Where Corbyn stands on the key political issues

12th September 2015, Comments 0 comments

The most left-wing of all the candidates, Jeremy Corbyn was the outsider who is now leader of Britain's Labour Party, causing concern about ideological divisions to come.

Here is an outline of his stance on Britain's most controversial issues:

Economy:

Corbyn is steadfastly opposed to the austerity programme of Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, being more aligned with Greece's radical leftwing Syriza party.

He supports traditionally leftwing economic policies and is hostile to the TTIP free-trade agreement currently being negotiated by the European Union and the United States.

He advocates redistributive policies such as rent controls and high taxes on businesses and wealthy individuals, is in favour of renationalising the railways and the energy sector and has called for a "maximum wage" to curb excessive management pay.

Leadership rivals Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper both criticised his proposals to print money in order to pay for his economic plans, dubbed "Corbynomics" by the press, saying they were "lacking credibility" and would cause inflation.

However, he managed to gain the support of 35 economists, who recently wrote an open letter saying his policies were "actually mainstream economics" and not extreme.

Defence:

Corbyn is a staunch pacifist and has long been involved with organisations such as the Stop the War Coalition and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

He is a critic of the NATO alliance and supports the dismantling of Britain's nuclear Trident submarines.

"Senior military figures have described our existing nuclear weapons as 'militarily useless' and our possession of them encourages other countries to seek a similar arsenal while undermining the efforts being made to advance the cause of international nuclear disarmament," he said.

Corbyn has called for dialogue with the militant Palestinian Hamas movement and Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah as part of Middle East peace talks and has said he will apologise for Britain's role in the Iraq invasion if he becomes Labour leader.

"It is past time that Labour apologised to the British people for taking them into the Iraq war on the basis of deception and to the Iraqi people for the suffering we have helped cause," he said.

European Union:

Corbyn has said he is wary of the EU's "market system" and its treatment of Greece and has not been clear about which side he will take in the EU membership referendum due to be held by 2017.

The closest he has come to stating his position on the issue was when he said: "We cannot be content with the state of the EU as it stands. But that does not mean walking away, but staying to fight together for a better Europe."

Royalty:

Corbyn is a committed republican but has so far limited himself to calls for new restrictions on the formal political powers of the monarchy, without attacking Queen Elizabeth II herself.

He has signalled however that reform is not a top priority.

Immigration:

The veteran politician has resisted calls to promise tighter border controls, saying immigrants had made a "massive contribution" to Britain.

"I think children growing up in a multicultural society have a very good understanding of the rest of the world," he said recently.

Social issues:

The 66-year-old said in 2000 he favoured decriminalising the possession and cultivation of cannabis.

More recently, he said he was open to the idea of women-only carriages on public transport to reduce sexual assault and harassment.


© 2015 AFP

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