Jeremy Corbyn pulls out of Sinn Fein event at Labour party conference

Labour leader criticised by his own party's MPs after it emerged he had agreed to talk at Sinn Fein event

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Jeremy Corbyn has pulled out of a Sinn Fein event he was due to attend at the Labour party conference, according to reports.

He had agreed to talk at an event organised by the Irish republican party, The Sun reported, but Labour party officials said he had pulled out of the meeting.

The Labour leader, who reiterated his support for a united Ireland earlier this week, would have spoken alongside Sinn Fein MP Paul Maskey and Sinn Fein Northern Ireland Assembly member Jennifer McCann at an event at the Labour party conference in Brighton on Sunday.

Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein's president, is a long-time friend of Mr Corbyn and welcomed his landslide victory in the Labour leadership race, describing him as a "good friend of Ireland".

Mr Adams tweeted a picture of the pair meeting in Parliament in July.


Labour MPs are critical of Mr Corbyn's stance on Ireland, especially given the recent political instability after all but one of the DUP's ministers quit the power sharing government earlier this month over allegations that Sinn Fein members were linked to a murder of a former IRA man.

One Labour MP, on hearing that Mr Corbyn had signed up to speak at the Sinn Fein event at the Labour party conference, told The Sun: "Corbyn keeps claiming meetings with Sinn Fein, Hamas, or Hezbollah are part of some one-man peace mission, but it's garbage."

Asked in an interview with the New Statesman earlier this week if he still supported a united Ireland, Mr Corbyn said: "It’s an aspiration that I have always gone along with."

Shortly after Mr Corbyn was announced Labour's new leader, Mr Adams said: "I have known Jeremy for many years. He is a good friend of Ireland and of the Irish peace process.

"I wish him well in his new and challenging role as leader of the British Labour Party and look forward to working with him in the time ahead to ensure that the gains of the peace process are built upon."