As Britain heads to the polls later this week (June 8), Americans better start memorizing the name Jeremy Corbyn.
Dubbed “Britain’s Bernie Sanders,” the openly socialist leader of the Labor Party is getting a major profile in Esquire to introduce him to readers on this side of the Pond.
Once 20 points behind incumbent prime minister Theresa May and the Conservative Party, Corbyn has cut the lead to low single digits and Saturday’s terror attack in London may prove a factor one way or the other. At the least, it looks like May’s party won’t keep a majority in Parliament.
Corbyn surprised many on his own side of the aisle with his September 2015 win of the Labor Party leadership, his anti-war rhetoric often targeted at former Labor PM Tony Blair.
“Though Corbyn won the Labor leadership in a landslide, he was considered a dark horse through most of the race, and several prominent Labor figures—including former prime ministers Blair and Gordon Brown—spoke out against him,” write’s Esquire‘s Emma Dibdin. But Corbyn’s passionate support base prevailed, and the fallout was dramatic.
“Just imagine Bernie Sanders winning the Democratic primary, and you’ll have a good sense of how much this shook the party to its core.”
Like Sanders, Corbyn has vowed to abolish university tuition fees and pass a “fat cat tax” on large businesses and the rich. This from a vegetarian who rides a bicycle to work.
Further proof of the validity of the Sanders comparisons: Corbyn has gotten the support of American progressive actor Mark Ruffalo.
He also vows to not have a “special relationship” with the Trump administration—unlike his rival, May. That could mark a huge change from the traditional close ties between the United States and Great Britain if Corbyn becomes prime minister.
“Pandering to an erratic Trump administration will not deliver stability,” Corbyn said in a speech last month.
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