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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?”

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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. 

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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?”