Jeremy Corbyn has praised Bernie Sanders for pushing Hillary Clinton to the left in the American presidential race, as the Labour leader said his leadership campaign team had learned from the US senator.
“The presidential platform which Hillary Clinton is fighting the election will be radically different compared to what it would have been had she not faced the challenge of Bernie Sanders,” he said today.
“I have had long discussions with many people in Bernie Sanders’ campaign, and very interesting they are too, because of the way they have opened up the eyes of a whole generation who don’t see the descendents of the neo-con agenda of rolling back the state as the way forward.”
Sanders’ insurgent campaign for the Democratic presidential campaign surprised many with how successful it was. However he eventually lost the race to Clinton.
Last week, Corbyn’s campaign team was forced to issue a clarification after the Labour leader incorrectly claimed Sanders had sent him a message of support.
Today, Corbyn was speaking at the launch of his “digital manifesto” in east London - which set out plans to “democratise the internet” and fight “the most visible general election campaign ever”.
“Bernie Sanders campaign was amazing in that the numbers of people it energised, the number of people it mobilised and the fact that it was totally counter-intuitive to the norm of US politics, which is to appeal to the base that votes and appeal to the interests of those voters who actually take part in the election.
“What Bernie Sanders campaign did was engergise a whole lot of people in some extent the way Barack Obama did in 2008, by broadening the electoral base and involving very large numbers of people.
“He did that though a combination of digital technology and public rally appearances all over the country.”
Corbyn added: “No, he didn’t win the nomination, we fully understand, but he’s changed the Democratic Party a great deal.”