Belfast Telegraph

Corbyn's IRA comments regrettable, says Keir Starmer

Comments made by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn about the IRA in the past are "regrettable" a leading member of the party has said.

Jeremy Corbyn has been under pressure about his association with the IRA and its political wing Sinn Fein during the 1980s and 1990s. He has himself said he was playing a role in building peace.

He has said the IRA bombing campaign was wrong because it targeted civilians. His Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott, who has taken a leave of absence from the position due to ill health, refused to say if she regretted pro-IRA statements made in the 1980s instead saying, like her hairstyle, some of her views had changed.

Read more: 'Lily-livered' Corbyn unfit to be PM, says Provo victim's brother

Speaking to the BBC, the former director of Public Prosecutions and now shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer was asked if he regretted Mr Corbyn's past remarks on the IRA.

"l think any remarks about the IRA are regrettable," he said.

"We have to call out terrorism for what it is and I have always done that, and the Labour Party has always done that. Jeremy has been very clear that public safety is the number one priority."

"I have prosecuted very serious criminals who are now serving very long jail sentences," the Labour politician said.

"The Labour Party has supported strong counter-terrorism legislation over the years and we have that commitment in our manifesto."

During the interview, Sir Keir also stressed, like Theresa May and the European Union has, that there would be no hard border in Ireland, if Labour handle the Brexit negotiations if they are returned to government on Friday.

Read more

IRA bombing campaign was completely wrong because it killed civilians – Corbyn

What you want me to regret? Labour's Diane Abbott pressed over pro-IRA comments 

Jeremy Corbyn's past views on conflict in Northern Ireland leave many questions to be answered

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