Avowed socialist and Karl Marx admirer Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of Britain’s opposition Labour party on Saturday, a result that may make a British EU exit more likely and which senior figures have said would leave their party unelectable.
“Can I start by thanking everyone who took part in this democratic election,” Corbyn said in a victory speech.
He won 59.5 per cent of the ballots cast, or 251,417 votes, in the leadership, winning in the first round. When the results were announced he was cheered and hugged, even by some of his rivals.
The grey-hair, bearded Corbyn, 66, who only received backing to enter the contest to ensure wide debate and never expected to win, defeated two former Labour ministers, Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham, and Liz Kendall, regarded as the representative of policies advocated by former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Corbyn, a left winger and parliamentary veteran with a long history of voting against his own party, triumphed on a message of promising to increase government investment though money-printing and renationalising vast swathes of the economy.
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