My family life should be out of bounds to media, says Jeremy Corbyn


Jeremy Corbyn has hit out at media intrusion into his family life as he promised he was "giving it everything" to win the General Election.

The Labour leader said it was "not right and not fair" for his family to be subjected to the scrutiny.

Appearing on The One Show's sofa on BBC1, Mr Corbyn said that although he had not set out in life to become prime minister he was campaigning hard for victory.

Unlike Theresa May, Mr Corbyn was not joined by his spouse on the show, which focused on his personality rather than his politics.

Mrs May's appearance alongside husband Philip produced a few glimpses inside a very private marriage, with Mr May revealing he does the "boy jobs" like taking out the bins and tries to keep ministerial red boxes out of the bedroom.

Mr Corbyn has made clear that his own marriage is out of bounds to the media, and third wife Laura Alvarez will not be subjected even to the gentle grilling of The One Show team.

He said: "Those nearest to me and those loved ones everywhere have a totally unreasonable amount of pressure put on them, and they always have done, all of my life, and I have a great deal of sympathy for them and a great deal of thanks to give them all, every one.

"Because intrusion in my life is not nice but I am there, I'm an elected politician, it kind of goes with the territory, you might say.

"But widest family, children, it's not right and not fair and I wish some of our media would just draw some boundaries."

Asked by presenter Ore Oduba how he felt about the prospect of being prime minister, he said: "Hope of what we can do and hope of the way we can change things in this country."

Oduba said critics viewed Mr Corbyn as "more of an activist" than a potential prime minister, but Mr Corbyn said: "Is there a difference? I have been active in politics, human rights and many things all my life."

He added: "I think if you are to lead, you have to be prepared to listen as well, and I enjoy that.

"Did I ever set out in life to become prime minister? No. I set out in life to try and change things and bring about greater justice in our society.

"And I was elected leader of our party, re-elected leader of our party, I'm honoured and proud to lead the party and I'm giving it everything I can to win this election."

Mr Corbyn brought a selection of photos showing his childhood and youth to the programme.

One photo showed him in reins as a toddler and he joked: "I was a bit free-spirited and I kept climbing out of the pram and running off."

The Labour leader rejected Mrs May's approach to domestic chores, denying that there were "boys' and girls' jobs" in his household.

Responding to criticism from presenter Alex Jones of the state of the hedge at his Islington home, he said: "You have got to let the plants grow a bit, then you prune them back."

He said the land had been concreted over and it was the "devil's own job" to turn it into a garden.

Mr Corbyn joked it was easier to control a 10-year-old than his MPs in the Parliamentary Labour Party.

The Labour leader faced an attempt to oust him by his MPs last year, only to be re-elected in a subsequent leadership contest.

Asked about his experience refereeing an under-10 football match, Oduba asked: "Who is it easier to keep control of, 10-year-olds or the Parliamentary Labour Party?"

Without even pausing to consider his answer, Mr Corbyn responded: "Ten-year-olds."

Questioned about his school record, which saw him gain just two Es at A-level, he said: "I was a not academically successful student."

His mother suggested examiners may not have been able to read his writing, but Mr Corbyn acknowledged it was more likely that he gave overly long answers on subjects that interested him and "forgot the rest of it".

Mr Corbyn, a passionate gardener, said his allotment offered a "chance to unwind and be yourself" - and he presented the show with a jar of his home-made jam.