Jeremy Corbyn will donate the money raised by supporters to buy him his “dream bike” to charity, he has said.
This week Mr Corbyn was slated in some sections of the press after he recommended a £475 aluminium-framed Raleigh Criterium when asked about bikes in an interview.
Despite the Criterium being a standard-priced commuter bicycle, the Daily Telegraph reported the story under the headline “Socialist Jeremy Corbyn reveals he covets a £475 bicycle”.
The headline was later changed, but not before criticism from Mr Corbyn's supporters on social media.
In a spirit of defiance, supporters raised nearly £6,000 to buy Mr Corbyn the bike, chiefly to “annoy the right wing press”, according the project’s creator.
The bike was suggested as a present for Mr Corbyn's birthday, which is in May.
The Labour leader however told the Independent on Sunday that he would give all the money to charity and buy the bike himself for his 67th birthday, as a "treat".
Asked if he would accept the money raised online, Mr Corbyn said: "Of course not. I'll give it to charity."
Mr Corbyn travels everywhere in his constituency on his old Raleigh bicycle, despite pleas from his staff to make more use of his official car and driver.
He made the comments in a wide-ranging interview with the newspaper – in which he also indicated that Labour MPs could be offered a free vote on whether to keep the Trident nuclear weapons system.
A source close to the leader had told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "Jeremy is humbled by the fundraising".
Mr Corbyn had been asked to recommend his “object of desire” by Stylist. He wrote: that this “aluminium-framed Raleigh Criterium, like my own trusty red Raleigh, is light and therefore fast, but comfortable for longer rides”.
“Although as I’m a big believer in repairing rather than replacing, I suspect I will have my own long after my leadership,” he added.Reuse content