Belfast Telegraph

General Election 2019

Jeremy Corbyn government would damage UK's relationship with allies, say Army figures

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn

By Gillian Halliday

A former Army Colonel from Northern Ireland has warned the UK's position on the global stage would be adversely affected under a Jeremy Corbyn-led government.

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Tim Collins is one of a series of prominent Army figures who signed an open letter which claims that a Labour election win would have "significant and far-reaching consequences for Britain's security and global influence".

The letter, which appeared in The Sunday Telegraph yesterday, cites the Labour leader's "public history of direct and indirect relationships" with terrorist Islamist organisations, such as Hezbollah and Hamas, as evidence of a divergence in Labour's foreign and security policy compared to the UK's allies.

Mr Collins - a retired officer who grew up in Belfast and served in the Army from 1981 to 2004 - is one of the force's most respected figures, having come to public prominence due to his eve-of-battle speech he gave before the Iraq War in 2003 which was widely praised at the time.

Ten figures are signatories to the letter, including Lt General Sir Simon Mayall, Sir John Jenkins and Colonel Richard Westley, along with leading academic, Dr Azeem Ibrahim, who is a research professor at the Strategic Studies Institute at the US Army War College.

The letter warns that Labour's foreign policy in particular runs contrary to those of Britain's allies in respect of Iran, Russia and Israel.

"Consequently, there is a very real prospect that a government led by Mr Corbyn would compromise Britain's trustworthiness and reliability among our key allies," it adds.

Without trust from allies, the UK would subsequently find itself "frozen out" of "important security alliances" such the Five Eyes.

It is an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the United States, the letter states.

"We would therefore not be trusted to receive the vital intelligence provided to us by our allies that helps us keep our people safe and supports our role in maintaining world peace," it adds.

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