Jeremy Corbyn defends asking question from former BNP organiser at PMQs

'Jeremy will continue to ask questions on behalf of people throughout Britain, across all communities'

Samuel Osborne@SamuelOsborne93
Thursday 05 November 2015 17:10
comments
Jeremy Corbyn speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London
Jeremy Corbyn speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London

Jeremy Corbyn has defended his decision to ask a question at Prime Minister's Questions from a member of the public after it emerged he was a former British National Party (BNP) organiser.

While putting questions from the public to Prime Minister David Cameron on Conservative cuts to tax credits, Mr Corbyn quoted a former activist from the far-right BNP.

At Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, Mr Corbyn said: "I have a question from Kieran, a veteran of the first Gulf war. His family are set to lose out, and he writes:

"'It's a worry to the family... There's fear and trepidation about whether we're going to be able to get by'.

"And he asks: 'Is that how this government treats veterans of the Armed Forces?'"

The "Kieran" referred to was Kieran Devlin, a former soldier who served as Northern Ireland organiser of the BNP, BuzzFeed reports.

Corbyn attacks Cameron on NHS

Mr Corbyn's press spokesperson defended him asking the question.

"Jeremy Corbyn has been using PMQs to put questions on behalf of people across Britain in an attempt to get direct answers from the Prime Minister," Kevin Slocombe, Jeremy Corbyn's press spokesman, told The Independent.

"Some are sourced from direct emails and some from members of organisations. Kieran Devlin's contact originated via the Veterans for Peace UK organisation.

"Kieran has rejected his previous involvement with the British National Party and has played an active role through Veterans for Peace in efforts to reconcile British Army and Republican veterans in Northern Ireland.

Anti-racism group Hope Not Hate reported he stood down as the BNP's leader in Northern Ireland in 2010.

Mr Devlin told BuzzFeed he no longer has any involvement at the party.

"His fears about the impact of working tax credit cuts reflect the feelings of millions of people across the country, including many serving soldiers and armed forces veterans," Mr Slocombe added.

"Jeremy will continue to ask questions on behalf of people throughout Britain, across all communities."

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments