Jeremy Corbyn criticises British foreign policy following Manchester attack

Daniel Morrow

Labour leader attacks foreign policy and Tory cuts to emergency services in his first speech following the Manchester terror incident

JEREMY CORBYN has called for a “smarter way” to approach the war on terror, while attacking the Tory government’s cuts to emergency services in his first speech since the terror attack on Manchester Arena that killed 22 people and injured over 120 on Monday evening.

The Labour leader claimed that the war on terror is “simply not working”, aiming criticism at the UK Government’s previous military interventions abroad.

Opposition party members have condemned the timing of Corbyn’s comments, with a senior Tory branding them as “inappropriate” and “crassly timed”.

In his speech, Jeremy Corbyn said: “Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries and terrorism here at home. 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 terror.”

Corbyn used his speech to attack the Tories’ cuts to the emergency services. The number of police on the streets in the UK has been cut by approximately 20,000 since 2009.

“Austerity has to stop at the A&E ward and at the police station door.” Jeremy Corbyn

He said: “At home, Labour will reverse the cuts to our emergency services and police. Austerity has to stop at the A&E ward and at the police station door. We cannot be protect and cared for on the cheap.”

Security Minister Ben Wallace condemned Corbyn for the timing of his comments, calling them “inappropriate”, and accused the Labour leader of using the speech to score points from the terror attack.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Wallace said: “Jeremy Corbyn’s comments are inappropriate and crassly timed. Now is not the time to use this event to attack foreign policy. No one else is to blame but the terrorists themselves.”

The speech came as campaigning for the General Election resumed following the Manchester Arena attack on Monday evening.

All major political parties temporarily suspended campaigning in respect for the victims while allowing authorities time for their ongoing terror investigation.

“Jeremy Corbyn’s comments are inappropriate and crassly timed.” Ben Wallace

Twenty-two people, including children, were killed in the attack and over were 120 injured after an explosion in Manchester Arena’s foyer area following an Ariana Grande concert.

Eilidh MacLeod, a Scottish teenager travelled to Manchester for the concert, was confirmed on Thursday to have been killed in the attack.

MacLeod and her friend, Laura Macintyre, two teenagers from Barra, were both declared missing after the attack. Macintyre is in hospital in a “serious condition”.

Greater Manchester Police has called for people to phone the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789 321 or call the police on 999 if they have any information relating to the incident.

Picture courtesy of Chatham House

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