Jeremy Corbyn says he enjoys the pressure of being Labour leader despite press scrutiny

He says he still finds time to relax by growing vegetables in his allotment

Jon Stone@joncstone
Tuesday 29 December 2015 12:17
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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has said he enjoys the pressure of being Labour leader – despite increased scrutiny and the press.

“It is a huge amount of work and pressure but basically very enjoyable,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“I quite enjoy pressure. I don't worry about things particularly. I just get on with it.”

Mr Corbyn was being interviewed by cycling champion Sir Bradley Wiggins in a special edition of the Today programme.

He recently passed the 100 day landmark as Leader of the Opposition, having been elected by a landslide in September.

The comments represent a change of tone from a warning he gave in his victory speech – where he emphasized that journalists should leave his family alone.

At a recent Christmas drinks reception for journalists Mr Corbyn joked with reporters about perceived aggressive coverage and clarified he would not give interviews on his front doorstep.

A keen utility cyclist, Mr Corbyn's official Christmas card featured a snow-covered bicycle next to a red telephone box.

In the interview with Sir Bradley, Mr Corbyn addressed a recent story in the Times newspaper in which he was described as riding a “chairman Mao style bicycle”.

He joked that the person who had written the caption should be sent for “re-education” as his bicycle was a different style to the “pigeon” bikes once common in China.

Asked what he did to relax, the Labour leader said he tried to find the time to make bread, grow vegetables in his allotment, and work on woodwork projects.

He also added that he did not approach politics like a “competitive” sport and said he preferred cooperation. He however said he believed he could become prime minister.

Mr Corbyn today challenged David Cameron to an annual series of television debates.

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