Corbyn's man slammed for attack on security services over poisoning

Mar 16, 2018, 01:33
Corbyn's man slammed for attack on security services over poisoning

A Sky Data poll found 57 per cent of people thought Mr Corbyn is doing a bad job over his approach to Russian Federation, with just 18 per cent saying he is doing a good job.

Speaking during a visit to Carlisle on Thursday, Mr Corbyn said: "I was extremely definite yesterday that I totally condemn this attack".

Jeremy Corbyn said the "evidence points towards Russia" being responsible for the Salisbury attack but he did not go as far as his shadow defence secretary.

What did Mr Corbyn say in the Commons?

The embattled Labour leader called the Salisbury attack an "appalling act of violence" but left open the possibility that the nerve agent could have been used by someone else other than the Kremlin in his statement to the House of Commons.

Ms Griffith said that statement made it "very clear that we're fully supportive of the government's actions because clearly we accept both what the prime minister has said and that Russian Federation is responsible".

Asked why Mr Corbyn had not said that, she added: "Well some us perhaps speak in different ways, and perhaps I speak in a more plain speaking way. But in my years in parliament, I have seen clear thinking in an worldwide crisis overwhelmed by emotion and hasty judgments too many times", he said. "That very strongly is our front bench position". He said the United Kingdom has a history of intelligence mistakes, including on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and called for the government to act only on the basis of evidence - pointing out that Corbyn had also received security briefings. We'll get abuse for saying so but where British lives have been put at risk it is important to be clear about this.

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And he warned Theresa May not to "rush way ahead of the evidence" - highlighting the way worldwide crises such as the Iraq War had seen "clear thinking" overwhelmed by "emotion and hasty judgments".

"He was also a passionate campaigner for the NHS", Corbyn added, "and he said: "I have received excellent medical attention in Britain, I believe in universal health care and I'm not afraid to say so".

The PM criticised the Opposition leader's spokesman from the despatch box.

"He sounded too keen to find another explanation for the use of the nerve agent novichok in the attack".

Corbyn's spokesman later told reporters that his record on worldwide crises is bettered by no lawmaker in Parliament.

He said Theresa May was right on Monday to identify two possibilities for the source of the nerve agent - either Russian Federation authorised the attack or had lost control of the Novichok substance.

The Labour spokesman said the Government may have more information.

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"Yesterday, we agreed that the evidence overwhelmingly points to those two alternatives".

Media captionCorbyn: "Our response must be decisive and proportionate and based on clear evidence".

He also suggested that the nerve agent attack could have been carried out by Russian-linked gangsters rather than ordered by Moscow.

The backlash has now prompted reports Labour frontbenchers are ready to walk out on the left-winger over he and Mr Milne's response.

"There is a Labour tradition that understands that and it has been understood by prime ministers of all parties who have stood at that despatch box".

The spokesman said that during the "WMD saga" there was "both what was actually produced by the intelligence services, which in the end we had access to, and then there was how that was used in the public domain in politics".

During the course of the Commons debate, several Labour backbenchers offered the Prime Minister their support and condemned Russian Federation - including Chris Bryant, Hilary Benn, Margaret Hodge, Yvette Cooper, Ben Bradshaw and Pat McFadden during the course of a two-hour debate in the Commons.

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A Commons motion accepting Russian culpability has been signed by 18 of Mr Corbyn's Labour critics.

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