Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. Brexit
19 September 2016

6 brilliant questions Jeremy Corbyn managed to avoid on Mumsnet

The Labour leader attended a webchat. 

By Julia Rampen

They represent millions of families in the UK. They’re bolshie. And they have a lot of questions for Jeremy Corbyn. 

When the Labour leader agreed to a webchat with Mumsnet users, he found himself bombarded by questions on everything from the post-war liberal consensus to his favourite biscuits. 

But while Corbyn did his best to elaborate on these (he thinks the post-war liberal consensus served a purpose and he doesn’t eat sugar), many users felt aggrieved that their questions were not answered.

So here are some of the finest: 

1. Not a biscuit

Corbyn might be happy to chat biscuits, but he seemed somewhat coy when it came to another big issue starting with B. So Nightofthetentacle asked: “What’s your favourite Brexit Jeremy?”

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

2. A sticky situation

After Corbyn said he was off sugar, some Mumsnet users sensed a plot. During Traingate (when Virgin challenged Corbyn’s claim a train was packed) he was apparently unreachable because he was making jam. 

Swindonlass1989 put it straight: “How can you be completely ‘anti-sugar’, and yet have a hobby in jam making?” And GingerSTEM added: “Jeremy, if you’re so anti-sugar could you please explain your recipe for jam?”

3. Womenkind

Corbyn has promised a majority women cabinet, but Mumsnet users want to know exactly what he means by women in the first place. He was asked about transgender identity and all-women shortlists, with Hellochicken wanting to know:

Will you commit to keeping women as a biological sex class, as currently recognised by the Equality Act 2010?

4. Catfight

Corbyn’s cat, El Gato (Spanish for cat) was the focus of much speculation. Catfan123 asked: 

Hi Jeremy – which cat is your favourite – Larry the Number 10 cat, Palmerston the Foreign Office cat or Gladstone the Treasury cat? If you became Prime Minister, would you bring El Gato to Number 10? Or would you be worried he would fight with Palmerston and Larry?

5. In the margins

Corbyn told Mumsnet users he wanted to win the next election, and he had changed the conversation on fraught issues like immigration. But DaddaGreen simply wanted to know: “How do you believe Labour can take votes from the Tories to win in marginal seats?”

Answer there came none. 

6. A question of timing

Some Mumsnet users clearly were not impressed with Corbyn’s answers, accusing him of copying and pasting lines from a speech. But YouAreMyRain asked perhaps the most scathing question: What time does this finish? How much longer do I have to drag my disappointment out for?”

Corbyn, on the other hand, seemed to have enjoyed himself. He ended with a question of his own: “Thanks Mumsnet for having me back, really enjoyed that – can I come again?”