Jeremy Corbyn Biography
Sun Sign: Gemini
Also Known As: Jeremy Bernard Corbyn
Born in: Chippenham
Famous as: Politician, Trade Unionist
Spouse/Ex-: Claudia Bracchitta (m. 1987; div. 1999), Jane Chapman (m. 1974; div. 1979), Laura Álvarez (m. 2013)
father: David Benjamin Corbyn
mother: Naomi Loveday
siblings: Piers Corbyn
education: Adams' Grammar School, North London Polytechnic
awards: Gandhi International Peace Award
Jeremy Bernard Corbyn is a veteran British politician and the incumbent leader of the ‘Labour Party’ of the United Kingdom (UK), and also the leader of the opposition party of the UK. He has been holding such positions since 2015. He also represents the constituency of Islington North as the ‘Member of Parliament’ (MP), since 1983. A democratic socialist by ideology, he started his public life journey with different trade unions. Since his youth, he has remained an advocate of several anti-war and anti-nuclear movements. His political rise has been gradual. In 1974, he was elected to the ‘Haringey Council,’ and moving on, he was inducted as the Secretary of the ‘Hornsey Constituency Labour Party.’ In June 1983, he became the MP for Islington North, a position he holds to date. He also served as the Chair of the ‘Stop the War Coalition’ for over four years, starting from June 2011. He suggests renationalization of the railways and other public utilities. He also supports unilateral nuclear disarmament and military non-interventionism. He opposes austerity cuts to public services and supports an economic strategy, based on the investing-to-grow policy. He was elected as the leader of the ‘Labour Party’ and with that, he also became the leader of the opposition party in September 2015. He succeeded in retaining his leadership of the party in the September 2016 leadership contest, after a vote of no-confidence was passed against him by the ‘Labour’ MPs, following a referendum in June 2016 that resulted in a vote for ‘Brexit.’
- He was born on May 26, 1949, in Chippenham, England, to David Benjamin Corbyn and Naomi Loveday (née Josling). He was the youngest of their four sons. His father was an electrical engineer, skilled in power rectifiers, and his mother was a mathematics teacher.
- One of his elder brothers, Piers Richard Corbyn, is an astrophysicist, a weather forecaster, and an entrepreneur.
- Corbyn was initially raised in Kington St. Michael in Wiltshire. Thereafter, his family relocated to Pave Lane in Shropshire, when he was seven years old. He studied at ‘Castle House School’ and thereafter, at the ‘Adams' Grammar School.’
- He became actively involved with the ‘Labour Party’ ’, the ‘Wrekin’ constituency, Young Socialists, and with the animal-welfare charity ‘League Against Cruel Sports.’ In 1966, he joined the ‘Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’ (CND) and was eventually made one of the three vice-chairmen of the organization.
- At age 18, prior to leaving school, he obtained two E-grade A-Levels, following which he began working as a reporter at the ‘Newport and Market Drayton Advertiser,’ a local newspaper. After a short stint there, he got involved with the international development charity ‘Voluntary Service Overseas’ (VSO), that saw him moving to Jamaica, where he served as a youth worker and geography teacher for two years.
- Following his return to the UK in 1971, he started serving the ‘National Union of Tailors and Garment Workers’ as a union organiser. He also became associated with other unions as a trade union organizer.
- Corbyn was elected to the ‘Haringey Council’ in the South Hornsey ward in early 1974 and was re-elected as the councilor in the Harringay ward in 1978, following an alteration of its boundary. He held this position till 1983.
- In the 1980s, he had a stint as a contributor and editorial board member with the ‘Labour Party,’ which produced a monthly political magazine ‘London Labour Briefing.’ According to some reports, he also served as the general secretary of the magazine for a while. He opposed expulsions of the Trotskyist entryist group ‘Militant tendency’ in the July 1982 edition of the magazine.
- The 1981 the ‘Labour Party’ deputy leadership election saw him working on Tony Benn's deputy leadership campaign. Benn unsuccessfully challenged the incumbent deputy leader Denis Healey.
- In February 1982, he was selected by the ‘Labour Party’ as a candidate for the Islington North constituency for the 1983 general election. He defeated incumbent Michael O'Halloran to become the MP for Islington North and assumed office on June 9, 1983. He continues to hold this office to date.
- Corbyn, who also campaigns for gay rights, voiced his opinion on a "no socialism without gay liberation" platform in 1983. He served on the ‘National Executive’ of the ‘Anti-Apartheid Movement’ and faced arrest in 1984 for campaigning against apartheid outside ‘South Africa House.’ He also backed the miners' strike of 1984–85.
- The conflict in Northern Ireland drew his attention in the 1980s and saw him getting associated with prominent members of ‘Sinn Féin,’ a left-wing Irish republican political party that has remained associated with the ‘Provisional Irish Republican Army’ (IRA), an Irish republican paramilitary organization.
- He protested against the ‘Community Charge’ in 1990 and was almost at the verge of getting incarcerated for non-payment of tax. A file was opened on him by ‘MI5,’ in the early 1990s, on suspicion of his association with the IRA. The ‘Special Branch’ of ‘Metropolitan Police’ also monitored him for two decades, apprehending his possible attempt to “undermine democracy."
- He was a member of the ‘Social Security Select Committee’ from 1992 to 1997. From 2009 to 2010, he served as a member of the ‘London Regional Select Committee,’ and from 2010 to 2015 he served as a member of the ‘Justice Select Committee.’
- He often voted against the party whip during the reign of the ‘Labour Party,’ from 1997 to 2010, and emerged as the most rebellious ‘Labour’ MP during the 1997–2001 government.
- In October 2001, he became a steering-committee member of the British group ‘Stop the War Coalition,’ established to protest against the war in Afghanistan. He also strongly resisted the Iraq War and lent his hand in organizing the protest against the Iraq War, held on February 15, 2003.
- From June 14, 2011, to September 12, 2015, he remained Chair of the ‘Stop the War Coalition.’
- His "consistent efforts over a 30-year parliamentary career to uphold the Gandhian values of social justice and non‐violence" won him the ‘Gandhi International Peace Award’ in 2013.
- In January 2015, he signed an open letter addressed to Ed Miliband. He was one of the 16 signatories who called for a commitment of the ‘Labour Party’ in resisting further austerity, bolstering collective bargaining arrangements, and renationalization of the British railways.
- Ed Miliband resigned as Leader of the ‘Labour Party,’ following the party’s defeat at the general election on May 7, 2015, thus prompting a party leadership election. On June 3, Corbyn stated in the ‘Islington Tribune’ that he would contest in the election on a "clear anti-austerity platform."
- On September 12, 2015, he had a landslide victory. His margin of victory is considered "the largest mandate ever won by a party leader." He assumed office as the leader of the ‘Labour Party’ and as the leader of the ‘Opposition’ on that very day. The following day, he came up with his ‘Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet’ list. The list consisted of more women than men. He became a ‘Privy Council’ member in November 2015.
- He opposed military action against the ‘Islamic State,’ following the November 2015 Paris attacks and proposed to reach a political settlement so as to resolve the Syrian Civil War. He was also against the proposal of air strikes in Syria.
- He faced accusations of displaying "lack of leadership" on the issue of Britain staying in the ‘European Union.’ He was criticized for his "lukewarm" campaigning on the subject after the ‘Brexit’ referendum took place on June 23, 2016.
- Around two-thirds of the ‘Shadow Cabinet’ of Corbyn resigned, following which a vote of no-confidence was passed on June 28, 2016, against Corbyn, by the MPs of the ‘Labour Party’ by 172-40. In the wake of this challenge to his leadership, the 2016 ‘Labour Party’ leadership election was announced. The election saw Owen Smith contending against him.
- On September 24, 2016, Corbyn won the party leadership election and this time, by around 62,000 more votes than in the 2015 leadership election.
- The United Kingdom general election of 2017, which was held on June 8 that year, saw Corbyn’s ‘Labour Party’ emerge as the second largest party in the parliament. Its share of the popular vote increased to 40% with a net gain of 30 seats. Its increase in vote share, a significant 9.6%, marked the largest percentage increase in vote share of the party in a single general election since 1945.
- In December 2017, he received the ‘Seán MacBride Peace Prize’, "for his sustained and powerful political work for disarmament and peace."
- His first marriage, with Jane Chapman, a professor at the ‘University of Lincoln,’ lasted from 1974 to 1979.
- In 1987, he married Chilean exile Claudia Bracchitta. However, the marriage ended in a divorce in 1999. They have three sons.
- In 2013, he tied the knot with Mexican-born Laura Álvarez, a former human-rights lawyer in Mexico, who currently runs a fair-trade coffee import business.
- A pescetarian since age 20, Corbyn describes himself as frugal. He does not have a car and rides a bicycle. He is an ‘All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cycling’ member. He supports ‘Arsenal FC’ and loves to read and write. He presently resides in Finsbury Park, Islington, North London.
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