President Barack Obama has said the Democratic Party will not "disintegrate" like Labour because even the party’s more ideological leaders are moderates compared to Jeremy Corbyn.

“I don’t worry about that, partly because I think the Democratic Party has stayed pretty grounded in fact and reality,” Mr Obama said in an interview with David Axelrod, who served as chief strategist for Mr Obama and later for Ed Miliband.

Mr Axelrod asked if Mr Obama was concerned about the "Corbynisation" of the Democratic party, after Labour "disintegrated in the face of their defeat".

Mr Obama said that even Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator who finished runner-up to Hillary Clinton in the primaries, was “pretty centrist” compared to Mr Corbyn.

Mr Corbyn met Mr Obama when he visited the UK in April, but his criticism of a proposed US-EU trade deal and opposition to British intervention in Syria have not endeared him to the White House.  The Labour leader has been a longtime critic of Mr Obama's foreign policy, once referring to him as "the Pentagon President".

In the new interview, Mr Obama also contended that he would have won a third term had he been the Democratic nominee in 2016, and insisted America did not reject his vision for the country when it elected Donald Trump.

Mr Obama said in the interview that Mrs Clinton “performed wonderfully”, but faced a double standard and chose to “play it safer” than she ultimately should have.

The president could not run in 2016 due to term limits, but said the results would have been different if he had been on the ballot and able to campaign on a message of unity and tolerance.

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Hillary Clinton, center, her husband former President Bill Clinton and their daughter Chelsea Clinton, are joined on stage by President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

“I am confident in this vision because I'm confident that if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could've mobilised a majority of the American people to rally behind it,” he said.

Mr Obama, who will be just 55 when he leaves office next month, said he needs a period of “quiet” after departing the White House, and does not plan to lead the resistance to Mr Trump.

“My intention on January 21st is to sleep, take my wife on a nice vacation - and she has said it better be nice… I’m going to start thinking about the first book I want to write,” he said.

Mr Obama also reflected on his life before he entered politics, in particular a “wildly pretentious” phase in his early 20s.

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Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 Credit: Charlie Neibergall/AP

“Huge overcompensation. I'm humourless, and you know, have one plate and one towel and fasting on Sundays,” he recalled, “and friends start noticing that I'm begging off going out at night because I have to, you know, read, Sartre or something.”

He said he had recently read journal entries and love letters he wrote at the time and found them “impenetrable”.

“He needs to lighten up,” Mr Obama advised his younger self.

Mr Obama also discussed his rapid political rise, from failing to secure a credential for the 2000 Democratic National Convention to bursting onto the national scene at the 2004 convention.

“I basically couldn’t get in the hall and nobody knew my name. Four years later I’m doing the keynote speech. And it wasn’t as if I was so much smarter four years later… it speaks a little bit to the randomness of politics"

source:telegraph.co.uk