Committed vegetarian Jeremy Corbyn suggests he is considering turning vegan

'I eat more and more vegan food, and have more and more vegan friends. There are quite a lot of vegan MPs actually - not a lot, but there are some'

Rachel Roberts
Tuesday 05 September 2017 01:19 BST
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Mr Corbyn appeared to hint that he was moving towards veganism - although a spokeswoman later said he only meant that he was eating more vegan food
Mr Corbyn appeared to hint that he was moving towards veganism - although a spokeswoman later said he only meant that he was eating more vegan food (Alamy)

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has denied he is becoming a vegan after it was reported that he was considering the switch.

Mr Corbyn, who has been a vegetarian for decades, told retail workers that he is “going through the process” of eating more vegan food.

Vegans abstain from anything containing dairy produce and eggs as well as meat and fish. As a vegetarian, Mr Corbyn does not eat meat.

Workers at Lush cosmetics, a brand which markets itself as cruelty free but not vegan, asked Mr Corbyn whether he was going to make “the next logical step to veganism” because one employee remarked, “Britain’s first vegan Prime Minister would be something worth fighting for.”

The Labour leader replied: “It's a fair question. I eat more and more vegan food, and have more and more vegan friends. There are quite a lot of vegan MPs actually - not a lot, but there are some.

“I think what has improved so much is vegetarian and vegan food has got so much better in recent years.

“I got fed up of going on a plane in the 80s and everyone would get their regulation rubber chicken and whatever with it.

“I would say 'where is my lunch?' and they would say 'yours is a special meal', like there is something badly wrong with you and they would bring this thing along. It was usually pretty grim when it got there.”

Mr Corbyn continued: “The food has got a lot better and vegan food - one of my close relatives has just become a vegan and I went to her house for dinner and it was absolutely brilliant.

“So I'm going through the process, all right? I won't go any further than that.”

Speaking in 2015, Mr Corbyn explained why he stopped eating meat almost 50 years ago.

“I became one at 20 when I was working in a pig farm. I got attached to the pigs.”

A Labour Party spokeswoman later said that Mr Corbyn simply meant he was eating more vegan food rather than giving up dairy altogether.

She told Metro: “Jeremy Corbyn isn’t turning vegan. There’s been a bit of mischief in the reporting of what he said… He actually meant that he is “'n the process' of eating more vegan food. That’s all."

Sam Calvert, a spokeswoman for The Vegan Society, welcomed the fact that Mr Corbyn is eating more vegan food.

“It’s always good news to hear that anyone is eating more vegan food, because it means they’re consuming less dairy, eggs and other animal products,” she said.

“We would encourage Jeremy – and anyone else who is interested – to do our week-long or month-long vegan challenges.

“It can be hard for people to give up animal products in one go, so the challenges help people ease into it and do it gradually.”

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