A crowdfunding campaign to help Jeremy Corbyn purchase his ideal bike has received five times its intended target after just one day following a "smear attempt" from Telegraph journalist Helena Horton. In an interview with Shortlist magazine, the Labour leader said his dream bike was a Raleigh Criterium, retailing at £475 ($682).
During the interview, Corbyn added: "This unisex model is a great all-rounder whether you're a beginner or looking for a new ride, although as I'm a big believer in repairing rather than replacing, I suspect I will have my own long after my leadership."
The Daily Telegraph ran a story around the interview with the headline "Socialist Jeremy Corbyn reveals he covets a £475 bike" and suggested the bike Corbyn already owns is "likely to cost a similar amount". The story ran soon after they wrote a similar story criticising Nicola Sturgeon for wearing "£130 Hunter Wellington boots".
Following the publication of the story, a project on Crowdfunder began with the aim to aim to raise £475 to "annoy the right-wing press and buy Jeremy Corbyn his dream bike for his birthday".
The person who started the project, "J-Dawg", wrote on the funding page: "With Eric Pickles having spent half a million quid at the taxpayers' expense, it seems that Jezza's desire for eco-friendly transport at 1000th of that cost is not unreasonable. Especially because he would most likely buy it out of his own pocket, when considering he is the lowest expenses claimant in the commons. I propose we make his dreams come true, by crowd funding his bicycle in time for his birthday in May."
At the time of publication, the amount of money raised more than £2,300. In response, J-Dawg told backers he would be donating the excess money to a charity of the Labour leader's choice. The day. The Telegarph have also since changed the headline of the original piece to read "Jeremy Corbyn reveals his dearest wish is a £475 bicycle".