Corbyn's landslide election met with scepticism from international press

Jeremy Corbyn’s landslide election as Labour leader has been greeted with praise from left-leaning politicians on several continents, but a great deal of scepticism from the international press.

Argentina’s president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said Corbyn’s victory was a “triumph for those of us who represent the will to put politics at the service of the people”.

De Kirchner has often pressed Argentina’s claim on the Falkland Islands and said Corbyn “is a great friend of Latin America and shares, in solidarity, our demands for equality and political sovereignty”.

Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness offered his “heartiest congratulations to our friend @jeremycorbyn” on Twitter, while Gerry Adams said: “I have known Jeremy for many years. He is a good friend of Ireland and of the Irish peace process.

“I wish him well in his new and challenging role as leader of the British Labour Party and look forward to working with him in the time ahead to ensure that the gains of the peace process are built upon.”

But there was hostile reception for Corbyn in parts of Europe and the Middle East. German newspaper Die Welt described Corbyn as a “leftist Utopian, not fit for the real world” and said his election proved that the British left had lost touch with reality.

The Times of Israel gave its story the headline “Anti-Israel Jeremy Corbyn is new UK Labour leader” adding that the “far-left MP has empathised with Hezbollah, Hamas,” and reporting that British Jews were “alarmed by his ties to ‘Holocaust deniers, terrorists and some outright anti-Semites’”.

BBC Monitoring reported that a website associated with Hamas had welcomed Corbyn’s election. It quoted the Al-Risalah website as saying: “He is one of the most prominent British figures who voiced solidarity with the Palestinian cause and declared his rejection of the war on Gaza.”

The Middle East Eye website was one of many publications and broadcasters to focus on the likely impact on British foreign policy, suggesting official attitudes towards the Middle East might change.

The sentiment was echoed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation which suggested Corbyn might “cause headaches” for David Cameron on foreign affairs.

The Brisbane Courier-Mail described Corbyn as the Labour party’s “most left-wing leader in decades”, while the Sydney Morning Herald highlighted that the election of the “bearded north London socialist” was “a 100:1 chance in the betting market only a few months ago”.

In the United States, many newspapers and commentators drew parallels with the momentum building behind Democratic senator Bernie Sanders, a socialist who is taking on the favourite Hilary Clinton in the race to become their party’s presidential candidate.

The Wall Street Journal said that Sanders and Corbyn – “a white-bearded vegetarian” – had “tapped into widespread discontent with mainstream politicians with their straightforward, alternative messages”.

The Washington Post described Corbyn’s victory as a “populist takeover” of the Labour party, saying Corbyn’s “stunning transformation from perennial leftist rebel to leader of Britain’s Labour party upended British politics”.

Many US commentators have paid attention to Corbyn’s left-wing credentials. The Washington Examiner noted that Corbyn was a columnist for the Morning Star, “a newspaper that was originally an organ of the Communist Party of Great Britain”.

But it also said one of his positions was “more relatable to Americans”, describing Corbyn as “small-R republican – which is to say, he favours abolition of the British monarchy”.

In India, where Communist politicians have held power in some states for decades, Corbyn’s left-wing background has raised fewer eyebrows.

The Hindu said Labour had come “full circle” from Tony Blair to Corbyn. It also highlighted the new leader’s interventions in Indian affairs, with his support of Dalits – so-called “untouchables” and lower-caste Indians – and that he had recently criticised the Indian government for its human rights record in Kashmir and other parts of India.

Powered by article was written by James Tapper, for on Sunday 13th September 2015 00.17 Europe/ © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010