Jeremy Corbyn began his first conference speech as Labour leader by mocking the press over its coverage of him.

The Labour leader joked about reports that he backed the planet's annihilation by an asteroid, a story claiming the prospect of him in Number 10 would result in the end of the Premier League and the description of his chosen mode of transport as a "Chairman Mao style bicycle".

Corbyn told the gathering in Brighton that the newspapers had taken "a mild interest in me lately".

Making light of the turbulent start to his leadership of the party, he said: "I'm delighted to be making this speech today, partly as it's a change from the relaxing two weeks I've had, in which barely anything of note has happened to me at all.

"You may have noticed that some of our newspapers do seem to have taken a mild interest in me lately.

"Amongst the things I've found out about myself are that, according to one headline 'Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the prospect of an asteroid 'wiping out' humanity'."

Corbyn, who has vowed to change the way Labour makes decisions, quipped: "Obviously I wouldn't endorse this policy without getting the support of conference first, but I look forward to that debate."

He continued: "Another newspaper printed a 'mini novel' that predicted how life would look if I were prime minister.

"It tells us football's Premier League would collapse, which makes sense, because it's difficult to see how the top teams would cope once an asteroid has wiped out humanity.

"And the Daily Express informed readers that my great-great grandfather was an unpleasant sort of chap who ran a workhouse.

"And I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for not doing the decent thing and going back in time to have a word with him about his behaviour.

"Another journalist reported that my 'neighbours often see him riding a Chairman Mao style bicycle'.

"Less thorough journalists might just have referred to this object as a 'bicycle'.

"But thanks to this reporter, we now know that whenever we see someone riding a bike, there goes another supporter of Chairman Mao."

Corbyn also referred to his predecessor Ed Miliband enduring "tawdry media attacks".

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