and an armed police presence and we have beefed up the road closures.

“They will see a reassuring presence and I think people should not be put off by what’s happening. We shouldn’t bow the knee to terrorists.

“Everything has been done to make sure it goes off in a safe manner as it has done for a number of years.”

A Durham Police spokeswoman said: “Following the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London, we have been reviewing our response to public events taking place in our area.

“The safety of everyone in County Durham and Darlington is paramount. While there is nothing to suggest a specific threat to our communities, we will have extra patrols on duty at the Miners’ Gala to protect and reassure the public.”

Other speakers at this year's event will be shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, film director Ken Loach, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, Steve Gillan from the Prison Officer’s Association and Unison regional secretary Clare Williams.

Mr Cummings added: "I would have liked Jeremy to be coming as Prime Minister - a few more votes and we would have had another Prime Minister. It's just a matter of time before he is Prime Minister.

"What's happening has caught people's interest. I think people will be in high spirits.

"The number of people on the racecourse last year was unbelievable. I went to see him at the Sage (in Gateshead) a few weeks ago. I'm 70 and I've been a member of the Labour Party for years and I've never seen anything like it. It was really heartening to see so many young people – that's the future of this country."