Belfast Telegraph

Corbyn went out on limb with Provos all the time, claims peer

By Staff Reporter

Jeremy Corbyn's past support for militant Irish republicanism saw him go "out on a limb with the Provos", according to Lord Bew.

Queen's University historian Paul Bew was made a life peer for his contribution to the Good Friday Agreement.

While he ended up as an adviser to David Trimble in the 1990s, the Professor of Irish politics took part in the People's Democracy marches of the 1970s and was a member of the Left- wing Workers' Party of Ireland.

In Rosa Prince's new biography of the Labour leader, Lord Bew addressed Mr Corbyn's views on an IRA ceasefire.

In Comrade Corbyn: A Very Unlikely Coup: How Jeremy Corbyn Stormed To The Labour Leadership, the Belfast academic said that as a supporter of the Troops Out Movement, Mr Corbyn shared Sinn Fein's view that Irish unity need not be predicated on either consent or a ceasefire.

"The terms on which Corbyn was in dialogue with Adams was on the basis that Adams wins," he said.

Lord Bew - now chairman of The Committee on Standards in Public Life - also said that "Corbyn was always out on a limb with the Provos".

Others are also strongly critical of Mr Corbyn's stance on the IRA.

A former senior RUC officer told Prince that Corbyn was a "useful idiot" of the IRA.

"I used to look at him when he would visit Belfast in the 1980s, when he was running around with guys who had done some pretty horrible things, and think: Who is this guy? What is he thinking coming here?"

And a Labour MP also denounced Mr Corbyn's position.

"I strongly disagreed with the line he took," said David Winnick.

"I constantly argued that there was no justification for the IRA. I thought he was wrong."

Mr Corbyn was quizzed on his position by an audience member on Monday's TV debate. The man claimed the Labour leader had "openly supported the IRA in the past" by attending a commemoration for eight IRA members killed by the SAS in Loughgall in 1987.

Mr Corbyn said: "The contribution I made to that meeting was to call for a peace and dialogue process in Northern Ireland."

Belfast Telegraph

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