Students fork out £51 to buy Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn's used paper cup
Published 28/08/2015 | 17:18
A group of Oxford University students, including several Tories, forked out £51 to buy Jeremy Corbyn's used paper cup - and now plan to drink port out of it.
Eleanor Sharman and 14 of her friends were victorious in a bidding war to snap up the humble vessel, which was sold on ebay to raise money for charity.
The third year philosophy and theology student at Oriel College said the plan is to take the coveted cup to the Oxford University Conservative Association's (OUCA) port and policy night.
Ms Sharman, who describes herself as a classical Liberal, told the Press Association: "One idea that has been raised is taking it to OUCA's port and policy weekly event and using it appropriately there.
"I think certainly everybody who has shares in it would like to drink from it. It has become something of a sacred object and will be treated accordingly.
"Port has been the main suggestion. I honestly don't mind, I assume it will be some form of alcohol."
Asked what she thought left-wing candidate Mr Corbyn would make of his used cup ending up at a gathering of his political foes, she said: "I imagine he would be rather baffled, but that's fine. I imagine he is rather baffled by the fact that somebody paid £50 for it."
Ms Sharman, who lives near Henley-on-Thames, said that while she and many of her fellow bidders do not share the same political views as Mr Corbyn, they are drawing inspiration from the left-winger and will share who gets to hold the cup in their home.
She said: "I imagine that, true to Corbyn's own values, we will have a system of collective ownership - it will be held as communal property."
And now the group has set its sights on getting used cups from the other three Labour leadership hopefuls - Liz Kendall, Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham.
They have already been in touch with Ms Kendall, who tweeted a picture of a glass and agreed to donate a cup for £51 which will go to Age UK - the same charity which auctioned Mr Corbyn's cup.
Maria Cooke, 49, who works for Age UK, decided to sell Mr Corbyn's used coffee cup on ebay after he visited the city and addressed hundreds of people at one of his now famous public meetings.
She said: "I thought we'd get a fiver and it was on about that for a while, but yesterday the bids and number of views just went up and up.
"Charities have got to be a bit creative about how they fundraise these days so I just thought why not put it up for auction."
She promised that if the cup was sold for more than £50 she would ask Mr Corbyn to sign it.
Mrs Cooke said: "We've asked his office, but I imagine he's a bit busy with other things at the moment."