Jeremy Corbyn Says Terrorism Is the Result Of Government Intervention
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has gone on the offensive on Friday morning, connecting terrorist attacks at home with Britain’s failed wars abroad. He has also pledged to reverse government cuts to emergency services.
The Labour leader claimed a link between “wars our government has supported or fought in other countries and terrorism here at home”, as he relaunched his party’s election campaign on Friday after the three-day pause.
Mr Corbyn stressed that his assessment is shared by the intelligence and security services and “in no way reduces the guilt of those who attack our children”.
He reiterated his longstanding view that engaging in wars like those in Iraq and Libya increase the threat of terrorist acts occurring at home. “Those terrorists will forever be reviled and held to account for their actions,” he said.
Vowing to “change what we do abroad”, he added: “An informed understanding of the causes of terrorism is an essential part of an effective response that will protect the security of our people, that fights rather than fuels terrorism.
“We must be brave enough to admit the ‘war on terror’ is simply not working. We need a smarter way to reduce the threat from countries that nurture terrorists and generate terrorism.”
In the speech, the Labour leader also linked the Manchester atrocity to Theresa May’s failure to ensure “the police have the resources they need”.
“We must be brave enough to admit the ‘war on terror’ is simply not working,” he said.
“We need a smarter way to reduce the threat from countries that nurture terrorists and generate terrorism.”
He criticized Tory government cuts to police budgets, which critics claim have led to the army being deployed to make up for a shortfall in armed officers.
Corbyn’s offensive could prove decisive in the June 8 election, with the gap in the opinion polls between Labour and the ruling Conservatives closing to just 5 percent.
A new YouGov poll puts Labour on 39 percent against a Tory lead of 43 percent – a substantial shift over the last few weeks.
Tory Security Minister Ben Wallace was quick to attack Corbyn over his planned comments, branding them “crass.”
“He needs to get his history book out. These people hate our values, not our foreign policy,” he said.
Since the Iraq War in 2003, deaths from terrorism have increased tenfold. Corbyn is right to call for a change of direction. pic.twitter.com/EWyXDxqe3d
— Ronan Burtenshaw (@ronanburtenshaw) May 25, 2017
“There will be more police on the streets under a Labour government. And, if the security services need more resources to keep track of those who wish to murder and maim, then they should get them.”
He continued: “No government can prevent every terrorist attack. If an individual is determined enough and callous enough sometimes they will get through.”
But it is Mr Corbyn’s determination to link the 22 deaths in Manchester with Britain’s involvement in the war on terror that is certain to trigger a backlash.
Labour shadow trade minister Barry Gardiner also weighed in on the debate.
“What Jeremy [Corbyn] is saying is that we need to profoundly reassess the way in which there are linkages,” he told the BBC.
“Libya is a country in which we intervened. [Manchester attacker Salman] Abedi is someone who fought against Gadaffi in Libya and was then radicalized as a result of that process.”