Leader of The Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn
Now Corbyn speaks out against the Falklands war! saying we haven’t fought a just war since 1945. He is a disgrace.
Britain has not fought a just conflict since the Second World War, Jeremy Corbyn has said, insisting he would only authorise military action as a “genuine last resort”.
Mr Corbyn refused to commit to sending British troops to defend a Nato ally which was under attack, saying he would seek economic and diplomatic solutions to any crisis.
Mr Corbyn, who is a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, raised questions about the future of the Trident nuclear deterrent, saying it would be included in a defence review if Labour wins the election.
A Labour MP pointed to how Mr Corbyn had supported the IRA when it was bombing mainland Britain in the 1980s, saying: “He’s just anti-western military interventions.”
The Labour leader’s comments were also attacked by Rob Gray, an Army veteran who was jeered for challenging Mr Corbyn over his views on prosecuting veterans in Northern Ireland this week.
Mr Gray said: “The man’s an idiot. Jeremy Corbyn is an insult to friends of mine who died in Northern Ireland because he will not support British troops.
“The man does not care about our war dead, he cares more about the IRA dead, Hezbollah dead.”
Catherine West MP
Later Catherine West, a shadow foreign minister, admitted Mr Corbyn might not have sent the task force to liberate the Falklands after Argentina invaded in 1982.
Ms West said Mr Corbyn’s “initial reactions and his instincts … would have been to make discussions, negotiations and talks a higher priority”.
Confronted with Mr Corbyn’s 1982 comments describing the Falklands as a Tory plot, she said: “A lot of things happened in that conflict that not all of us feel very proud of.”
Speaking to the Chatham House thinktank, Mr Corbyn was asked to name a “conflict that British troops have deployed to since the Second World War that you have supported”.
The Labour leader replied: “There are deployme
nts – largely through the United Nations, that I think are the right things to do.”
He suported out the United Nations’ role in ending the civil wars in East Timor and Cyprus and the “incredible work done by royal marines” to save migrants in the Mediterranean.
Mr Corbyn questioned “the legitimacy” of the First World War but viewed the Second World War as a just conflict.
Mr Corbyn – a former chairman of the Stop the War coalition – questioned Tony Blair’s decision to intervene militarily in Kosovo and Sierra Leone in the late 1990s.
In his speech in central London, Mr Corbyn
denied he was a pacifist but said the “bomb first, talk later” approach to security taken by the Conservative government had failed.
He said: “The best defence for Britain is a government actively engaged in seeking peaceful solutions to the world’s problems.
“It doesn’t make me a pacifist.
I accept that military action, under international law and as a genuine last resort, is in some circumstances necessary.”
The world was now “more unstable than even at the height of the Cold War. The approach to international security we have been using since the 1990s simply has not worked.”
The Labour leader failed to say explicitly that he would launch nuclear weapons to protect Britain’s interests, saying: “I am often asked if as prime minister I would order the use of nuclear weapons.
“If circumstances arose where that was a real option, it would represent complete and cataclysmic failure. It would mean world leaders had already triggered a spiral of catastrophe for humankind.”
Mr Corbyn pledged that RAF bombing raids on so-called Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq would also be immediately reviewed should Labour win the election.
He added that he would create “a Minister for Peace who will work across the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office”.
A Labour Government would not engage with Isil directly but would support talks with the terror group in Geneva, he said.
Mr Corbyn said he supported a like-for-like replacement of the four Trident submarines although the nuclear deterrent would be in a new strategic defence review after the election.
He said: “We will also undertake a strategic defence review as all incoming governments do, looking at all aspects of our defence priorities for the future.”
Speaking afterwards to Channel 4 News, Mr Corbyn said he would not necessarily send military support ot other Nato countries under threat.
This commitment “doesn’t necessarily mean sending troops. It means diplomatic, it means economic, it means sanctions, it means a whole range of things”, he said.
Mr Corbyn’s remarks were criticised by Lord West of Spithead, a former Labour shadow defence minister.
The Queen with Lord West,
He told The Daily Telegraph: “I fought in the Falklands War – that was a just war because the people in those islands did not want to be under the control of Argentina.
“We actually went to and restored their freedom although we lost a number of people we can be justifiably proud of that.”
Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, said Mr Corbyn has “a worrying tendency to be weak and confused about terrorists and what they stand for”.
He said: “He approaches all this from the position of a classic left wing politician which is all very well in opposition but you simply can’t do that in government.”
Separately Harry Fletcher, a former member of Mr Corbyn’s leadership team, said he will stay on as leader, even if he is defeated in the Election unless Labour’s share of the vote goes below 20 per cent.