POLITICS

Jeremy Corbyn Denies He Is An Atheist But Says His Actual Religious Beliefs Are 'Private'

21/12/2015 20:31 GMT | Updated 21/12/2015 20:59 GMT

Jeremy Corbyn has denied he is an atheist - but refused to give the detail of his religious beliefs, saying this was "private"

The left-wing Republican has been perceived as an atheist or agnostic and has rarely described his personal feelings and never said whether he believes there is a God.

In an interview with The Huffington Post UK marking 100 days of his Labour leadership, Corbyn denies he is an atheist, but refuses to give more details other than “it’s a private thing” and referring to the spiritualism of his environmentalism.

jeremy corbyn phone

Jeremy Corbyn during his HuffPost UK interview

During the sit-down interview with HuffPost UK's Paul Waugh, Corbyn said: "I respect all faiths, I probably spend more time going to religious services than most people, of all types. I go to synagogues, I go to mosques, I go to temples, I go to churches, and I have many humanistic friends and I have many atheist friends. I respect them all. “

When asked if it were inaccurate to describe him as an atheist, the Labour leader said: “There are so many things about me written that are unfair, unjust and ill-searched that it would be wrong. I’m not going any further than that, belief is a private thing.”

OUR JEREMY CORBYN INTERVIEW IN FULL:

He compared his environmental concerns to a sort of "spiritualism".

He said: “I like looking and thinking at the natural process in this world, how we survive on this planet.”

When asked what he said to those who claimed he seemed "like a Buddhist", Corbyn said: “None of us do perfection, do we really? I suppose I am interested in sustainability of the natural world and that actually becomes a question of belief.

"You see my view on environment is it’s as much a mentality, as much as a physical thing. It’s a mentality of the limits of what we can do to this planet and the sustainability of it, reuse it, recycle it. If the generation ten on, when you and I are long gone, is going to have a life, then we’ve got to do something about it now.”

In an interview in July, Corbyn described his mother as "bible-reading atheist" and his father as a regular church-goer. He added there was a "Jewish element" to his family, "probably from Germany".

"I find religion very interesting. I find the power of faith very interesting," he told Third Way Magazine. "I think the faith community offers and does a great deal for people.

"There doesn't have to be wars about relig­ion, there has to be honesty about religion. We have much more in common than separates us."