Left-Winger Picked To Head Britain’s Labour Party
Leftist Lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of Britain’s opposition Labor Party on Saturday, a victory that threatens to further divide the party as it struggles to recover from a defeat in elections earlier this year.
The vote was not close with Corbyn, a Socialist, receiving 60 percent support on the party’s first preference ballot. But it is a vote that will impact the political playing field in the UK, as well as abroad.
Domestically, Corbyn was quick to announce his intention to pursue an agenda of “peace” in an op-ed published in The Observer.
“Isis is utterly abhorrent and President Assad’s regime has committed appalling crimes. But we must also oppose Saudi bombs falling on Yemen and the Bahraini dictatorship murdering its democracy movement, armed by us. Our role is to campaign for peace and disarmament around the world,” he wrote.
While it is not likely that he would ever be elected prime minister, his assumption of the top Labour post reflects the emergence of left-wing politicians throughout Europe.
His success underlines the extent to which European political structures have been destabilized by the aftershocks of the financial crisis in 2008, with voters increasingly attracted away from the political center ground, either to the socialist left or the nationalist right,” contends Stephen Castle of the New York Times.
In Europe, the left-wing Syriza party of Greece applauded his victory, saying it was a sign of the left’s growing influence.
“The election of Corbyn to the Labour leadership … is a significant boost to the pan-European front against austerity and sends a message of hope to European peoples,” Syriza said in a statement, according to Reuters UK.