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12 Things We Learned From The Vice News Film About Jeremy Corbyn

The BBC is out to get him, apparently.

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Jeremy Corbyn's office opened up their doors to Vice News for eight weeks. Here's what we learned from the behind-the-scenes documentary, which was released online on Wednesday.

1. Corbyn reckons the BBC is "obsessive" and out to get him.

Vice News

On local election results day, he says: "There is not one story on any election anywhere in the UK that the BBC will not spin into a problem for me. It's obsessive beyond belief, they are obsessed with trying to damage the leadership of the Labour party – and unfortunately there are people in the Labour party who play into that."

2. He's also seriously unimpressed with Jonathan Freedland, a columnist for The Guardian.

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On the phone in the car, he tells his head of strategy, Seumas Milne: "The only big negative today is Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian. ... It's 'Labour has a problem with anti-Semitism under Corbyn'. Utterly disgusting subliminal nastiness, the whole lot of it. He's not a good guy at all but he seems kind of obsessed with me, you know."

3. Corbyn's team try their best to make Corbyn dress smarter – but it can be difficult.

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Gavin Sibthorpe, Corbyn's events officer, says: "I've tried, it's hard. I did get him in the white tails and he looked smart on Remembrance Sunday – I think that's where I peaked really."

4. The Labour leader isn't much good at housework.

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Corbyn's wife, Laura Alvarez, is asked whether she's proud of her husband. "Yes I am, I think he's a good politician," she says. "He's not very good at housework but he's a good politician." She praises Corbyn for standing "very strong" when David Cameron told him to "put on a proper suit" at PMQs: "It was amazing."

5. Corbyn knows there are some Labour MPs he'll never win round.

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"I fully appreciate that I was elected here on a mandate from the membership and supporters of the party," he says. "I did not receive support from very large numbers of members of the parliamentary Labour party. However I have to say that the whole atmosphere within the parliamentary Labour party, despite what the media report, has completely changed. There are some who are, erm, harder fish to catch."

6. One of Corbyn's aides believes Labour plotters should just wait and "let Jeremy fail on his own".

Vice News

Sibthorpe says: "If they want to get rid of him, the best thing to do would be wait and let Jeremy fail on his own – I don't think he will – but fail on his own time, you know."

7. Team Corbyn always check their phones after PMQs to gauge the Twitter reaction.

Vice News

On one occasion, a staffer points out: "George Eaton [New Statesman] says it's his best PMQs." Another replies: "Jeremy's?" But Corbyn's senior policy adviser, Andrew Fisher, says: "George Eaton is the worst judge of anything. ... I'm not going to knock it but I thought last week's was better."

8. Corbyn signs ~a lot~ of stuff for his supporters.

Vice News

"It's a sideline we operate," he says. "We sign tiles, books, photos, bottles of drink. And when I get a good crop of apples from my allotment in September, I'm going to sign the apples ... It does feel slightly odd actually. I'm not a personality, I'm not that kind of person."

9. Corbyn's aides wanted him to mention Iain Duncan Smith's resignation in the House of Commons – but Corbyn overruled them.

Vice News

When IDS resigned in March as work and pensions secretary over the scale of government cuts, Corbyn had a chance to raise it in response to a speech from Cameron. Kevin Slocombe, Corbyn's head of press, says: "There's a real opportunity to show the difference between us and them on fairness." But Corbyn tells his team: "It's not up to me to throw in other than a couple of lines about 'the government's in a mess'. OK, so cut back a lot on the second part."

10. Corbyn jokes about wanting to be prime minister.

Vice News

As his team rehearse for Prime Minister's Questions, Corbyn asks: "Who wants to be prime minister?" An aide replies: "You do, I think." Corbyn smiles and asks: "Come on, does anybody want to be prime minister?" Andrew Fisher eventually takes the role.

11. Seumas Milne is convinced that someone is leaking the questions Corbyn plans to ask the PM.

Vice News

"It's very annoying because it only happens about a third of the time, but it obviously gives them a little bit of extra time," he says.

12. Corbyn does not like being asked about Ken Livingstone one little bit.

Vice News

After Livingstone was suspended over alleged anti-Semitic remarks, Corbyn is asked whether he understands the problem with what he said. "Of course I do, otherwise he wouldn't have been suspended," he says. "The problem was that Ken made inappropriate remarks." Were the remarks anti-Semitic? "That's where we're at, he's been suspended." The interview ends soon afterwards, with Corbyn saying: "I'll eat in the car."

Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Ashton at

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