Labour hit out at Tory link to Saudi extremism and under-funding of police
LABOUR LEADER Jeremy Corbyn has called out alleged Tory weakness on the issue of national security in the final few days of the General Election campaign.
Following horrific attacks in Manchester and London, Corbyn has called on the public to sack Theresa May for her role in cutting police number while Home Secretary.
Countering Tory claims that Labour can’t be trusted on national security, Corbyn said it was Theresa May and the Tories who had failed to ensure the safety of British citizens and he pinpointed the British Government’s dealings with extremist state Saudi Arabia as a cause that must be dealt with.
Asked whether he agreed that May should resign as Prime Minister due to the scandal of police officer cuts, he said: “Indeed I would, because there's been calls made by a lot of very responsible people on this who are very worried that she was at the Home Office for all this time, presided over these cuts in police numbers and now is saying that we have a problem - yes, we do have a problem, we should never have cut the police numbers.
“We’ve got an election on Thursday and that’s possibly the best opportunity to deal with it.”
Ex-Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Kirkham hit out at the Tory Government over its handling of police funding and support for security services. He said the Tories had been “lying” about support for officers.
The Tories claim they are “providing recording funding for counter-terror policing” and that it is not only frontline officer numbers that should be used to judge support for security.
However, the number of officers in England and Wales has been cut by 46,700 or 19.5 per cent since 2010 when May became Home Secretary. Labour have pledged to reverse 20,000 officer cuts if returned to office.
“Yes, we do need to have some difficult conversations, starting with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states that have funded and fuelled extremist ideology.” Jeremy Corbyn
Corbyn also called for a change in UK foreign policy, which has - for towards a century - been interlinked with the regime of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi have been linked to the funding of extremist groups in the region and across the world while being armed by Britain with hundreds of billions of pounds of weaponry and training.
“Yes, we do need to have some difficult conversations, starting with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states that have funded and fuelled extremist ideology,” Corbyn said.
“It is no good Theresa May suppressing a report into the foreign funding of extremist groups. We have to get serious about cutting off the funding to these terror networks, including Isis here and in the Middle East.”
Labour, the SNP, Green and Liberal Democrats have all called for arms sales to the Saudis to end - especially in connection with reports of war crimes carried out in the ongoing war in Yemen.
The Tories defend Britain’s partnership with the Saudis as a regional alliance that increases influence in the region, and strengthens a security relationship in what they describe as the “national interest”.
Picture courtesy of anastos kol
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