Jeremy Corbyn divides French Left


The election this month of veteran left-winger Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party has been greeted variously with both delight and despair among the French Left. While Socialist Party bigwigs look on aghast at the election of what a minister described to Mediapart as “an archaic dinosaur”, one of its minority leftist rebel MPs called the event “a breath of fresh air”. Lénaïg Bredoux has been seeking out the reactions.

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Jeremy Corbyn's election as leader of the British Labour Party, and as such leader of the opposition, has been met with wide and enthusiastic approval from the leftist rebels of the French Socialist Party, but also from the radical-left Front de Gauche coalition, and even among a number of Greens, many of whom were gathered at the yearly Fête de l’Humanité weekend festival when Corbyn was elected on September 12th. “The wheel of history has begun to turn,” announced Communist Party leader Pierre Laurent, speaking before huge crowds at the event in the Paris suburb of La Corneuve. Every time Corbyn’s name was mentioned it prompted enthusiastic clapping.