Belfast Telegraph

Video: Corbyn backs same-sex marriage for Northern Ireland - watch full speech

Jeremy Corbyn has arrived in Northern Ireland ahead of a speech at Queen's University.

During questions following his speech, the Labour leader reiterated his party's support for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.

In March, Northern Ireland-born Labour MP Conor McGinn tabled a private member's Bill calling for same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland to be legislated for by Westminster in the absence of a Stormont Executive.

The Bill fell at the first stage after failing to receive the support of the Government.

Speaking to the audience at Queen's, Mr Corbyn said his party "strongly support" legislating for same-sex marriage, but he did not see much progress being made in its "current form".

Jeremy Corbyn is live at Queen’s. Tune in and join the conversation.

Posted by Queen's University Belfast on Thursday, May 24, 2018

Commenting on the visit of Mr Corbyn to Northern Ireland, Ulster Unionist party leader Robin Swann said the visit provided an opportunity to condemn IRA violence.

Ahead of his arrival, Corbyn was criticised by DUP MP Gregory Campbell for failing to meet with IRA victims families during his two-day visit to Northern Ireland.

In a statement after the Labour leader's speech, Mr Swann said: "I hope that he will finally state unequivocally that the IRA’s campaign of murder was completely wrong and totally unwarranted.

“I would especially invite him to acknowledge the fact that people like Ulster Unionist Assembly member Edgar Graham - murdered by the IRA on the Queen’s University campus in 1983 - did not need to die in pursuit of their goal of a United Ireland.

"The murder of an elected politician at a seat of learning should be a reminder to Mr Corbyn of the fascist nature of the IRA and its campaign."

It is his first visit to Northern Ireland since being made party leader three years ago.

In his speech, Mr Corbyn also ruled out a border in the Irish Sea, and emphasised the importance for businesses of maintaining the status quo customs arrangements post-Brexit.

He also called for the revival of a contentious peace process mechanism to enable the UK and Irish governments to work together to save powersharing in Northern Ireland.

Mr Corbyn will urge Prime Minister Theresa May to reconvene the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference - a body that offers the Irish a consultative role in non-devolved matters concerning Northern Ireland.

After his speech at Queen's, the Labour leader will meet with business leaders at the Europa Hotel, and will be joined by shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer for a round-table economy discussion.

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