Mr. Jeremy Corbyn, MP has been elected the new Labour Party leader, making him the leader of the UK’s official opposition.
Mr. Corbyn is a 66-year-old left-wing MP, who was first elected to Parliament in 1983, when Margaret Thatcher was prime minister. Mr. Corbyn has been MP for the London constituency of Islington North for 32 years, being re-elected seven times.
He secured landslide win in the race for new Labour leader, as he received 59.5% of the vote. For context, former Prime Minister Tony Blair got 57% of the vote when he was elected Labour leader in 1994.
The New Statesman describes Mr. Corbyn as follows:
Jeremy Corbyn was born in 1949 in Chippenham, Wiltshire. His parents – his father was an electrical engineer and his mother a maths teacher – were both peace campaigners, as their son would become, too.
[Mr.] Corbyn has at various times worked as a journalist, teacher, union official and councillor.
In many ways he conforms to a north London leftist stereotype: ascetic and parsimonious, he is a vegetarian, does not [consume] alcohol, has his own allotment and does not own a car.
The BBC spells out some of Mr. Corbyn’s political convictions:
As a democratic socialist, he believes in:
- Higher taxation for the wealthiest
- Greater public ownership, with the railways and utilities earmarked for renationalisation
- An end to private involvement in the health service
- A new free national education service
- An agenda of “growth not austerity”
He has pledged to oppose spending cuts and said he would use the Bank of England to pump billions into the economy to boost infrastructure and manufacturing.