Bernie Sanders has praised U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, noting that the firebrand politicians' campaigns bear “similarities” to one another.
Last year, the independent politician came close to gaining the Democratic nomination in last year's U.S. Democratic Party primaries.
“What Corbyn has tried to do with the Labour Party is not dissimilar to what some of us are trying to do with the Democratic Party,” Sanders told The Independent, adding that their goal has been to make their respective parties “much more open and inviting for working people and young people and not have a liberal elite making the decisions from the top down.”
The social democratic senator from Vermont also noted how 68-year-old Corbyn has been willing to address the contentious issue of social class, noting that the subject is often considered taboo on both sides of the Atlantic.
“Too many people run away from the grotesque levels of income and wealth inequality that exist in the United States, the U.K. and all over the world," Sanders said in an event for his new book at the seaside British resort of Brighton.
Sanders also noted that “social justice” must come about through the efforts of politicians and policy makers acting to implement positive change in society.
The senator has also hailed Corbyn's “courage” and his efforts to “revitalize democracy” by highlighting economic inequality rather than calls for equality on gender, race and sexuality grounds. Sanders claims that it is more difficult to address what he describes as “oligarchic forms of government.
“If I were to give a speech about women’s rights, people would say, ‘That’s great Bernie’. If I were to give a speech about gay rights, people would say, ‘That’s great Bernie, we need to fight homophobia,’” Sanders said, continuing, “If I were to give a speech about combating racism, people would say, ‘That’s great, we cannot tolerate racism’ and people respond to that.”
Sanders has also been critical of the election of President Donald Trump in the United States as well as the success of Brexit, saying that both developments reflect the inequalities that prevail in both countries.
“These are not American issues, or British issues – these are international issues ... This is a global issue and we must address it,” the U.S. progressive leader noted.
Corbyn has called for direct negotiations with the European Union prior to the implementation of Brexit, noting that his opponent, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, has resorted to “megaphone diplomacy” with her European counterparts.