David Cameron attacks Jeremy Corbyn over Hamas and Hezbollah 'friends' comments

'He must stand up and say they are not his friends'


Ashley Cowburn
Wednesday 04 May 2016 13:18 BST
Anti-Semitism dominates PMQs

David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn have exchanged verbal blows in an at times brutal clash over antisemitism and racism in the House of Commons.

The Prime Minister launched a furious attack on the Labour leader, demanding he withdraws a previous description of Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends”.

In the exchange, on the eve of elections taking place across the UK, Mr Cameron quoted the Labour leader’s comments as a backbench MP, when he said he had invited "our friends" from Hamas and Hezbollah to speak at an event.

"He referred to Hamas and Hezbollah as his friends. He needs to withdraw that remark,” Mr Cameron said during Prime Minister's Questions.

He then directly asked Mr Corbyn: "Are they your friends or are they not? Because these organisations in their constitutions believe in persecuting and killing Jews. They are anti-Semitic organisations, they are racist organisations.

"He must stand up and say they are not his friends."

Mr Corbyn responded: "Obviously, anyone who commits racist acts or is anti-Semitic is not a friend of mine. I am very clear about that."

He insisted that the event Mr Cameron mentioned was intended to promote the peace process in the Middle East, and that "I absolutely do not approve of those organisations".

But Mr Corbyn then turned to London mayoral race, accusing the campaign of Conservative candidate for London Mayor Zac Goldsmith of "systematically smearing" his Labour rival Sadiq Khan.

The clash came as two more Labour councillors were suspended over allegations of anti-Semitism. Three were suspended on Monday.

Miqdad Al-Nuaimi, a councillor in Newport, South Wales, and Terry Kelly, who sits on Renfrewshire Council, have been suspended "pending an investigation", a Labour spokesman said.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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