Sunday 19 August 2018

Corbyn calls for united Ireland

Britain’s opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: REUTERS/Toby Melville
Britain’s opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: REUTERS/Toby Melville

Gordon Rayner

Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of "defying the will of the people" by expressing support for the unification of Ireland as he makes his first visit to Ulster as Labour leader.

Unionists said he was "plain wrong" in believing most people on the island of Ireland supported unification. They challenged him to meet the families of IRA murder victims and "listen to what they have to say" following his failure to apologise for his past support of the terrorist organisation.

Mr Corbyn is to speak at Queen's University Belfast where he will call on the UK government to revive the "spirit" of the Good Friday Agreement and revive power-sharing in Stormont.

His visit is likely to be overshadowed by the row over his views on a united Ireland. At the height of the Troubles, Mr Corbyn held meetings with Gerry Adams, the Sinn Féin president. In October 1984, he invited two convicted IRA terrorists to the House of Commons. He has since claimed he "never met the IRA".

In an interview shortly after he became leader, he said unification was an "aspiration that I have always gone along with". Asked on the eve of his visit whether he still held that view, his spokesman said "over the years" Mr Corbyn had "made his position clear that a majority of those people across the whole island of Ireland wanted to see that outcome".

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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