Andrew Little: Corbyn brings 'refreshing style'

  • 14/09/2015
Labour Party leader Andrew Little (Simon Wong)
Labour Party leader Andrew Little (Simon Wong)

Labour leader Andrew Little is welcoming the news that Jeremy Corbyn is his new British counterpart, after a stunning win in the UK Labour leadership race.

The veteran backbencher started out as a 200-to-one outsider, but scored a convincing outright majority in the first round of voting.

Mr Little says Mr Corbyn spoke directly about issues that mattered to voters, and Labour members responded to that refreshing style.

"His challenge now is to convert that into a campaign that's going to enlist the support of the majority of British voters," says Mr Little. "He's got five years to do that. He's set himself up well."

But Mr Corbyn now must wrangle a bitterly divided caucus, with seven members of his shadow cabinet resigning from the front bench.

Mr Little says his plain-speaking approach won party members over.

"I think there is a demand for a more refreshing style of politics, which is more open and more honest, and the more of that we can have, frankly, the better."

Mr Little says Mr Corbyn's election could influence politicians here into a more direct approach.

"I think it's about the directness with which Jeremy Corbyn spoke about issues and not being hung up on whether he was going to meet this focus group requirement or that polling demand."