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Physicist Stephen Hawking says Corbyn a ‘disaster’ for Labour

Physicist Stephen Hawking, a Labour supporter, has described party chief Jeremy Corbyn as a “disaster” and said he should step down.

world Updated: Mar 07, 2017 21:03 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Stephen Hawking,Labour Party,Jeremy Corbyn
File photo of physicist Stephen Hawking making an appearance to show support for the Breathe On UK charity in London in April 2013. (UK Press via Getty Images)

Iconic physicist Stephen Hawking made a rare intervention in politics on Tuesday, saying Labour Party chief Jeremy Corbyn is a “disaster”, cannot win an election, and should step down as leader.

Corbyn’s leadership credentials have often been questioned by his party MPs and others even though he has been elected leader twice. Hawking’s comments in an to The Times newspaper came within days of Labour losing its stronghold of Copeland, Cumbria, in a by-election.

Responding to Hawking, Corbyn insisted that Labour can win an election under him. He said he was taking the party’s case against the Theresa May government to the people, and that he wanted to see the end of the Conservative Party’s government.

Cambridge-based Hawking, a Labour supporter, said: "I regard Corbyn as a disaster. His heart is in the right place and many of his policies are sound but he has allowed himself to be portrayed as a left-wing extremist. I think he should step down for the sake of the party."

During the interview, Hawking, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of 21, also expressed fears that human disposition towards aggression is becoming more of an existential threat with each technological advancement.

He said: “Since civilisation began, aggression has been useful in as much as it has definite survival advantages. It is hardwired into our genes by Darwinian evolution. Now, however, technology has advanced at such a pace that this aggression may destroy us all by nuclear or biological war. We need to control this inherited instinct by our logic and reason.”

He added, “We need to be quicker to identify such threats and act before they get out of control. This might mean some form of world government. But that might become a tyranny. All this may sound a bit doom-laden but I am an optimist. I think the human race will rise to meet these challenges.”

First Published: Mar 07, 2017 18:39 IST