Election 2017: Jeremy Corbyn says he will do 'whatever it takes' to defeat terrorism

Restarting Labour's general election campaign, the Labour leader linked the Manchester terror attack to British military interventions abroad

Tom Peck
Friday 26 May 2017 12:34
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Jeremy Corbyn said he would be prepared to do "whatever is necessary" to defeat terrorism
Jeremy Corbyn said he would be prepared to do "whatever is necessary" to defeat terrorism

Jeremy Corbyn has said he will "do whatever it takes" in the face of terrorism, in response to widespread criticism of his speech in which he sought to link the atrocity in Manchester with British foreign policy abroad.

In fresh remarks, absent from the speech that was briefed to journalists on Thursday night, the Labour leader said: “Do not doubt my determination to take whatever action is necessary to keep our country safe and to protect our people on our streets, in our towns and cities, at our borders.”

Mr Corbyn had called for a new approach in the "war on terror" which he said was not working, and added that intelligence officials shared his view.

Mr Corbyn said: "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."

Mr Corbyn has voted against anti-terror legislation seventeen times since becoming an MP in 1983. In 2011, he told a rally organised by the Stop the War Coalition: "I’ve been involved in opposing anti-terror legislation ever since I first went into Parliament in 1983."

He said then that new anti-terror laws in Britain posed a greater risk to security than the interventions in Afghanistan and Libya.

He added that questioning the UK’s role in foreign wars should not be cause for others to doubt his patriotism.

"We cannot carry on as though nothing happened in Manchester this week. So, let the quality of our debate, over the next fortnight, be worthy of the country we are proud to defend," he said.

"Let’s have our arguments without impugning anyone’s patriotism and without diluting the unity with which we stand against terror."

Mr Corbyn’s speech marked Labour restarting its general election campaign, and began with a minute’s silence for the victims of the Manchester atrocity and their families.

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