Monday 25 June 2018

Corbyn's push for Labour leadership looks unstoppable

Jeremy Corbyn: on course to become Labour’s next leader
Jeremy Corbyn: on course to become Labour’s next leader

Michael Wilkinson

Britain should create closer ties with Russia, Jeremy Corbyn has hinted as he surged ahead in the latest poll for the leadership of Britain's Labour Party.

Mr Corbyn, who takes 53pc of support in the latest YouGov poll, told 'Russia Today' that Britain should treat international opponents with more respect.

Mr Corbyn told the TV channel: "What is security? Is security the ability to bomb, maim, kill, destroy? Or is security the ability to get on with other people and have some kind of respectful existence with them?"

The left-winger now has the support of more than half of those with a vote in the Labour leadership contest, the latest poll suggested.

Stark warnings from a string of senior party figures that choosing the veteran left-winger would be catastrophic for its chances of returning to power appeared to have had little effect.

The YouGov survey for 'The Times' of 1,411 eligible voters in the contest to succeed Ed Miliband found that Mr Corbyn had nearly doubled his lead in a week to 32pc.

It gave him 53pc - enough to win without a need to count second preferences - with Andy Burnham losing five points to 21pc, Yvette Cooper slipping two to 18pc and Liz Kendall down three on 8pc.

YouGov president Peter Kellner said he "would personally be astonished if Corbyn does not end up as Labour's leader'', despite voting not starting until Friday and the result not due to be declared until September 12.

Mr Corbyn's odds for victory have been slashed by bookmakers Ladbrokes following the new poll. He is now priced at 1/2, with Andy Burnham at 3/1, Yvette Cooper on 4/1 and Liz Kendall trailing at 100/1.

Ms Kendall now has the same odds as Mr Corbyn had when he first entered the race.

Shadow work and pensions minister Stephen Timms, who backed Liz Kendall, declined to answer when asked if he would serve in a shadow cabinet under Mr Corbyn.

Asked to outline the impact on Labour should Mr Corbyn win, Mr Timms told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "If it's accepted, as I believe, that it was economic credibility that was our big problem in the general election, I don't think a victory for Jeremy Corbyn would help us to overcome that."

He added that the consequences would be "damaging for Labour and for the country", noting that he believed the damage would be "potentially long-term".

In a finding certain to further fuel fears over the election process among Labour MPs and other critics, six in 10 of the surprise front-runner's new supporters are among newly registered supporters.

The contest has been hit by claims that members of far-left groups and Conservatives are among around 190,000 to have signed up since the party's general election defeat in May.

They include affiliated supporters who - under new rules adopted under Ed Miliband - have to pay just £3 to take part as well as individual members of trade unions and other organisations affiliated to the party. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News