Jeremy Corbyn on Blair, long memories and the mystery behind his real name

In a clip exclusive to The Pool, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sits down with comedian John Bishop in his first-ever one-on-one chat-show interview

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Jeremy Corbyn is set to sit down with John Bishop this Thursday to discuss all things Glastonbury, social media and, of course, politics. During the interview, which is part of Bishop’s “In Conversation With” series on W, Corbyn will discuss his long-standing opposition to the Iraq War and its ongoing reverberations.

“I think Tony Blair should be prepared to answer for the stuff that’s been put against him,” Corbyn told Bishop. “I have the Chilcot report in my office, I have all the volumes of it on my desk there and it showed, I think, a very bad failure on the part of government on the way in which the information was read to parliament, and I think it didn’t show parliament in a good light.” Thanks to his speech at the 2003 Stop The War rally in Hyde Park, the Labour leader’s stance on the Iraq War is well known. “I find it deeply distasteful that the British prime minister can use the medieval powers of the royal prerogative to send young men and women to die, to kill civilians and for Iraqis to die,” he said of Blair at the time.

Sitting opposite Bishop, who is a Labour supporter himself, Corbyn explained that he had always felt the same way about going to war with Iraq. “I feel still very angry about what happened and the process that went with it, of course. I spent a great deal of energy and time opposing the Iraq War, and before that I had been one of the very, very few MPs that had opposed British arms sales to Iraq, because I just felt feeding weapons into that situation to Saddam Hussein or anybody else is not going to do any good,” he said. “The war happened and what I said at the big rally in Hyde Park that day was if this war goes ahead, it will poison generations to come, its legacy will be more war, more terrorism, more poverty, more injustice, more refugees.”

I feel still very angry about what happened

Corbyn is, of course, referring to the global refugee crisis, which saw over 1,011,700 displaced migrants arrive in Europe in 2015 alone. When asked what the answer to the problem is, Corbyn asserts, “We have to work. You have to be aware of these issues and deal with them, and deal with them in the most humanitarian way you can. It’s not easy. I’m not pretending it’s easy.”

During the rest of his conversation with Bishop, Corbyn proves he’s not all serious – or at least he tries to. Bishop points out that all the Corbyn brothers have two first names, apart from Jeremy, obviously. “I was supposed to be called something else. My mum and dad agreed what I was going to be called and he took the papers to go off and register the birth, and then he changed the name,” he explains, though he never found out what that second name would be – apparently it’s not Alison, as Bishop suggests. “To her dying day, she would never tell me what it was,” says Corbyn. “We can only speculate.”

The pair also touch on Corbyn’s Glastonbury appearance, Donald Trump’s tweeting habits and climate change. Their conversation will air at 9pm on Thursday 23 November on W.


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Jeremy Corbyn
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