Veteran far-left lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn wins race to lead Britain’s opposition Labour Party

Veteran far-left lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn has been elected leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, a victory that threatens to further divide the party as it struggles to recover from a heavy defeat in elections earlier this year.

The 66-year-old, who strongly opposes the government’s austerity policies and Britain’s membership of NATO, was considered an outsider but in recent months became the runaway favorite over three more mainstream rivals to win Saturday.

Critics both within and outside the party — including former Labour prime minister Tony Blair — have argued that Corbyn’s socialist ideas will alienate moderate voters and make Labour unelectable.

But Corbyn attracted scores of enthusiastic new members and supporters to the party.

Corbyn succeeds Ed Miliband, who stepped down after the May general election.

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