Robert Peston

When it comes to Trump, Corbyn is another metropolitan elitist

When it comes to Trump, Corbyn is another metropolitan elitist
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In refusing to come out for a confirmatory referendum as the primary aim of Brexit policy, Jeremy Corbyn and his allies - Len McCluskey, Karie Murphy, Seumas Milne, and Andrew Murray - have signalled they would not want to turn their backs on Labour's traditional working class voters, many of whom are Brexiters and do not wish Labour to become the party of the lefty London middle classes.

So it's a bit confusing that Labour's leader has chosen not only to boycott the state banquet for Donald Trump tonight, but tomorrow Corbyn will be the most important speaker at the anti-Trump rally. Because in being the figurehead for the anti-Trump movement, Corbyn is playing explicitly to the metropolitan middle class gallery.

Even if Labour's working-class voters don't love Trump, they have traditionally been pro-America. In fact, it's possible to see traditional Labour voters' preference for the UK to maintain strong bonds with America as the flip side of their mistrust of the EU - with these North Atlantic leanings, in part, a legacy of WWII.

For the avoidance of doubt, I am not saying Corbyn is right or wrong to put himself at the vanguard of those incensed with Trump's visit. But I am saying Corbyn is not doing himself any favours with those working class voters he claims to so desperately wish to retain, and on whose behalf he refuses to recast Labour as the Referendum and Remain party. Here is the point.

On my show last week, Len McCluskey praised Jeremy Corbyn for being a unique political leader endeavouring to serve the interests of both Remainers and Leavers (even if the nation as a whole did not seem to register its awareness and gratitude in EU elections that saw Labour's share of the vote slump to 14 per cent).

But when it comes to Trump and America, Jeremy Corbyn is unambiguously true to the London metropolis that is his home.

Robert Peston is ITV's Political Editor. This article is adapted from his Twitter thread on the same topic.
Written byRobert Peston

Robert Peston is Political Editor of ITV News and host of the weekly political discussion show Peston. This post originally appeared on his ITV News blog

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