Sunday, 20 December 2015

Jeremy Corbyn: 100 Facts To Mark 100 Days

The Labour Party Autumn Conference 2015 - Day 4© Getty The Labour Party Autumn Conference 2015 - Day 4
1. First things first: Jeremy Corbyn stormed to a stunning victory in the Labour leadership contest, securing an impressive 59.5% of first preference votes.
2. The new leader won a huge mandate after bagging the most support from full party members, affiliated members and registered supporters.
3. Minutes after winning, he gave a speech saying people are "fed up with the injustice and inequality" of Britain and promised a Labour "fightback".

4. He also attacked the media intrusion into his family, saying: "They've been through the most appalling levels of abuse from some parts of our media. It's been intrusive, it's been abuses, it's been simply wrong."
5. Corbyn then went to the pub to celebrate with his supporters, who cheerily launched into singing socialist anthem The Red Flag.
6. (Jeremy himself drank a lime and soda because he's a tee-totaller.)
7. The next big event in Corbyn's leadership was the Shadow Cabinet reshuffle. After a divisive election fight, Corbyn said he wanted to make it as "broad and inclusive" as possible.
8. The most controversial - and potentially definitive - appointment was to give his closest political friend and ally John McDonnell the job of Shadow Chancellor. Like Corbyn, McDonnell is from the left of the party.
9. However, several MPs who didn't back him for leadership were also given top posts - including Lucy Powell to Education, Maria Eagle to Defence, Michael Dugher to Culture, Andy Burnham to Home Secretary and Hillary Benn to Foreign Secretary. Of course, Corbyn didn't have much choice because the vast majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party didn't back his bid to be leader.
10. Jeremy Corbyn also appointed more women to cabinet roles than anyone before, ending up with a Shadow Cabinet that has more female than male members. However, he did attract some criticism for giving the top three jobs to men (Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Shadow Chancellor).
11. The Shadow Cabinet reshuffle was overheard by Sky News' Darren McCaffrey, who gave a full account of what happened behind closed doors. Highlights include the struggle to get a Shadow Defence Secretary, with the idea of Chris Bryant being scrapped after he demanded a "30-minute conversation on Russia". Other possible candidates were asked: "What are your views on Trident?"
12. That wasn't Corbyn's only brush with the troublesome McCaffrey, who wouldn't stop asking him questions as he walked down the road after finishing the reshuffle.
13. Corbyn's reshuffle was made more difficult after a number of Labour MPs said they would refuse to serve under him, including Rachel Reeves, Chuka Umunna, Tristram Hunt, Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall, Chris Leslie, Stella Creasy and Caroline Flint.
14. The new Labour leader caused a stir at his first Prime Minister's Questions by asking questions from members of the public. He had previously sent out an email asking people what they would most like to ask the Prime Minister.
15. The tactic is part of a wider strategy to change how decisions are made in the Labour Party, with more input from the membership. For instance, Corbyn has also canvassed opinion on whether Britain should bomb Islamic State targets in Syria.
16. Corbyn got into hot water when he didn't sing the national anthem during a Battle of Britain commemoration service, with some calling him unpatriotic.
17. He later said it was because he got "carried away" by the moving service and was thinking about his family's contribution to the war effort.
18. He also attracted criticism when he was pictured holding two free lunch bags along with Tom Watson, donated by Costa Coffee for veterans.
19. Corbyn did bow at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday, however.
20. (Despite that, some news outlets still criticised him for not bowing low enough - evidence of media bias, according to his supporters.)
21. Corbyn called for a kinder politics and a more caring society in his speech at party conference.
22. He also used his speech to call on the Government to scrap its bid for a Saudi prisons contract on account of their human rights record. The Ministry of Justice did later U-turn on this, in a victory for Corbyn.
23. It wasn't all good news though. Corbyn faced embarrassment after parts of his conference address were found on a speechwriters' website, who had given the Labour leader permission to use the words he had previously penned.
24. Corbyn was pictured practising his speech in a fetching red socks and crocs combination. It would be the first of many examples of the Labour leader's fashion-forward style.
25. When it came to policies, Corbyn's main conference announcement was a pledge to bring the railways back into public ownership.
26. Corbyn - who is strongly opposed to nuclear weapons - also said he would never press the nuclear button.
27. That infuriated some of his own team, who said that a nuclear deterrent was only a deterrent if people think you might use it.
28. He dodged a showdown with his party on Trident, after it was not chosen for debate at conference (those fireworks are still to come).
29. Corbyn has found time to relax since he's been elected Labour leader - he went to watch his beloved Arsenal play football.
30. (Although he couldn't completely leave the politics at home. He handed out leaflets on the living wage along with Sadiq Khan, Labour's London mayoral candidate.)
31. He also popped out to get some coffees wearing a grey shell suit, instantly becoming a fashion icon to millions.
32. One of Corbyn's biggest achievements has been his opposition to the Government's policy to cut tax credits. In the Autumn Statement, George Osborne performed a major U-turn, saying the cuts were scrapped.
33. In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, Corbyn emphasised his view that the only way to defeat Islamic State was to find a political settlement in Syria, and made clear his opposition to the Prime Minister's desire to extend UK airstrikes from Iraq into Syria.
34. But, he had a bit of a problem. A significant number of his own Shadow Cabinet disagreed with him. After a fractious meeting of Labour's frontbench, Corbyn granted a free vote on bombing Syria.
35. When it came to the vote, Corbyn and the majority of Labour MPs voted against airstrikes. However, 66 Labour MPs - including some of the Shadow Cabinet - voted in favour.
36. Corbyn was branded a "terrorist sympathiser" by the Prime Minister for his position, in an attack that was widely condemned.
37. On a lighter note, Jeremy confirmed that he had a keen interest in man holes and drain covers, telling Lorraine Kelly in an interview that his interest "doesn't hurt anybody".
38. Corbyn rattled some Labour MPs with his decision to appoint Seamus Milne as his communications director, who has courted controversy with comments about Hamas and Palestine. He is also friends with George Galloway - who is loathed by some MPs.
39. Seamus wasn't Corbyn's only controversial appointment. He also gave Andrew Fisher a job as head of policy.
40. Corbyn was then forced to suspend Andrew Fisher after complaints that he campaigned for a rival party at the General Election.
41. The Labour leader then he lifted the suspension (are you keeping up?) - but Andrew Fisher did have to issue an apology, though.
42. Perhaps most controversially of all, Ken Livingstone was appointed as co-chair of the defence review.
43. The woman supposed to be in charge - Maria Eagle - only found out about it through social media. Oops.
44. Rumours are also circulating that Ken Livingstone could join the House of Lords. Unofficial briefings have said that Corbyn is planning a Shadow Cabinet reshuffle to purge disloyal members in favour of loyalists.
45. Corbyn has managed to achieve what many other leaders have failed to do - grow the party membership.
46. However, he has lost a few along the way. According to Lord Mandelson, 30,000 people have left the party.
47. That number includes celebrities such as former BBC star Miriam O'Reilly, and Peep Show actor Robert Webb.
48. It also includes the former Labour activist and columnist Dan Hodges, who has quit the Labour Party for the second time (it's becoming a habit).
49. Despite the high-profile desertions, Corbyn has remained popular among party members, with polls showing he still enjoys substantial support.
50. He has one fan in particular, after he sang Happy Birthday to a woman who was hit by the recent flooding.
51. Corbyn was attacked by some of his own MPs after he attended a Stop the War fundraising dinner.
52. It came after Green MP Caroline Lucas stopped supporting the movement in the wake of controversial comments made by members of the organisation, in particular the suggestion that Paris had "reaped the whirlwind of Western support for extremist violence in the Middle East".
53. Jeremy Corbyn also attracted criticism for saying he was "not happy" with the UK police and security services operating a "shoot to kill" policy in the event of a terror attack.
54. Corbyn was later forced to backtrack, saying he supports any "strictly necessary force" to protect the UK against terrorists.
55. In his Islington North constituency, he got into the festive spirit by dressing up in a Santa hat to raise money for charity.
56. A keen cyclist, he chose to send a Christmas card showing some bicycles covered in snow. (In contrast, David Cameron picked a photograph of him and Samantha on the steps of Number 10 after winning the election.)
57. Jeremy Corbyn was labelled a sexy "old seadog" by women on the popular Mumsnet web forum (that's a sentence I thought I would never write).
58. Headline writers across Fleet Street rejoiced when Jeremy Corbyn was filmed singing and doing the hand movements to Incy Wincy Spider with a class of children.
59. Corbyn has been criticised after some of his supporters attacked other Labour MPs online.
60. He has condemned personal abuse and internet trolling, and told the perpetrators that he wants a kinder politics.
61. In his conference speech, he said: "I want a kinder politics, a more caring society. Don't let them reduce you to believing anything less. So I say to all activists, whether Labour or not, cut out the personal attacks. The cyber bullying."
62. He has inspired a grassroots network of people known as "Momentum," who are organising across the country to "continue the energy and enthusiasm of Jeremy Corbyn's campaign."
63. However, the group has been criticised by some Labour MPs and branded a "mob" by Shadow Cabinet minister Michael Dugher for the way they have pressurised and attacked those towards the right of the party.
64. Corbyn is a staunch Republican, but he was still sworn in as a Privy Councillor by the Queen.
65. (However, he didn't kneel before Her Majesty.)
66. Corbyn was given a major boost when Labour won the Oldham by-election and held off a challenge from UKIP.
67. He welcomed the newest Labour MP Jim McMahon to Parliament, posing for a photo-op outside the House of Commons.
68. In an interview with Andrew Marr, he said he's "enjoying every moment" and isn't going anywhere,
69. However, he did dodge an interview on the Today programme.
70. And Sky News' Eamonn Holmes said interviewing Jeremy Corbyn during the Labour Party conference was like "clubbing a seal".
71. Jeremy Corbyn chose to host a surgery in his constituency rather than attend the Rugby World Cup.
72. And he was crowned (again) as the winner of the prestigious Parliamentary Beard of the Year.
73. He vowed that a Labour government would repeal the Trade Union Bill.
74. And he urged a rethink on the Government's climate change policy.
75. Corbyn visited Paris for a day and gave a speech at COP21 alongside Nicola Sturgeon.
76. He even rubbed shoulders with Vivienne Westwood and Emma Thompson on a march through London to protest about global warming.
77. Corbyn has won the backing of Ed Miliband, who said he has what it takes to be Prime Minister.
78. Tony Blair, though, was less convinced. He said that Labour has turned into a "fringe party movement" under Corbyn, which is a "tragedy".
79. Even Unite boss Len McCLuskey had a few words of warning for the new Labour leader, saying he can no longer say "the first thing that comes into his head".
80. Jeremy Corbyn said that he would campaign to stay in the EU under any circumstances, after speculation that he may be persuaded otherwise.
81. He also promised to abolish tuition fees if he becomes Prime Minister.
82. Corbynmania went a little crazy when he was joined by a hen party on a train.
83. Corbyn visited Scotland after being elected as Labour Party leader - but he refused to drink Irn Bru.
84. One of his more significant achievements is making the classic "pen or pencil in the top pocket" look hip again.
85. Along with appointing the first ever Shadow Mental Health Minister to a shadow cabinet post.
86. Corbyn got into the Christmas spirit by collecting money for charity wearing a Santa hat.
87. And he even made the cover of Rail Magazine. A lifelong reader, he was so proud at the achievement that he tweeted a link to it.
88. In a less positive note, Corbynmania got so out of control that a cameraman was knocked to the floor outside his house.
89. One of the first things that Jeremy Corbyn did was to vacate the traditional office of Leader of the Opposition and move in across the hall. He felt the old place was too big, so chose a more humble room.
90. At the Labour Christmas drinks party, he courted controversy by quoting Enver Hoxha, Albania's communist dictator.
91. And he didn't seem too thrilled at Labour's media drinks reception, joking that it was "yours and my worst nightmare".
92. Despite the pressures of the job, Corbyn has found time to plant some onions at his allotment.
93. He also changed Labour's EU migrant benefit policy, saying they shouldn't have to wait to receive welfare.
94. Some have observed that Corbyn has smartened up since taking office, and is now frequently seen wearing a tie.
95. He was pictured posing with a marrow at Labour Party conference, in one of the greatest pictures of a party leader of all time.
96. Corbyn has told MPs that he plans to overhaul the party's policy process, replacing the National Policy Forum with a process where ordinary party members have more say.
97. In a rather bizarre trend, the new Star Wars film sparked a wave of comparisons between Corbyn and Obi Wan Kenobi.
98. The Labour leader joined postal workers on one of the busiest days before Christmas to call for the renationalisation of Royal Mail.
99. He inspired the unlikely GQ article Why Jeremy Corbyn is Sexy, and a teenager from York even got a Corbyn tattoo in his honour.
100. Perhaps Corbyn's greatest achievement is that he's still here - and he shows no signs of going anywhere. Not everyone thought that would be the case after his first 100 days as leader.
 Source: http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/jeremy-corbyn-100-facts-to-mark-100-days/ar-BBnJZdq?li=AA59G2&ocid=UP97DHP

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