UK
20/09/2015 08:45 BST | Updated 20/09/2015 09:59 BST

Jeremy Corbyn's Great Great Grandfather Mismanaged A Victorian Workhouse, Sunday Express Claims

The Sunday Express has claimed that Jeremy Corbyn's great great grandfather mismanaged a Victorian workhouse, as other tabloids focus upon the Labour leader's previous relationships.

This week's Sunday newspapers prominently feature stories around Corbyn's past -- both distant and recent -- in their effort to scrutinise his character.

The Express claimed that Corbyn's great great grandfather James Sargent was the master of a Victorian workhouse, criticised for its treatment of "inmates".

sunday express jeremy corbyn past

Revealed: Jeremy Corbyn's ancestors are now under scrutiny

It quotes a report in the Lancet journal, published in 1867, which claimed that conditions were so poor they were "a scandal and a curse to a country which calls itself civilised and Christian".

The report cited the actions of Sargent as representing the most reprehensible actions on the part of staff at the workhouse.

And now the Sunday Express has republished the claims alongside commentary from a historian, describing the association as "the evil monster haunting Corbyn's past".

Many people reacted with incredulity at the historical nature of the claims.

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Meanwhile, the Mail on Sunday interviewed Corbyn's first wife and led with the claim that his "lover-turned-minister" Diane Abbott ordered her to "get out of town".

Professor Jane Chapman gave an exclusive interview to the Mail about her time with Corbyn and his appointment of Abbott as shadow minister.

Speaking about his appointments of women in the shadow cabinet, Prof Chapman told the paper: "There are a whole number of women who are really well experienced who could have had senior posts.

"I think Angela Eagle could – Harriet Harman, Yvette Cooper. It would have been a unifying gesture to have had Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall."

It comes over a week since Corbyn made specific points about 'personal' media coverage during his acceptance speech.

He said: “I say to journalists: attack public political figures, that’s ok, that’s what politics is about. But please don’t attack people who didn’t ask to be put in the limelight, leave them alone, leave them alone in all circumstances.”