Media baron Murdoch backs Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leadership role

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Aug 20, 2015 23:41 IST
Labour Party leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn speaks at an election campaigning event at Ealing in west London, Britain August 17, 2015. Britain's opposition Labour Party has begun voting for a new leader in a contest that polls indicate will be won by Corbyn, a veteran fan of Karl Marx who has upstaged rivals by promising a shift back to the party's socialist roots (REUTERS Photo)

As the support base of Jeremy Corbyn – the unexpected, hardliner Leftist favourite to win the Labour leadership election – continued to grow, media baron Rupert Murdoch on Thursday backed him, calling him the ‘only candidate who believes anything, right or wrong’.

Murdoch and his stable of newspapers in Britain have a long history of openly intervening in the political process. His mass circulation tabloid, The Sun, is the most known for its gloating headline, ‘It’s The Sun Wot Won It’, after the Conservative party won the 1992 election.

Murdoch tweeted on Monday: ‘Corbyn increasingly likely Labour winner. Seems only candidate who believes anything, right or wrong’.

In another tweet last week, he said: ‘Corbyn? Very likely win, but Cameron does not deserve such luck’.

Corbyn has been severely critical of Murdoch.

He wrote in a 2011 article that Murdoch had converted The Sun into “a low-grade abusive tabloid whose populism and abuse of individuals was unprecedented in its ferocity and bile,” adding, “we have a right for our information and messages not to be controlled by the amoral attitudes of megalomaniacs”.

Mostly supporting the Conservative party over the years, Murdoch and his influential titles came under severe criticism in the phone-hacking row, when politicians across the spectrum – including those he previously supported – opposed him.

Labour’s many past and present leading lights have opposed Corbyn’s campaign, calling him unelectable and one who will turn it into a party of permanent protest.

The opposition was encapsulated by Tony Blair’s former aide, Alistair Campbell, who said: “ABC: Anyone But Corbyn”. Besides Corbyn, the other candidates in the leadership election are Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall and Yvette Cooper.

The process of voting began on Monday and the result is due to be declared on September 12.

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