They are two of the biggest names in liberal progressive politics. He is the 69-year-old leftwing veteran who has remade the British Labour party in his image; she is a freshman member of Congress who has electrified the progressive movement in the United States.
So perhaps it was no surprise that Jeremy Corbyn and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez finally connected Sunday evening, in a 45-minute telephone call in which they found common cause.
“Great to speak to @AOC on the phone this evening and hear first hand how she’s challenging the status quo,” Corbyn tweeted, using the 29-year-old congresswoman’s Twitter handle. “Let’s build a movement across borders to take on the billionaires, polluters and migrant baiters, and support a happier, freer and cleaner planet.”
Ocasio-Cortez responded in a tweet, saying “It was an honor to share such a lovely and wide-reaching conversation with you, @jeremycorbyn!”
“Also honored to share a great hope in the peace, prosperity, + justice that everyday people can create when we uplift one another across class, race, + identity both at home & abroad.”
Despite coming from different political generations, the pair share a progressive ideology rooted in social justice. Ocasio-Cortez has called for millionaires at a 70 percent tax rate on income exceeding $10 million, supports a single-payer healthcare system and is in favor of a “Green New Deal,” a wideranging policy program to address climate change.
Corbyn has remade the UK Labour party in his image. He shifted he party sharply to the left since his unexpected election in 2015, disavowing the centrist policies espoused by predecessors such as Tony Blair.
It’s unusual for the leader of the UK’s main opposition party to publicize a phone call with a new member of Congress. According to the UK Press Association, the pair spoke for about 45 minutes, discussing the government shutdown in the United States and the proposed wall along the US-Mexican border.
But it wasn’t all good vibes. Several Twitter users replied to Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet, pointing her to longstanding issues with antisemitism within the Labour party. Corbyn has faced criticism for his handling of the anti-Semitism crisis that has engulfed the party.
Ocasio-Cortez responded to one user highlighting the issue, saying “Hi @PopChassid - thank you for bringing this to me. We cannot + will not move forward without deep fellowship and leadership with the Jewish community. I’ll have my team reach out.”
Spokespeople for Corbyn and Ocasio-Cortez did not immediately respond to request for comment.