LONDON — World-renowned scientist and lifelong Labour supporter Stephen Hawking believes that Jeremy Corbyn must step down as leader “for the sake” of the party’s future.
Professor Hawking told the Times newspaper that he agrees with many of Corbyn’s policies but considers the Labour leader a “disaster” who for the good of the struggling party should make way for somebody else.
“I regard Corbyn as a disaster,” the 75-year-old physicist said in a rare newspaper interview this week.
“His heart is in the right place and many of his policies are sound but he has allowed himself to be portrayed as a left-wing extremist.”
He added: “I think he should step down for the sake of the party.”
Corbyn is under severe pressure to reverse Labour’s fortunes following a catastrophic defeat in the recent Copeland by-election last month and dismal polling that stretches back as far as mid-summer, 2016.
New research published by Election Data on Monday suggested that Corbyn’s popularity is declining among Labour members. His net approval rating has declined by nearly 40% over the space of 12 months, according to the data.
Professor Hawking added that he would vote for Corbyn in a general election but believed doing so would be futile.
The Times interviewed Professor Hawking on a variety of subjects, ranging from the Nobel prize, to his travels around the world, to the political and societal challenges facing the world as a whole.
The award-winning scientist suggested that a world government could provide solutions to global problems like nuclear weapons and climate change — but conceded that an overarching world government may not be compatible with democratic values.
“Since civilisation began, aggression has been useful inasmuch as it has definite survival advantages. It is hard-wired into our genes by Darwinian evolution,” he said. Now, however, technology has advanced at such a pace that this aggression may destroy us all by nuclear or biological war. We need to control this inherited instinct by our logic and reason.”
“We need to be quicker to identify such threats and act before they get out of control.
“This might mean some form of world government. But that might become a tyranny. All this may sound a bit doom-laden but I am an optimist. I think the human race will rise to meet these challenges.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.