Simon Jenkins’s piece on Jeremy Corbyn and Nato is about as inaccurate and unfair as can be.
His claim that Mr Corbyn said he would not aid a Nato ally under attack is entirely inaccurate and prejudicial. Here’s what was actually said:
Q: How would you, as PM, react to a violation by Putin of the sovereignty of a fellow NATO state?
JC: You’d obviously try to avoid that happening in the first place. You’d build up a good dialogue with Russia to ask them / support them in respecting borders. We’d try and introduce a demilitarisation of the borders between Russia, Ukraine and all the other countries on the border between Russia and Eastern Europe.
What we cannot allow is a series of built up of troops on both sides which can only lead to great danger in the future. It’s beginning to look an awful lot like cold war policies, at the present time. We’ve got to engage with Russia, engage with demilitarisation in that area to try and avoid that danger happening.
Q: Smith says that we would need to come to the aid of a fellow NATO member who was the victim of aggression from Russia as that’s in the NATO deal. Would you do that?
JC: That’s in the NATO treaty. I would hope that we could strengthen our relations and activities within the OSCE , the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which includes Russia and every other state.
We cannot allow a military build up which is going to lead to some calamitous and incredibly dangerous situation.
Q: But would you get involved militarily?
JC: I would want to avoid us getting involved militarily by building up the diplomatic relations and not isolate any country in Europe to bring them ….(interrupted)
Q: Would you get involved if you had to?
I don’t wish to go to war; what I want to do is achieve a world where we don’t need to go to war, where there is no need for it. That can be done. (loud applause)
Saying he would take steps to avoid having to go to war at all is nothing like saying he would not support an ally.
Jenkins’s words are hugely prejudicial. Suppose people voted against Mr Corbyn on the basis of this lie? It’s highly unlikely it would result in us being lumbered with Owen Smith as Labour leader but if enough of these lies are allowed to proliferate, who knows what could happen?
A complaint to Ipso is in order, for all the good that might do. The article must be retracted and Jenkins should make a public apology.
What on earth is Jeremy Corbyn on about? When asked at last night’s leadership debate in Solihull whether as prime minister he would aid a Nato ally under attack, he said no. “I would want to avoid us getting involved militarily. I want to achieve a world in which we don’t need to go to war.”
The implication in this is that Corbyn wants to withdraw Britain from Nato.
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