Stephen Hawking: British Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn Must Go

Stephen Hawking
British scientist and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking views his wheelchair computer in front of a presentation screen. He regards Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as a disaster. Toby Melville/REUTERS

Stephen Hawking, one of Britain's most famous living scientists, is used to thinking about the bigger issues—from black holes to artificial intelligence and global warming.

But he has used an interview with The Times to discuss a much smaller-scale issue; the leadership of Britain's embattled Labour Party.

"I regard [Labour leader Jeremy] Corbyn as a disaster," Hawking said in the interview published Tuesday. "His heart is in the right place and many of his policies are sound but he has allowed himself to be portrayed as a left-wing extremist."

"I think he should step down for the sake of the party," continued Hawking, who said he would vote for Corbyn, but that such a vote would be futile.

Hawking is one of the more unusual figures to weigh in on the Labour leadership debate, but far from the first.

With the party trailing around 15 points behind the ruling Conservatives in the polls, the pressure is on for Corbyn to turn things around.

A survey by the elections analyst Election Data showed falling support for Corbyn among party members, with his net approval among members falling from 55 percent in February 2016 to just 17 percent in February this year.