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The Labour Party Leader - Jeremy Corbyn 

Jeremy Corbyn MPFollowing Labour's defeat in the General Election 2015 and the resignation of Ed Miliband the Labur Party held a leadership contest.

It was Jeremy Corbyn MP who beat off the competition from Andy Burnham MP, Yvette Cooper MP and Liz Kendall MP to become the next Leader of the Labour Party on 12th September 2015. He then won a second leadership contest, with a bigger majority, in 2016 following a collapse of support amongst the Labour Parliamentary Party and the view Mr Corbyn had not campaigned passionately enough for Britain to remain in the EU.

Who is Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn is the Member of Parliament for North Islington, London. He has served this constituency since 1983. 

Mr Corbyn, with strong left wing views, has always been seen as rebel parliamentary figure and on occasion courted controversy. 

As a politician he is both old school and a modern change at the time, a man in his sixties, riding a bike, a little unpolished and unkempt. It is perhaps this authenticity that caught the imagination of all those who registered and voted in both leadership elections for him to be their leader.

What he believes

On the economy there would be an end to austerity, higher taxes for the rich and protection for people on welfare - and a new crackdown on tax avoidance and tax evasion, as well as "corporate welfare", tax breaks for companies. He claims this plan could "double" the NHS's income. Mr Corbyn would also introduce a "maximum wage", allow the Bank of England to print money for large scale investment and pay off the deficit but without cuts.

On foreign policy Mr Corbyn wants "political and not military solutions". He would look to withdraw from Nato and is opposed to air strikes against so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. He does not support the renewal of Trident. Mr Corbyn's views on remaining in the EU are not as clear; so far he wants to see a "better Europe."

On education he believes in universal child care and all schools within local authority control. He would also scrap tuition fees and provide grants.

Other key policies are buying out of costly PFI hospital deals, rent controls and renationalising the railways and energy companies. Although a staunch republican, Mr Corbyn has stated he will leave the Royal Family alone as it is not a 'fight' he wishes to have at this time. 

This led to a number of resignations at the time from Shadow Front Bench Members after the result including Shadow Chancellor Chris Leslie, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves and Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt MP.

Can he win the 2017 General Election?

Many critics say that Mr Corbyn's policy platform is something welcomed by the Labour Party but perhaps not the country as a whole. 

It is clear from the starting gun of the election campaign the Conservative Party will attack Mr Corbyn on the grounds of leadership. The conservatives have claimed from the outset Mr Corbyn is a threat to the security of the UK. They also claim, being 20+ points in the polls, that Mr Corbyn may end up running a 'coalition of chaos.'

The Liberal Democrats, believing there will be a conservative landslide, have positioned themselves as the voice of reason during the Brexit negotiations and the only party that will prevent a 'hard Brexit.'

2015 Leadership Election

Jeremy Corbyn received 59.5% of the vote on the first round meaning the contest did not need to count second preferences on the ballot paper.  

  Members  Registered Supporters  Affiliated Supporters  Total Votes  % of Votes
 Jeremy Corbyn   121,751  88,449 41,217  251,417  59.5% 
 Andy Burnham  55,698  6,160  18,604 80,462  19.0% 
 Yvette Cooper  54,470  8,415  9,043 71,928 17.0%
 Liz Kendall  13,601 2,574  2,682  18,857  4.5%