UK: Tories attacked for ‘fake news’ video edited to show Corbyn refusing to condemn IRA – when he did
Labour accuses the Tories of ‘smears, innuendo and fake news’ after attack video is watched millions of times online
By Rob Merrick
A Conservative video that went viral was edited to wrongly show Jeremy Corbyn refusing to condemn the IRA, sparking an election row.
Labour accused the Tories of “smears, innuendo and fake news” after the 85-second montage of various statements by Mr Corbyn was watched millions of times online.
In one interview, the Labour leader was asked whether he would “condemn the IRA” without also referring to attacks carried out by others during the Irish Troubles.
In the video, subtitled “On June 9th, this man could be Prime Minister. We can’t let that happen”, Mr Corbyn’s answer was clipped to a single word – “No”.
In fact, his full reply was: “No, I think what you have to say is all bombing has to be condemned and you have to bring about a peace process.
“Listen, in the 1980s Britain was looking for a military solution, it clearly was never going to work. Ask anyone in the British army at the time … I condemn all the bombing by the loyalists and the IRA.”
A Labour spokesman said: “The Conservatives are running a hateful campaign based on smears, innuendo and fake news.
“They do so because they have nothing to offer the British people and their super rich donors fear Labour’s plan to transform Britain for the many not the few.”
But a Conservative spokesman said: “We make no apology for drawing attention to the fact Jeremy Corbyn has spent a lifetime siding with people who want to do Britain harm, would weaken our defences and make our country less safe.
“We encourage all readers to watch it and share with their family and friends.”
The controversial clip comes from Mr Corbyn’s appearance on Sky News last month, when interviewer Sophy Ridge asked whether he could “condemn unequivocally the IRA”.
The Labour leader initially responded by saying: “Look, bombing is wrong, all bombing is wrong, of course I condemn it,” – prompting Ms Ridge to “condemn the IRA without equating it” to any other group.
The video also features Mr Corbyn talking about “friends” in Hamas and Hezbollah and proposing to “close down Nato”.
The Conservatives are paying Facebook to insert it into people’s news feeds, as part of an advertising blitz on the social media site, as election day nears.
Despite evidence of the Labour leader’s rising popularity, the Conservatives are still heavily targeting Mr Corbyn with nine out of ten of their adverts attacking him, according to one analysis.
One is subtitled: “A leader who supports our armed forces or one who wants to abolish them? The choice is clear: Corbyn and your security is too big a risk.”
A video includes a clip of Mr Corbyn saying the words “abolish their army,” taken from a speech he gave at a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament event in 2012.
In fact, he said: “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every politician around the world, instead of taking pride in the size of their armed forces, did what the people of Costa Rica have done and abolished their army and took pride in the fact they don’t have an army?”