Jeremy Corbyn takes the helm

The election of Jeremy Corbyn kicked off a tumultuous few days for the Labour party.


Jeremy Corbyn won a resounding victory

Left-winger Jeremy Corbyn trounced his opponents in last week's Labour leadership election, winning almost 60% of the vote. His election kicked off a tumultuous few days, including a furore over his new shadow chancellor John McDonnell's economic policies and apparent previous support for the IRA. Corbyn debuted a new form of Prime Ministers' Questions in parliament, reading out questions from members of the public, and left voters wondering whether he would vote to stay in the European Union.

What the commentators said

He needs "a younger, less psychotic Alastair Campbell" to hone his media strategy, said Matthew Norman in The Independent, especially in view of the relentless onslaught of the right-wing press. He has at most a month "to avoid being indelibly branded on the public consciousness as a shambolic buffoon who surrounds himself with incompetents and crazies".

Speaking of crazy, his shadow chancellor's economic agenda reads like a "latter-day Dave Spart rant", said Jeremy Warner in The Daily Telegraph. He says there are £93bn of "subsidies" to business sitting there just waiting to be abolished, thus getting rid of the deficit at one stroke. "I'm kicking myself for not thinking of this." How come nobody has come up with it before?

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The idea of the central bank printing money to fund spending is also bonkers, said Allister Heath in the same paper. It raises the prospect of hyperinflation, because unlike the quantitative easing we have seen in recent years, it would be near-impossible to reverse: the government would have an incentive to "print itself to re-election", triggering a loss of confidence in the currency. A Corbyn government would be a "complete disaster" for the economy.

Andrew Van Sickle

Andrew is the editor of MoneyWeek magazine. He grew up in Vienna and studied at the University of St Andrews, where he gained a first-class MA in geography & international relations.

After graduating he began to contribute to the foreign page of The Week and soon afterwards joined MoneyWeek at its inception in October 2000. He helped Merryn Somerset Webb establish it as Britain’s best-selling financial magazine, contributing to every section of the publication and specialising in macroeconomics and stockmarkets, before going part-time.

His freelance projects have included a 2009 relaunch of The Pharma Letter, where he covered corporate news and political developments in the German pharmaceuticals market for two years, and a multiyear stint as deputy editor of the Barclays account at Redwood, a marketing agency.

Andrew has been editing MoneyWeek since 2018, and continues to specialise in investment and news in German-speaking countries owing to his fluent command of the language.