Stephen Hawking calls for 'disaster' Corbyn to quit

Professor Stephen Hawking has called for Jeremy Corbyn to stand down as Labour leader, claiming he is a "disaster" for the party.

The Labour-backing physicist said he agreed with many of his policies and that he would vote for Corbyn but he is being portrayed as a "left-wing extremist" and therefore should step down.

In a rare interview the Cambridge University academic told The Times (£): "I regard Corbyn as a disaster.

"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."

Professor Hawking's comments came as shadow chancellor John McDonnell tried to heal divisions within the party amid claims that a "soft coup" was under way.

Hawking was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 1963 and given just two years to live.

Instead, he wrote A Brief History of Time and became one of the world’s bestselling authors and most famous scientists.