Saturday, 4 April 2020

Jeremy Corbyn: the historical record. The most resilient of Labour Opposition leaders

Statement from the London Socialist Historians Group:
The UK General Election Gets Dirty – AN SIONNACH FIONN
The London Socialist Historians Group, which organises the socialist history seminar at the Institute of Historical Research in central London has said that Jeremy Corbyn, who steps down as Labour leader on 4th April, has been the most resilient of opposition Labour leaders from Keir Hardie in 1906 onwards.
Labour has had 18 leaders of whom only six have been Prime Minister, Ramsay Macdonald, Clem Attlee, Harold Wilson, Jim Callaghan, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown of whom 4 were directly elected to Office.
The historians note that that the usual historical pattern has been for Tory Prime Ministers to remain in No.10 while Labour leaders come and go.
Corbyn faced three Tory leaders, David Cameron, Theresa May and finally Boris Johnson in his nearly 5 year stint at leader.
He was rivalled and some no doubt would argue surpassed by the Labour leader sometimes seen as his nemesis Tony Blair who as a Labour Prime Minister faced three Tory leaders himself, William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard.
LSHG Convenor Dr Keith Flett said, of course you can sum up Labour leaders in various ways, including seats, votes and percentages of votes won at Elections and on the third of occasions when they have become Prime Minister their impact in Office. Tony Blair clearly has a place in the history books in these respects and perhaps for other reasons too, but Corbyn’s resilience in facing three Tory leaders in 5 years is also historically noteworthy.
For more info please contact Keith Flett at the address above.