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Labour leader Corbyn faces fresh criticism for silence over Warrington bombing

By Rebecca Black

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been lambasted by IRA victims for declining an opportunity to condemn the Warrington bomb which killed two young children.

He also refused to say whether or not he would be prepared to meet with Colin Parry, whose 12-year-old son Tim was one of those killed in the 1993 blast.

Now it has emerged that Mr Corbyn has also turned down an invitation to meet one of Northern Ireland's most prominent victims' groups, Innocent Victims United.

Mr Corbyn has faced criticism in the past for his warm relationship with senior Sinn Fein members during the Troubles when the IRA were committing multiple atrocities across Northern Ireland, the UK and even as far away as Germany. Last December it emerged he had hired a former Sinn Fein staffer to his leadership team.

The Sunday Times approached Mr Corbyn on behalf of Mr Parry, asking him would he condemn the Warrington bomb, and would he visit the Parry family. He did not respond.

Attempts by the Belfast Telegraph to contact the Labour Party over these matters yesterday were unsuccessful.

Mr Parry, who along with his wife Wendy, set up a peace centre in Warrington, told the Sunday Times he wanted to ask Mr Corbyn about his views. "I would ask him a simple question: why did you hold the views you did back at the height of the armed struggle and how could you possibly justify that when they were attacking innocent civilians, children and grown-ups?"

Last night Kenny Donaldson from Innocent Victims United said his group had requested to meet Mr Corbyn four times, but had not received a response. "Jeremy Corbyn continues to treat the innocent victims and survivors of PIRA terrorism with contempt," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"He is the only politician that our organisation has requested to meet with (on four occasions now) who refuses to even acknowledge correspondence.

"Within the Labour Party are many honourable representatives who know and understand what terrorism is - Kate Hoey, Dan Jarvis and there are many others."

He added: "The Warrington bomb saw the murder of two children, one a mere toddler.

"What type of person cannot even bring himself to condemn the actions which brought about that death of his own fellow citizens? Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and the other quasi-Sinn Fein/PIRA politicians within the Labour Party's ranks must be faced down by the many decent representatives and members within the party and brought to heel."

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