Victims of IRA violence demand meeting with Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell

Posted On: 
11th December 2019

More than 100 victims of IRA violence have written to Jeremy Corbyn demanding that he and John McDonnell meet them.

Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have been invited to meet victims of IRA violence.
PA Images

The move comes two months after they called on the senior Labour figures to condemn the actions of Republican gunmen during the Troubles.

Mr Corbyn has been criticised in the past for his association with senior members of Sinn Fein during the IRA's bombing campaign, but has insisted he was working towards peace.

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Meanwhile, Shadow Chancellor Mr McDonnell was forced to apologise for saying IRA members should be "honoured".

In their letter the 102 victims said: "On October 13th we wrote to you asking for you to unequivocally condemn IRA terrorists and to apologise for your support for violent republicanism.

"The letter was signed by nearly 40 victims of IRA terror attacks but we have received no reply.

"We are writing again to seek a meeting with you which would give you and John McDonnell, the opportunity to meet victims of IRA atrocities and to hear firsthand about the lasting impact of terrorism on innocent families.”

Mark Tipper, whose brother Simon was one of four soldiers killed in the Hyde Park bombing in 1982, said: "We want a meeting to tell him how we feel. We could wake up on Friday morning and Corbyn could be Prime Minister. 

"But to people like me, and to other victims, it feels like he supports terrorists more than the victims and more than the ordinary people of this country."

Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Tony Lloyd last year said Mr Corbyn would be "more than happy" to meet with the victims of IRA violence.

Speaking after the Labour leader was criticised for failing to do so on a visit to Northern Ireland, he said: "Jeremy made it clear when he was in Northern Ireland that there’s no difficulty in meeting with them."

Labour has been approached for comment.