Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn elected with huge mandate; Election of backbench MP and anti-war campaigner means party now has one of the most leftwing, anti-establishment leaders in its history, by Rowena Mason (The Guardian)
Jeremy Corbyn has been elected leader of the British Labour party, in a stunning first-round victory that dwarfed even the mandate for Tony Blair in 1994.
Corbyn won with nearly 59.5% of first-preference votes, beating rivals Andy Burnham, who trailed on 19%, and Yvette Cooper who received 17%. The “Blairite” candidate Liz Kendall came last on 4.5%.
Minutes after his victory, Corbyn said the message is that people are “fed up with the injustice and the inequality” of Britain.
“The media and many of us, simply didn’t understand the views of young people in our country. They were turned off by the way politics was being conducted. We have to and must change that. The fightback gathers speed and gathers pace,” he said.
Previously, at Al Jazeera:
Corbyn prepares to lead UK Labour Party amid socialist surge; A once unthinkable reality materializes in Britain, as left-wing politician rides anti-austerity wave, by James Maxwell (Al Jazeera)
Corbyn’s supporters argue that their candidate will breathe new life into British socialism. They say his air of rumpled authenticity, coupled with his staunch opposition to Tory-imposed spending cuts, chimes with the populist mood sweeping European politics that has seen leftist parties win power and influence in countries like Spain and Greece.
“Jeremy is winning because he offers something different, something Labour members can campaign for and believe in,” said Andrew Smith, a Labour activist and former local council candidate in northern London.
“He represents the idea of power as an instrument of change, rather than power for its own sake … It is telling that he’s the only candidate to inspire people to join the party in large numbers.”