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Jeremy Corbyn can't be trusted over IRA 'sympathy', says Brighton bomb victim Lord Tebbit

By Nevin Farrell

Published 24/08/2015

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn

Brighton bomb victim Lord Tebbit says if Jeremy Corbyn becomes Labour leader he should be barred from secret Whitehall security meetings.

Lord Tebbit and his wife Margaret were injured in the 1984 IRA attack and he said Mr Corbyn cannot be trusted with matters of state security because of his links to Sinn Fein.

Opposition leaders are traditionally granted privy council status, which entitles them to see classified Government documents if invited to do so by Downing Street.

After June's terror attacks in Tunisia, Prime Minister David Cameron allowed acting leader Harriet Harman to attend a National Security Council meeting at Downing Street.

Questions over Mr Corbyn's alleged links to organisations such as the IRA and Hamas have prompted concerns over whether he can be trusted with privileged access, it was reported.

In the weeks following the Brighton bombing, Mr Corbyn invited members of Sinn Fein to the House of Commons, prompting Conservative Party outrage.

Now, former Tory chairman Lord Tebbit has said Mr Corbyn is "not fit" to be a member of the privy council, the sovereign's centuries-old body of formal advisors.

"The sympathy he has shown for terrorists from the IRA to Islamic State shows he is not a man who can be trusted with matters relating to state security and the safety of the realm.

"I would not trust him even to take a letter to the Post Office."

And a Sunday newspaper said Mr Corbyn is thought to have been monitored by Scotland Yard's Special Branch during the 1980s.

Peter Francis, a former undercover officer, claimed he spied on Mr Corbyn - and two other Labour MP colleagues, including Corbyn-backer Diane Abbott and the late Bernie Grant - throughout the decade, living in a police-provided undercover flat in Mr Corbyn's constituency.

Mr Francis said Mr Corbyn's file contained "extensive information.

He said: "It's not appropriate for me to go into the specifics of what was held on any of these MPs' files in the media.

"However, I can confirm that while I was deployed undercover I never came across Mr Corbyn uttering a single racist or indeed anti-Semitic remark. The police should immediately hand over to Mr Corbyn the file they created on him."

A spokesman for Mr Corbyn said: "Jeremy is opposed to all violence, which is why he backed talks to achieve peace, when others refused."

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