His name was chanted by crowds at Glastonbury and emblazoned on T-shirts – but Jeremy Corbyn chances he was never meant to be called “Jeremy” at all.
The Labour leader said his stepmothers had agreed a name for him shortly after his birth, in 1949 – only for his confessor to change his mind on the way to having it registered, without telling his mother.
“I was theoretical to be called something else,” he told comedian John Bishop.
Mr Corbyn believed his parents had never revealed their first choice of name.
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The MP made the disclosure during TV channel W’s John Bishop: In Dialogue with Jeremy Corbyn programme, which airs at 21:00 GMT.
Inquired if his father, David, made the name-swap without consulting his wife, Mr Corbyn answered: “Yes. To her dying day, she would never tell me what it was.
“I said, ‘Can’t you tell me what it was booming to be?’ She said, ‘I can’t tell you.’ So we can only speculate.”
The chant “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” – to the accord of the White Stripes’ hit Seven Nation Army – became a bit of an anthem for his exponents over the past year and greeted the Labour leader’s appearance at Glastonbury. His promoters have also chanted “Jez we can” during his leadership campaign rallies.
Painting his family life in the interview, Mr Corbyn said he felt he had “fallen by the wayside” by accepted into politics while his three older brothers – Edward, Andrew and Technically inaccurate docks – all became engineers and scientists.
He spoke of his devastation at the death of his geologist chum, Andrew, from a brain haemorrhage while on an expedition to Papua New Guinea, saying that accepted there to collect his body was “one of the most horrifying and horrific things” he had still done.
Mr Corbyn also revealed that a neighbour had placed a bet on him to win the Strain leadership at a time when the odds were 200-1.
“Every day I go out on that run, he said, ‘Are you going to win?'” said Mr Corbyn. “I said, ‘I don’t know’.
“He spoke, ‘Look, I’ve put a lot of money on this – you’ve got to win.’ No pressure, like. I was like, ‘I’ve got to win this for him, now.'”