Investigative journalist Tom Bower’s new book Dangerous Hero began its serialisation in the Mail on Sunday yesterday – and here are some of its juiciest revelations.
CLUTCHING her three children close, Jeremy Corbyn’s wife waited for her husband in Westminster’s central lobby… and waited, and waited.
After two miserable hours, Labour MP Tony Banks spotted tearful Claudia Bracchitta standing by the wall, and she explained that her husband had promised to meet her but had failed to show.
Banks bustled off, and finally found the Marxist politician in a committee room.
He urged Corbyn: “You’d better come out and look after your children.”
But Corbyn didn’t seem too troubled by the idea of his forlorn, waiting family.
And Banks was not surprised — his colleague’s own interests always seemed to come far ahead of those of his family.
Banks explained: “When pushed to have a day off, Jeremy’s idea was to take his partner to Highgate Cemetery and study the grave of Karl Marx.”
Claudia, a Chilean exile, also found herself struggling to afford food and clothing for their three boys during the 11-year marriage, as the family’s cash was poured into political ends.
When she occasionally tried to put her foot down — bringing up the possibility of hiring a cleaner, for example — she was sneered at for her “bourgeois tendencies” by Corbyn’s leftie cronies.
Holidays could also be a sad and lonely affair.
'Jez showed Abbott off'
And he seemed keen to show her off, bringing two fellow campaigners back to his bedsit on the premise of stocking up on leaflets. They walked in to find a naked woman on the bed.
One of the visitors recalled: “There on the mattress on the floor in the one room is Diane with the duvet up to her neck, saying, ‘What the ****’s going on?’ We were quite shaken.” As Abbott tried to protect her modesty, Corbyn announced she was his new girlfriend.
The source continued: “It was the late Seventies, it was still a point of interest, a white man with a black woman, so he was slightly showing off – ‘I’ve got a new girlfriend, and she’s black’.”
At the time Abbott was working at the National Council for Civil Liberties.
When colleagues went through her desk they found an eyebrow-raising sexual fantasy scrawled in her diary. In it she described being man- handled by her lover Corbyn – “a bearded Fenian and NUPE national organiser”.
The loved-up pair went on a motorbike tour of East Germany, while Abbott has described her “finest half-hour” as romping in a Cotswold field with a mystery man, believed to be Corbyn.
Author Bower claims the relationship broke down because Abbott wanted children but he did not.
On one occasion, according to the new book, the family was invited to spend a week at a friend’s country home in Derbyshire, but Corbyn failed to show.
For 36 hours, Claudia called around trying to track him down.
He eventually arrived two days later, vaguely explaining his absence as a necessary sacrifice for “the movement”.
Even when Claudia was in hospital about to give birth to their first child in 1987, Corbyn was more concerned with local leafletting.
He was running for re-election at the time, and phoned constituency agent Keith Veness from outside the delivery room with an important update.
Corbyn announced: “I’m really worried — we haven’t put out that leaflet about Northern Ireland.”
His friend replied: “Haven’t you got something more serious to worry about?”
CHAOTIC PRIVATE LIFE
Corbyn had met Claudia in 1986 — seven years after his divorce from first wife Jane Chapman — at a protest meeting against Chile’s military dictatorship.
Claudia was already married but, by the following year, she was pregnant with Corbyn’s child and rushed through a divorce to marry her new admirer.
They went on to have three boys — Sebastian, Benjamin and Thomas — before calling time on their relationship in 1999.
Corbyn managed to give the split a political spin, declaring the break was down to Claudia refusing to send their son to a failing comprehensive and he “felt strongly about comprehensive education”.
But fellow Labour firebrand Ken Livingstone claims the marriage ended “long before the school bit”.
'No idea of my feelings'
She recalled: “Jeremy professed love early on and said that I was ‘the best of the best’, so I thought this must be the thing.”
But the 23-year-old bride quickly discovered that “her husband was not interested in equality within marriage, or in sharing any domestic chores”.
Despite the two of them both being councillors, she found herself doing the housework and being stuck alone in their small flat night after night.
When Corbyn did arrive in time for dinner, he would often open a tin of beans, usually Tesco’s own brand, and eat them cold.
On livelier evenings, he would sit on the floor drunkenly singing IRA songs. Jane’s requests to go out were ignored.
Meanwhile, she was shocked that the opinionated “thinker” did not read a single book during their years together.
Author Tom Bower writes: “Her initial judgment that he was ‘bright’ was mistaken.”
Holidays were also grim — with his idea of a summer getaway being a tour with his wife of an impoverished Eastern bloc country, sleeping in tents. The marriage ended in 1979, with Corbyn patronisingly putting the split down to a “feminist kick”.
Chapman, now a university professor and filmmaker, said: “He didn’t acknowledge my emotional side. He doesn’t recognise a woman’s feelings.”
She added: “His lack of emotional awareness didn’t change.”
And, in his new book, author Tom Bower claims it was a result of Corbyn’s poor financial management. Corbyn was funding his party office in Holloway, North London, out of his own pocket and was seriously in debt.
Claudia and their three young sons were left with so little money for food and clothes that she once pleaded: “We can’t afford a decent life.”
Eventually, after the couple split, the family home in Islington, North London, was sold for £365,000 (£730,000 today) to pay off the debts.
Claudia and the boys moved into the top floors of a smaller home, with Corbyn in the basement. There he had a series of flings with younger women, according to Bower’s book, out on February 21.
His success with the opposite sex confused many, with one old friend telling him: “You couldn’t pull all these women if you weren’t an MP. They wouldn’t be interested in an old man with a beard.”
Immigration fear 'racist'
The biographer explains that in the Labour leader’s opinion “all immigrant communities were victims of white imperialists, and the British state owed them a financial obligation. Anyone who disagreed was racist”.
The hard-Left MP for North Islington was far more understanding when it came to Soviet communist leaders oppressing others.
His old friend Keith Veness said Corbyn believed Soviet leaders had rightly put down a revolt in Hungary in 1956 and the pro-democracy Prague Spring in 1968.
And when Veness mentioned Joseph Stalin’s brutality against his own people, he says: “Jeremy walked away. He couldn’t do political arguments.”
In the extract from his book in yesterday’s Mail on Sunday, author Bower also portrays Corbyn’s party as an anarchic mess where neither the leader nor many of his overpaid team turn up for meetings on time.
He writes: “Meetings arranged to start at 9am were delayed because no one arrived until 11, and some staff did not come to work at all.” An insider told the author: “They were lazy and p***ed on £100,000 a year.”
Meanwhile, in the same year as his divorce, Corbyn met Mexican ex-human rights lawyer Laura Alvarez, 20 years his junior.
They conducted a long-distance relationship before she moved to the UK in 2011, and they wed the following year.
Laura has rarely spoken about their relationship — but, in 2016, gave a telling insight into marriage with the proud leftie: “He’s not very good at housework.”
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