Residents of the British town of Dudley in the West Midlands called for the renaming of a street that by chance shares a name with British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn this weekend, after the far-left politician led the Labour Party to its worst electoral loss in decades.
According to Wales Online, homeowners living on Corbyn Road began pushing to rename their street following Thursday’s general election, in which local voters, who have traditionally supported Labour, turned against the party, electing their first-ever MP from the Conservative Party.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party won 365 seats in the House of Commons, its best performance since party icon Margaret Thatcher’s last victory in 1987. Labour slumped to 203 seats, its worst showing since 1935. Corbyn subsequently stated that he would resign the party leadership but declined to provide a timetable for his exit.
“We’ve always known the name attracts attention and it didn’t matter as much when the town was Labour but now it’s associated with the worst Labour leader there has ever been,” one local told Wales Online.
“The name must go. When you think Corbyn you think of racism and failure. I don’t want the place I live to be linked with that,” the local continued. “House prices in this area are already struggling, the last thing we need is potential buyers being put off by the street name.”
Jewish groups have accused Corbyn of allowing a massive rise in anti-Semitism within the ranks of the party that was once considered the natural home of British Jewry. Thousands of cases of alleged hate speech against Jews have been recorded within Labour since 2015, when Corbyn was elected to lead the party.
Much of the fear of Corbyn was spurred by revelations about his past record that have emerged since he became Labour leader. These include him describing Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends”; defending an anti-Semitic mural in East London; and a seeming willingness to associate with alleged anti-Semites, terrorists, and Holocaust-deniers. The party is currently being formally investigated by the UK’s anti-racism watchdog and a recent report by the Jewish Labour Movement found Corbyn himself had trafficked in anti-Semitism on at least nine occasions.
“I’m a life-long Labour supporter but I’ve never liked the direction Jeremy Corbyn was going in,” resident Tom Robertson told Wales Online.
“It used to amuse my grown up children that I live on Corbyn Road but frankly it’s now more of an embarrassment. I’ve got Jewish friends who are appalled at what’s happened in the party since he was leader.”
Agencies contributed to this report.