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UK Labour Party elects ‘great friend’ of Africa as leader

Sep 14, 2015, 11:05 AM | Article By: Alhagie Mbye, The Point’s Europe correspondent

The opposition Labour Party in the UK has finally elected Jeremy Corbyn, once described as a “mere underdog” as party leader.

His election comes as the wind of change in terms of forming and choosing unpredicted political parties and leaders in Europe persist, which most times have an effect on Senegambians living in the continent.

Jeremy is described by esteemed and respected experts as a “sympathiser, enthusiast and great friend” of Africa. 

His election arises following the party’s defeat by the incumbent Conservative government headed by David Cameron.

His victory followed an intensive, rigorous and almost round the clock debate over who should be “a general election winning candidate” in favour of the opposition.

Despite several reports not to “allow him lead the party because he is a known leftist...”, Jeremy was able to defy and resist his opponents and overwhelmingly won with over 59 per cent of the votes.

He defeated his main rivals, including the well known Labour politician Andy Burnham as well as Yvette Copper, among others.

Even though Jeremy has been well known as an outspoken critic of several policies, including that of his own party, his stance in favour of Africa and Africans over the years has been equally documented.

Like the late Robin Cook, Foreign Secretary under Labour, and Charles Kennedy, former Liberal Democrat Leader, Jeremy supported “African businesses, industries and production” and also “constantly quest for human rights, dignity and liberty” throughout the continent.

For example, he was “cautioned and arrested” in 1984 for personally defying an official ban on “any anti-apartheid protest or demonstration” outside the South African High Commission in London.

His arrest was widely “reported and ridicule” in some quarters, but Jeremy’s stance continues up till now.

Mark Baker, one of the people canvassing support for Jeremy, told The Point: “He has his principles intact ... never changes; he is very modest and humble...; and he understands the problem of the ordinary people...”

Despite Jeremy’s age, he is “surprisingly very close” to the young people who regardless of their apathy and lack of interest in recent politics, place so much “trust and confidence” in him.

This even prompted Jeremy saying shortly after he was elected that “the message is that young people are fed up with the injustice and the inequality ... the media and many of us simply didn’t understand the views of young people in our country...”

Jeremy also constantly criticised the so called “austerity” which is very unpopular across Europe, but designed via actions taken by governments to reduce the budget deficit by using spending cuts or even tax rises thus causing unexpected changes leading to some complaining “untold hardship and lack of money and support”.

Jeremy is also a supporter of “multicultural Britain”, and now he is expected to deliver a speech along with several high-profile figures at the so called “Solidarity with Refugees” held around Downing Street in London.

However, the Tories wasted no time attacking the newly elected leader, describing him as “a threat to our national security, our economic and your family’s security...”

But whatever the circumstance, the Labour Party has spoken and finally elected Jeremy as party leader.  Notwithstanding, he will also face “a huge” task of not only winning any future election, but also uniting his own party under a single umbrella.