Hampstead and Kilburn: Glenda Jackson says she has serious doubts over Corbyn – but she's backing Tulip Siddiq

Former Hampstead and Kilburn says it would be wonderful if the country could afford Labour manifesto

Wednesday, 24th May 2017 — By Tom Foot


Glenda Jackson passed the baton on to Tulip Siddiq in 2015

GLENDA Jackson, the doyenne of Labour politics in Hampstead, told the New Journal that she holds “serious doubts” about Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership but has urged residents on her old patch to stick with Tulip Siddiq.

The Oscar-winning actress, who served as an MP in Hampstead for 23 years, said: “She is an excellent member of Parliament for our part of town. I hope people will realise that we are going to need MPs like her, if the country returns a Conservative government. “Whoever is in power, it is very very essential. We have to have a strong opposition. We cannot let them [the Conservatives] sweep us away. We cannot listen to waffle about personality, we need people to vote on who will deliver – and she has delivered for the local community.”

Ms Siddiq nominated Mr Corbyn to be on the ballot paper in the first Labour leadership contest but voted for Andy Burnham – and then Owen Smith in the second contest. In a frank interview on Monday, Ms Jackson, who has returned to acting after leaving the Commons in 2015, said she would have done exactly the same thing.

“When I left, I wrote to Jeremy and said that I would back him on the ballot paper as we always had to have a left-wing representative. But never could I vote for him as leader. I don’t think he really believes in leadership, does he?,” she said. “I have to say, one of the biggest problems at this election, and it hurts me to say this, is Jeremy on the doorstep.”

In contrast, she said Ms May appeared to be “a grown-up, which is quite a rarity on the British political scene”. Ms Jackson said of Mr Corbyn’s manifesto, which has promised to pump money into public services: “Wouldn’t it be wonderful – but can we afford it? I have serious doubts about some of the re-nationalisations. But it was well received – and that makes a pleasant change.”

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