Jeremy Corbyn refuses to admit he is middle class in Peston on Sunday interview

'Oh gawd… I dunno...'

Adam Withnall
Sunday 15 May 2016 11:12 BST
Corbyn questioned if he is middle class on Peston

Jeremy Corbyn comfortably fielded a range of challenging questions on Sunday morning on immigration, the EU referendum and the Middle East – yet floundered when asked very simply and directly: “Do you think of yourself as middle class?”

The straightforward query was the last posed by Robert Peston in an interview on ITV, and the leader’s response showed how class divisions remain an awkward issue for the Labour party.

“Oh gawd… I dunno,” Mr Corbyn began, before launching into a convoluted explanation of how his personal circumstances were like those of “every MP… which is, I suppose, more or less, middle class”.

Mr Corbyn has championed the causes of the poor and homeless in his north London constituency of Islington for more than 30 years.

But since becoming leader of the party, he has been attacked on his right to do so given his personal means.

Here’s the exchange on Peston on Sunday in full:

Robert Peston: "Do you think of yourself as middle class?"

Jeremy Corbyn: "Oh gawd… I dunno.

"Listen. I live in my own house. Well, it’s a shared ownership with a bank actually. It’s called a mortgage these days.

"I live in a house. I’m an owner-occupier, in my constituency that puts me in a minority.

"Yes, every MP has a lifestyle which is, I suppose, more or less, middle class.

"But I see myself as somebody that represents and is proud to represent a community of the poor… and the better off… but above all it is a community which wants to come together to ensure that everybody, everybody, can achieve their maximum in life and in society.

"That’s what a better Britain would look like."

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