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The Candidate

OR Book Going Rouge

The inside story of Jeremy Corbyn’s extraordinary ascent to leadership of the British Labour Party

A lifelong and outspoken socialist, Jeremy Corbyn only managed to get on last year’s ballot for the leadership of the Labour Party after his supporters begged for nominations from MPs who subsequently declined to vote for him. He did so at a time when even his closest political allies saw little hope for progress by the left. In the immediate run-up to the election the now-Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell wrote “This is the darkest hour that socialists in Britain have faced since the Attlee government fell in 1951.”

And yet, just a few months later, Corbyn didn’t just win the Labour leadership, he crushed his opponents, winning 60% of the vote from a party membership that had more than doubled in the previous five years. The establishment was aghast. The official opposition to the government, according to the conservative Daily Telegraph newspaper, now had as its leader a man “with a plan to turn Britain into Zimbabwe.”

This remarkable transformation is the subject of Alex Nunn’s stunning new book, The Candidate. Drawing on first-hand interviews with those involved in the campaign, including many of its most senior figures, Nunns traces a plot-line of such implausibility that it would be unusable in a work of fiction. The result is a story both richly-informed and compellingly readable.

The Candidate
Jeremy Corbyn’s Improbable Path to Power


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First posted: Tuesday, August 30th, 2016.

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