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Corbyn 'should apologise' over condolences for officer who survived shooting

Police have urged Jeremy Corbyn to apologise after he mistakenly told the House of Commons that an officer injured in a shooting had died.

The officer was shot three times in the arm with a high-velocity rifle but survived the attack in north Belfast and has undergone surgery. He is stable in hospital.

The Labour leader offered his condolences to the officer's family at Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday.

The Police Federation for Northern Ireland said it was a "jaw-dropping gaffe".

Chairman Mark Lindsay said: " I'm appalled that the leader of Her Majesty's Opposition should get this so badly wrong on the floor of the House of Commons.

"It was a jaw-dropping gaffe and he should immediately apologise to the officer and his family.

"Mr Corbyn was either poorly briefed by his staff or he's that much out of touch with what is happening.

"Either way, it's a shocking error to make and needs to be corrected."

Dissident republicans have been blamed by police for the petrol station shooting, with the "New IRA" reportedly claiming the attack.

Theresa May opened the weekly session of Prime Minister's Questions by "sending out thoughts to the police officer who was shot" over the weekend.

Mr Corbyn said later: "I join the Prime Minister in expressing condolences, I'm sure of the whole House, to the family of the police officer who lost his life over the weekend in Northern Ireland."

The DUP's Ian Paisley said it was "not, thankfully, the case" that the policeman had died in the shooting .

He added: "For the family and for police officers generally, could we have that corrected by the frontbench spokesman as urgently as possible so as the record does not contain the spurious fact that a police officer was murdered in Belfast."

Commons Speaker John Bercow said there was "no need for any further correction".

"It was an error. I recognise what he said about how upsetting that will have been, but it was a mistake. It has subsequently been corrected."

The DUP's Nigel Dodds described Mr Corbyn's mistake as "one of the worst displays of crass ignorance that could be imagined".

A spokesman for the Labour leader later said: "He meant to say 'nearly died'. Obviously, the last thing that was intended was any offence."

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