POLITICS

Jeremy Corbyn: Billy Bragg Supports The Labour Leadership Contender And Condemns Tony Blair

27/07/2015 16:21 BST | Updated 27/07/2015 16:59 BST

Left wing activist and singer, Billy Bragg, has backed the beard and come out in support of Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn is surprise favourite to be elected to the top job, after a poll carried out by YouGov for The Times put him on 53 per cent of the vote, with shadow health secretary Andy Burnham trailing behind on 47 per cent.

Bragg, 57, condemned Tony Blair's remarks that Labour voters should "get a [heart] transplant" if they support Corbyn and said: "I think Tony Blair shocked a lot of people when he said it, i'm not interested in a Labour party that doesn't have a heart. We need politics of the heart."

billy bragg

To have or have not, Billy Bragg (file photo)

He added: "His (Corbyn's) success so far shows you how bland our politics have become, in the aim of winning those swing voters in middle England the Labour party has lost touch with its roots.

"We live in a time of austerity and what you want from that is not more austerity, you want compassion."

He also responded to questioning on Ed Milliband's unsuccessful move 'left' for the party: "The left that Ed Miliband shifted towards I don't think is really left. He was suggesting £8 minimum wage. George Osborne has just suggested a £9 minimum wage.

"Ed Miliband is a lovely bloke but if George Osbourne can trump him on the mimimum wage - it's hardly left wing is it!?"

Bragg drew comparisons to the Scottish bid for Independence and claimed that a similar momentum is behind Corbyn's campaign. He also critisised the media for negative portrayals of Corybn amidst more positive headlines that surrounded Nigel Farage and UKIP during the general election campaign.

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He concluded: "Corybn, despite being an MP since '83, is fast becoming the anti-Westminster candidate."

Other celebrities and backers of the far-left candidate include Guardian columnist Owen Jones who said: “I’ve known Jeremy for years, and have shared numerous platforms with him on issues ranging from peace to social justice. He is the very antithesis of the negative caricature of an MP."

Welsh campaigner and singer Charlotte Church wrote in a blog post: "He is one of the only politicians of note that seems to truly recognise the dire inequality that exists in this country today and actually have a problem with it."

Actress Maxine Peak also backs Corbyn. In comments reported by The Spectator she said: "For me Jeremy Corbyn is our only beacon of hope to get the Labour Party back on track, get the electorate back in touch with politics and save this country from the constant mindless bullying of the vulnerable and poor. Aspirational? Surely we should all aspire that everyone living in this country has the right to a decent quality of life.’