Grant Robertson draws lessons from UK Corbyn win

  • 13/09/2015
Labour MP Grant Robertson (File)
Labour MP Grant Robertson (File)

Grant Robertson sees lessons for the New Zealand Labour Party in the election of radical left-winger Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the UK Labour Party.

"I think he's given people something direct and clear to believe in and that's probably the lesson for us - is being able to go to the electorate in 2017 with bold, direct and clear policies and we will do that," Mr Robertson told TVNZ's Q&A programme today.

Mr Roberston is a failed candidate for the Labour leadership in New Zealand.

He cautions against assuming policies that have proved popular in one country will be popular in another.

But he says Mr Corbyn is giving people a sense of hope and he's talking in a direct way about core issues for Labour.

"They will be challenged to get that message out to the rest of public but he does have the mandate of his party to do it," he said.

North Islington MP Mr Corbyn electrified Labour's leadership race, which was triggered by the resignation of Ed Miliband after he lost May's general election to David Cameron's right-wing pro-austerity Conservatives.

The 66-year-old socialist was named leader after clinching 59.5 per cent of the 422,664 votes cast by Labour Party members and supporters, AFP reports.

The newly elected leader condemned "grotesque levels of inequality" and "an unfair welfare system" in his victory speech to party members in central London.

The stunning result has sparked talk of a deep split within Labour.

Mr Corbyn's policies include spending more on public services like schools and hospitals, scrapping nuclear weapons, renationalising industries like the railways and involving Islamist groups Hamas and Hezbollah in Middle East peace talks.