Bill Clinton compared Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to a tramp in a behind-closed-doors speech to wealthy US donors, documents unveiled by Wikileaks have revealed.
The former President, speaking at a fundraiser for his wife’s presidential campaign, described the famously scruffy left-winger as “practically… a guy off the street”.
Clinton compared Corbyn to the Syriza party in Greece and said his only qualification was being “the maddest person in the room”, who chimes with supporters who “feel they’ve been shafted”.
He lampooned the decision of Labour members to elect Corbyn as a tone-deaf response to the British electorate returning a Conservative majority.
Speaking on October 19 2015, just over a month after Corbyn was chosen to replace Ed Miliband, Clinton told donors to the official Hillary Clinton campaign:
…if you look all over the world – the British Labour Party disposed of its most [inaudible] leader, David Miliband, because they were mad at him for being part of Tony Blair’s government in the Iraq War.
And they moved to the left and put his brother in as leader because the British labour movement wanted it.
When David Cameron thumped him in the election, they reached the interesting conclusion that they lost because they hadn’t moved far left enough, and so they went out and practically got a guy off the street to be the leader of the British Labour Party, who I saw in the press today said that he was really a British citizen and had real British [inaudible]. (Laughter.)
The last sentence is likely a reference to a media storm over Corbyn’s patriotism, which saw him engulfed by rows over whether to kneel before the Queen or sing the national anthem.
The indelicate remarks were circulated among senior staffers in the Clinton campaign, including a leaked email to Hillary aide John Podesta.
A transcript of Bill Clinton’s remarks was attached the email, which detailed an 11-page speech at the home of Clinton allies Pennie and Gary Abramson in Potomac, Maryland.
The remarks will likely prove unhelpful should Clinton win the presidency, setting a poor tone for relations between the White House and the Labour Party.
But however it goes down, there will surely be no love lost between the Corbyn and Clinton clans.
Jeremy’s maverick brother Piers, a Trump-supporting Brexiteer, despises the Clintons and has spent recent days using his Twitter account accusing Hillary (whose name he can’t spell) of being a murderer, and Bill of being a rapist and a peadophile:
— Piers Corbyn (@Piers_Corbyn) November 6, 2016
Heat Street has contacted the Labour Party for comment.