POLITICS

Jeremy Corbyn Is Following Bernie Sanders' Campaign With 'Great Interest'

Corbyn has drawn comparisons to Sanders, who is also running as an economic populist.

Jeremy Corbyn, the United Kingdom’s new left-wing Labour Party leader who is drawing comparisons to U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), said days before his upset victory on Friday that he was following Sanders’ presidential campaign with “great interest.”

“I have many friends in the USA and indeed, I am following Bernie Sanders’ campaign with great interest,” Corbyn said on Sept. 4 to BBC economics editor Robert Peston, who had asked whether Corbyn is anti-American. “We’re exchanging leaflets and badges and things like that -- so it’s great.”

Corbyn, who was elected Labour Party leader with 59.5 percent of the vote, and Sanders, a 2016 Democratic presidential hopeful, have both elicited unexpected popularity for championing a more even distribution of wealth and challenging the political establishment in their respective countries.

The Sanders campaign did not immediately respond to request for comment on Corbyn’s victory, or Corbyn’s suggestion that his campaign had exchanged material with Sanders supporters.

Sanders, while speaking to reporters on the campaign trail in August, said he was “aware of” Corbyn’s candidacy, but “not familiar” with the particulars of his race.

But Sanders said that the same frustrations that are propelling his candidacy have resonance in the United Kingdom. 

“I think whether it is the U.K. or here in the United States, here’s the answer: People are sick and tired of establishment politics,” he said. “They are sick and tired of a politics in which people continue, candidates continue to represent the rich and the powerful -- go out beggin' money from the wealthy. They are sick and tired of an economics in which almost all of the new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent.”

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