Corbyn hits back at Obama after President dismisses Labour Party

In response, Mr Corbyn's spokesman said Labour and the Democrats both "have to challenge power if they are going to speak for working people and change a broken system".

Corbyn hits back at Obama after President dismisses Labour Party

Image: Jonathan Brady / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Jeremy Corbyn has hit back at Barack Obama after the outgoing US President suggested Labour under his leadership had disintegrated and lost touch with reality.

In a valedictory interview before leaving the White House, Mr Obama was asked if he feared the Democratic Party would lurch to the left after Donald Trump's election, like Labour in the UK.

And in a brutal assessment of the state of the Labour Party, the President said he had no such worries and even claimed left-wing presidential challenger Bernie Sanders was a "pretty centrist politician" compared to Mr Corbyn.

The criticism provoked a defiant response from the Labour leader's spokesman, who said his ideas were "common sense" to "most people in Britain".

The President's damning verdict on Labour under Mr Corbyn came in an interview with former Obama aide David Axelrod, who also advised Ed Miliband during the 2015 General Election campaign.

Mr Axelrod asked the President: "Are you worried about the Corbynisation of the Democratic Party?

"The Labour Party just sort of disintegrated in the face of their defeat and moved so far left that it's in a very frail state. And there is an impulse to respond to the power of Trump by, you know, being as edgy... on the left."

Mr Obama responded: "I don't worry about that, partly because I think that the Democratic Party has stayed pretty grounded in fact and reality."

In response, Mr Corbyn's spokesman said Labour and the Democrats both "have to challenge power if they are going to speak for working people and change a broken system".

He added: "What Jeremy Corbyn stands for is what most people want: to take on the tax cheats, create a fairer economy, fund a fully public NHS, build more homes, and stop backing illegal wars.

"For the establishment, those ideas are dangerous. For most people in Britain, they're common sense and grounded in reality."

In a letter to The Guardian, filmmaker Ken Loach defended Mr Corbyn and said his critics within Labour were responsible for "any disarray or disunity" in the party.

He said: "This bunch of political losers are intent on the destruction of a Labour Party they cannot control."

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron mocked Mr Corbyn over the US President's comments, calling them a "wake up call" for Labour.

He said: "Since the General Election, Labour have written the textbook on how to make a divided and divisive government look half competent."