The magazine has published its verdict of May’s first six months in power, calling her “Theresa Maybe, Britain’s indecisive premier”.
The verdict on the prime minister reverberated through Westminster, with one insider telling HuffPost UK they expected Downing Street to go “ape shit” over it.
The Labour leader tweeted The Economist’s article saying it showed “even the Conservatives’ friends admit Theresa May has no plan and no solutions”.
Tom Wainwright, the magazine’s Britain editor, tweeted a withering put down, denying the magazine had partisan loyalty to any party.
He said: “We are hardly ‘the Conservatives’ friends’. We endorsed Labour when it was under more competent management.”
Those who evidently know The Economist’s leanings better than Corbyn reacted to his comment.
One longtime subscriber said the magazine was often critical of the Tories.
Others joked the problem might be that Corbyn associates the word “economy” with the Tories.
One journalist said Corbyn’s repeated criticism of the media was not helping him spread his message.
Another user said Corbyn shouldn’t celebrate The Economist’s verdict on May as it has a much lower view of him, having called him “light on substance and heavy on salesmanship” back in October.
The Economist did back the Tories at the last General Election but only did so because, in the days when people were still expecting a hung parliament, it favoured a continuation of the Tory/Lib Dem coalition over a Labour/SNP one.
In an editorial in 2013, the magazine said some people are “bamboozled” by its political stance. It prefers free markets and deregulation but dislikes the Monarchy and supports liberalising the drug laws, it noted.
The editorial described the magazine’s stance as a type of liberalism that “reconciles the left’s impatience at an unsatisfactory status quo with the right’s scepticism about grandiose redistributive schemes”.