Tories launch fresh attack on Jeremy Corbyn over rally 15 years ago
Labour said Mr Corbyn condemned al-Muhajiroun “in the strongest possible terms”.
The Conservatives have launched a fresh attack on Jeremy Corbyn following a report that he addressed a rally attended by members of the extremist al-Muhajiroun group.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said Mr Corbyn’s appearance at the Trafalgar Square rally 15 years ago showed he was unfit to be prime minister.
However, Labour said Mr Corbyn could not be held responsible for all the views of the thousands of people who attended the event in support of Palestinian rights and that he condemned al-Muhajiroun “in the strongest possible terms”.
Sir Michael’s comments came after the Guido Fawkes website posted a link to a report of the event in May 2002 by the left-wing Weekly Worker.
It noted that there had been many Muslim contingents “mostly from the mainstream, who were at pains to distance themselves from the hard-line Islamists of the Hamas/Al Qaida type”.
However, it said there were also a number of “ultra-reactionaries” from organisations such as al-Muhajiroun, who chanted support for Osama bin Laden and “gas, gas Tel Aviv”.
“Two would-be suicide posers were dressed in combat fatigues with a ‘bomb’ strapped to their waists,” it said.
“This section accounted for no more than 200-300, but they made a noise far out of proportion to their numbers.”
Sir Michael said: “Jeremy Corbyn wants to be prime minister in just two days, but this latest revelation about his association with extremists shows exactly why he is unfit to lead the country. He has a long track-record of siding with people who want to damage and attack the UK and there can be no excuse for his decision to address this rally.”
A Labour spokesman said: “Jeremy addressed a broad-based rally in support of Palestinian rights. It was a public event and he was in no way responsible for the views of the thousands of attendees.
“Jeremy condemns al-Muhajiroun in the strongest possible terms.”