Jeremy Corbyn, the newly elected leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, gives a speech from a lorry at a Solidarity with Refugees march in Parliament in London, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) (The Associated Press)
Jeremy Corbyn, the newly elected leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, arrives to give a speech from a lorry at a Solidarity with Refugees march in Westminster in London, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) (The Associated Press)
LONDON – Far-left lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn has won the race to lead Britain’s opposition Labour Party, a result many considered unimaginable just months ago. Here is a glance at his background and his beliefs:
WHO IS CORBYN?
Corbyn was born in 1949 to a middle-class family. His mother was a teacher and his father an engineer, and they reportedly met while campaigning on the Spanish civil war.
As a teenager, he became involved in causes such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and both Corbyn and his elder brother joined the Young Socialists.
Corbyn did not finish his studies at the North London Polytechnic. He was elected to Haringey Council, a municipal authority in north London, in 1974 at 25.
He served as a full time trade union organizer before he entered the House of Commons as lawmaker for London’s Islington North in 1983 — a seat he has held ever since.
WHAT ARE HIS CAUSES?
Corbyn has been a fixture at left-leaning demonstrations for decades.
In 1984, he was arrested outside the South African Embassy in London for protesting against apartheid. As a long-time nuclear disarmament campaigner, he opposes the renewal of Britain’s Trident nuclear fleet. In 2001 he helped establish the Stop the War coalition to campaign against the war in Iraq — and he still remains the group’s chair.
Corbyn is patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and takes a keen interest in championing “the rights of the oppressed” around the world, according to his website.
Britain’s center-right newspaper, the Daily Telegraph, has repeatedly noted that in 1984 Corbyn invited Gerry Adams, longtime leader of the Irish nationalist Sinn Fein party and reputedly a former Irish Republican Army commander, to the House of Commons days after a deadly IRA bombing in England.
More recently Corbyn faced a television grilling when an interviewer questioned whether he called the militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah “friends.” Corbyn replied that he used the word in a “collective …Read More