Jeremy Corbyn declines to say whether he would ever support military action against Islamic extremists

The Labour leader says the question is 'hypothetical'

Jon Stone
Monday 16 November 2015 19:04
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Jeremy Corbyn being interviewed for BBC Newsnight
Jeremy Corbyn being interviewed for BBC Newsnight

Jeremy Corbyn has refused to outline circumstances in which he would support military action against Islamic extremists.

The Labour leader was asked in an interview for BBC Newsnight if he would ever support such a policy but replied that it was a “hypothetical question”.

“Would you ever support any kind of military action against Islamic extremists?” he was asked by interviewer Lauran Kuenssberg.

“I think I would support security measures, policing measures to deal with these issues, but I think we have to be careful: if we act illegally and internationally, we stand by our own law and international law and the charter of the United Nations,” he replied.

“If we start doing random acts without a legal backing for them then we don’t strengthen our position.”

Asked the same question again, he said: “I think that’s a hypothetical question at this stage. The point is that at the present time the issue of the bombing of Syria does not seem to be the right way forward on this so I do not support it at this stage.”

“I’m not saying I would or I wouldn’t. I’m saying it’s a hypothetical question at this stage.”

Mr Corbyn has said the Isis militant group should be dealt with by coming to a political solution in Syria rather than by Western military intervention.

The Labour leader has also called on the Government to stop cuts to the police force in order to help protect the UK from attack.

He warned during an earlier interview today with ITV1’s Lorraine programme that a military response in Syria prompted by the attacks could cause “more conflict, more mayhem, and more loss”

Mr Corbyn said the UK had to ask “big questions” about what was fuelling the conflict in the region.

David Cameron has said he wants British warplanes to join French and American warplanes attacking the Isis militant group in Syria. They are currently dropping bombs in Iraq.

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