Jeremy Bernard Corbyn is a British politician who served as Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party from 2015 to 2020. On the political left of the Labour Party, Corbyn describes himself as a socialist. He has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Islington North since 1983. Corbyn sits in the House of Commons as an independent, having had the whip suspended in October 2020.
Born in Chippenham, Wiltshire, and raised in Wiltshire and Shropshire, Corbyn joined the Labour Party as a teenager. Moving to London, he became a trade union representative. In 1974, he was elected to Haringey Council and became Secretary of Hornsey Constituency Labour Party until being elected as the MP for Islington North in 1983; he has been reelected to the office nine times. His activism has included roles in Anti-Fascist Action, the Anti-Apartheid Movement, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and advocating for a united Ireland and Palestinian statehood. As a backbench MP, Corbyn routinely voted against the Labour whip, including New Labour governments under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. A vocal opponent of the Iraq War, he chaired the Stop the War Coalition from 2011 to 2015, a period when he received the Gandhi International Peace Award; he also won the Seán MacBride Peace Prize in 2017. Analyses of domestic media coverage of Corbyn have found it to be critical or antagonistic. Corbyn has condemned antisemitism, but has been criticised by political opponents for his past associations with individuals accused of antisemitism, and an Equality and Human Rights Commission inquiry into antisemitism found the Labour Party under his leadership was responsible for unlawful acts of discrimination and harassment.
Corbyn was elected Leader of the Labour Party in 2015. The party's membership increased sharply, both during the leadership campaign and following his election. Taking the party to the left, he advocated renationalising public utilities and railways, a less interventionist military policy, and reversals of austerity cuts to welfare and public services. Although critical of the European Union, he supported continued membership in the 2016 referendum. After Labour MPs sought to remove him in 2016, he won a second leadership contest. In the 2017 general election, Labour increased its share of the vote to 40%, with its 9.6% vote rise their largest improvement since the 1945 general election. This resulted in a net gain of 30 seats and a hung parliament, but the Conservative Prime Minister, Theresa May, formed a minority government and Labour remained in Opposition.
In 2019, after deadlock in Parliament over Brexit, Corbyn endorsed holding a referendum on the withdrawal agreement, with a personal stance of neutrality. In the 2019 general election, Labour's vote share fell to 32%, leading to a net loss of 60 seats and leaving it with 202, its fewest since 1935. Corbyn said he would not lead Labour into the next election, triggering a leadership election in 2020 that was won by Keir Starmer, his Shadow Brexit Secretary. Corbyn was suspended from Labour Party membership in October 2020 after stating antisemitism in the party had been overstated for political reasons. The membership suspension was lifted a month later after Corbyn was issued with a formal warning by a party disciplinary panel, but the Labour leadership declined to restore the whip, denying readmission to the parliamentary party pending an apology and retraction of his comments.