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Thu, 3 December 2020

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Gavin Williamson says Czech spy claims show Jeremy Corbyn 'can't be trusted'

Gavin Williamson says Czech spy claims show Jeremy Corbyn 'can't be trusted'

Liz Bates

2 min read

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has said Jeremy Corbyn "cannot be trusted" after it emerged the Labour leader held meetings with a Czech spy during the Cold War.

Mr Williamson accused Mr Corbyn of a "betrayal of his country" over the get-togethers with a "diplomat" from the former eastern bloc country.

A spokesman for the Labour leader has dismissed the story, published in The Sun, as a "smear".

But speaking at a Nato meeting in Brussels, Mr Williamson said: "Jeremy Corbyn has never had Britain’s interests at heart.

"Time and time again he has sided with those who want to destroy everything that is great about this country, whether it is sympathising with terrorists, backing rogue regimes, or cosying up to those who want to inflict pain and misery on the British people.

"That he met foreign spies is a betrayal of this country. He cannot be trusted.”

In response, Mr Corbyn's spokesman said: “Gavin Williamson should focus on his job and not give credence to entirely false and ridiculous smears…

"Jeremy has consistently made the correct calls in the interests of security and peace, including on the Libyan intervention and his opposition to the disastrous Iraq war that has caused catastrophe in the region and made us less safe at home."

The revelations about Mr Corbyn are based on documentation unearthed in Prague relating to the former Czech state police, known as the Statni Bezpecnost, or StB.

According to the papers, Mr Corbyn was first approached in 1986 by left-wing activists and agreed to further meetings.

The Sun claimed that Mr Corbyn passed information to the diplomat, including warning him about a clampdown by British intelligence on eastern European spies operating in the UK.

However, a spokesman for the Labour leader described the report as “entirely false”. 

He said: "Like other MPs, Jeremy has met diplomats from many countries. In the 1980s he met a Czech diplomat for a cup of tea in the House of Commons. Jeremy neither had nor offered any privileged information to this or any other diplomat.

"During the Cold War, intelligence officers notoriously claimed to superiors to have recruited people they had merely met. The existence of these bogus claims does not make them in any way true."

Read the most recent article written by Liz Bates - Jeremy Corbyn admits he would rather see a Brexit deal than a second referendum

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