Professor Stephen Hawking has said that Jeremy Corbyn must resign as Labour leader, adding that he broadly approves of the left-winger's views but thinks his handling of the media has been abject.

Hawking, now 75, made the comments in an interview with The Times. He said: "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."

The celebrated physicist is a long-standing Labour supporter and campaigned for Daniel Zeichner, the party's Cambridge candidate in the 2015 General Election. Zeichner, who won the seat said of Hawking: "I think he fully appreciates the huge investment that the last Labour government made in science and you can see that in a lot of the buildings and laboratories around Cambridge," The Guardian reported.

The motor-neurone disease sufferer has been politically vocal of late. In late 2016 he described the election of Donald Trump and UK's Brexit vote as signifiers of "the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity".

He told the Times that despite increased political instability and the threats posed by new technologies he maintains faith in humanity and human progress. However, he warned that humans must adapt if they are to meet these challenges.

"We need to be quicker to identify such threats and act before they get out of control. This might mean some form of world government. But that might become a tyranny. All this may sound a bit doom-laden but I am an optimist. I think the human race will rise to meet these challenges."

Stephen Hawking
Professor Stephen Hawking has said that Jeremy Corbyn must resign as Labour leader Niklas Halle'n/AFP