‘THE WAR on terror isn’t working,’ Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, said in his first speech since the Manchester terror attack.
The speech outlined Labour policy in the aftermath of the Iraq, Libyan and Syrian wars, and their creation of millions of refugees and armies of terrorists. Corbyn declared: ‘Terrorists and their atrocious acts of cruelty and depravity will never divide us and will never prevail.’
He continued: ‘There is no question about the seriousness of what we face. Over recent years, the threat of terrorism has continued to grow. You deserve to know what a Labour Government will do to keep you and your family safe. Our approach will involve change at home and change abroad.
‘At home, we will reverse the cuts to our emergency services and police. Once again in Manchester, they have proved to be the best of us. Austerity has to stop at the A&E ward and at the police station door. We cannot be protected and cared for on the cheap.
‘There will be more police on the streets under a Labour Government. And if the security services need more resources to keep track of those who wish to murder and maim, then they should get them. We will also change what we do abroad. Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries, such as Libya, and terrorism here at home.’
He declared: ‘Seeing the army on our own streets today is a stark reminder that the current approach has failed.’ Corbyn added: ‘Today I do not want to make a narrow party political point. Because all of us now need to stand together. Indeed, carrying on as normal is an act of defiance – democratic defiance – of those who do reject our commitment to democratic freedoms. But we cannot carry on as though nothing happened in Manchester this week.’
He added a message to the armed forces: ‘I want to assure you that, under my leadership, you will only be deployed abroad when there is a clear need and only when there is a plan and you have the resources to do your job to secure an outcome that delivers lasting peace. That is my commitment to our armed services. This is my commitment to our country. I want the solidarity, humanity and compassion that we have seen on the streets of Manchester this week to be the values that guide our government. There can be no love of country if there is neglect or disregard for its people.’
He concluded: ‘No government can prevent every terrorist attack … But the responsibility of government is to minimise that chance, to ensure the police have the resources they need, that our foreign policy reduces rather than increases the threat to this country, and that at home we never surrender the freedoms we have won, and that terrorists are so determined to take away.’