Belfast Telegraph

Poppy Day bomb victim says Corbyn should resign over 1987 motion

By Chris McCullough

A victim of the Poppy Day bombing has described Jeremy Corbyn as "a mouthpiece for terrorism".

Stephen Gault hit out after it was revealed that the Labour leader blamed the Enniskillen Poppy Day bombing on Britain's "occupation" of Northern Ireland.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that the Labour leader signed a parliamentary motion just weeks after the 1987 massacre, pointing the finger of blame at the UK Government.

The blast killed 11 people and injured another 68 after it ripped through a crowd attending a Remembrance Sunday ceremony.

While the motion expressed horror over the bombing, it also stated that violence in Northern Ireland "stems primarily from the long-standing British occupation".

According to records, Labour's shadow home secretary Diane Abbott also signed the statement, which called for Britain to relinquish control of the country to allow for reunification.

Enniskillen bombing victim Mr Gault told the Belfast Telegraph last night that the Labour leader should quit politics.

"It's disgusting that he would come up with this sort of statement, saying that the Enniskillen bombing happened because the British were in Northern Ireland," he said.

"I think that's totally outrageous.

"I think the man should resign from politics - because he's nothing but an arrogant mouthpiece for the IRA.

"That's how I would see him."

Mr Gault saw his father Samuel (49) killed by the massive IRA bomb in Enniskillen in November 1987.

The then 18-year-old was injured in the blast.

Mr Gault said that Mr Corbyn had "insulted the victims of the IRA".

"To me, Isis and the IRA are hand in hand," he said.

"There is no difference between them.

"What's the difference between murdering innocent people in Manchester now, and 30 years ago murdering innocent people in another UK town, Enniskillen?

"They're terrorists. They go out to murder innocent people.

"I think Jeremy Corbyn is an insult to the good politicians in the House of Commons and throughout the United Kingdom.

"He's not a politician: he's just a mouthpiece for terrorism."

Lifelong Labour voter and former soldier James Leatherbarrow, from Liverpool, said that he had lost all confidence in the party.

The 50-year-old was injured in the Ballygawley bus bombing in 1988.

He said: "I can't believe what Corbyn said.

"This is the man who wants to be the Prime Minister for the British people, yet he blames them for terrorist bombings in Northern Ireland.

"He is going to lose a lot of votes from British armed forces personnel in the wake of his remarks.

"I am proud to be British and am proud to have served in Northern Ireland, but I will not be voting for Labour any more."

UUP Westminster candidate for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Tom Elliott said: "This weekend Jeremy Corbyn said the IRA bombing campaign was "completely wrong because it was taking civilian lives".

"As condemnations go this is a very hollow one, because the obvious implication is that had bombings 'only' taken the lives of the military and police, they would have somehow been acceptable," he said.

"When one looks at Mr Corbyn's past words and deeds, it is clear where he is coming from and how he really views terrorism.

"Any normal person would have blamed the terrorists responsible for planting the bomb, but not Mr Corbyn, nor indeed his Home Secretary in waiting, Diane Abbott, who also signed this disgraceful motion."

The DUP's Sammy Wilson said: "Jeremy Corbyn and the cabal of Left-leaning apologists for a variety of terrorists who surround him have rightly been pilloried for their support for IRA terrorists and their attempts to pass on responsibility for the murder carried out by such people unto the British Government.

"Enniskillen was due to the fact that the Government sent troops to defend the people of NI from IRA terrorists, and the young people of Manchester were blown up because the UK Government intervened against terrorists who committed the vilest atrocities against Christians and Muslims with whom they disagreed in the Middle East."

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