Wales politics

Corbyn would be unusual choice for Labour, Carwyn Jones says

Newsnight Labour hustings 2015
Image caption Yvette Cooper, Jeremy Corbyn, Liz Kendall and Andy Burnham hope to succeed Ed Miliband

Jeremy Corbyn "would be an unusual choice" as Labour leader, First Minister Carwyn Jones has claimed.

He said the left-wing MP would "have to prove" he can win elections by moving the party away from the centre ground.

Winning elections was "absolutely crucial", said the Welsh Labour leader, who has yet to publicly back any of the party's four leadership candidates.

Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall are also standing along with Mr Corbyn.

'Serial rebel'

The Islington North MP - who was admitted to the contest at the last minute by Labour MPs who wanted to "broaden debate" - has turned the contest on its head by topping two early opinion polls and winning the support of a majority of local Labour parties across Britain.

But some senior figures, including Shadow Chancellor Chris Leslie, have said Labour would face a struggle to return to power if Mr Corbyn prevailed.

Carwyn Jones - Labour's most senior elected politician - said it "would seem unusual" for the party to elect the "serial rebel".

Image caption Some Labour figures claim Jeremy Corbyn is too left-wing to win a general election

Addressing Mr Corbyn's left-wing agenda, Mr Jones said: "You have to be true to your values but you also have to win elections.

"There's no point being wonderfully true to your values if you can't put those values into effect by being actually able to govern.

"That's what my objective will be in May and the [assembly] election that will be fought in May will be an election wholly under the guidance and control of Welsh Labour."

Ballot papers for the leadership election will be sent out on 14 August, with the result announced on 12 September.

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