Labour leadership: 'Jeremy Corbyn is not wholly wrong' - left-winger wins unexpected praise from Boris Johnson

Mayor of London warns Tories that it would be 'very complacent' and wrong' to ignore some of Jeremy Corbyn's analysis of the problems facing Britain

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Indy Politics

Boris Johnson has thrown unexpected praise on Jeremy Corbyn, describing the Labour leadership candidate as “not wholly wrong”.

The Mayor of London added that it would be “very complacent” of the Conservatives to ignore all of his analysis of the problems facing Britain. 

Giving his assessment of the Labour leadership battle, which has little over a month left before the winner is announced, Mr Johnson said the party would be best placed if it chose one of the two female candidates – Yvette Cooper or Liz Kendall. “If Labour had any sense, they would probably pick one of the female candidates,” he said after delivering a speech to the Centre for Social Justice.

Boris Johnson said Labour would be best placed if it chose one of the two female candidates as its next leader

He stopped short of saying which of the two he backed, saying an endorsement from him would “be probably fatal”.

Asked by Buzzfeed News what he made of Mr Corbyn’s leadership bid, Mr Johnson joked: "I don't want to intrude on private grief." But he added: "I think the Corbo-mania is a very interesting political phenomenon. One nation Tories should pay attention because some of the things he is talking about, some of the analysis is not wholly wrong. Yes, there is a problem of inequality. Yes, there is a problem of low pay.

"I happen to think his solutions are completely wrong and he would take the Labour Party in radically the wrong direction.

"But it would be very complacent and wrong to ignore the truth of some of the observations he is making about ways in which society could be better. We should be humble about that."

And in an acknowledgement of traits he shares with Mr Corbyn, Mr Johnson added: "Also, I think he is probably getting points for saying what he thinks."