Jeremy Corbyn 'was a useful idiot to the Soviet Union', claims Liam Fox
Jeremy Corbyn and fellow Labour leftwingers were "useful idiots" for the Soviet Union during the Cold War, Liam Fox claimed today.
The International Trade Secretary's remarks came as he repeatedly refused to say whether Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson should apologise for saying that the Labour leader had "betrayed" the UK by meeting a Czech spy during the 1980s.
"I don't think I would use the word betrayal, but I certainly think the Labour left were the Soviet Union's useful idiots during that period," Dr Fox told the Andrew Marr Show.
"This is part of the lively debate that we have. It's not necessarily a word I would use but I certainly believe and I think it's true that Jeremy Corbyn and others were very useful to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, because they undermined the arguments of the West.
"I think in the broadest sense he was undermining the security of our country by siding with the Soviet Union in that argument, I think that was very damaging to the country. Luckily it was our side of the argument, not Jeremy Corbyn's, that won the day.
Pressed again on whether Mr Williamson should apologise for the "betrayal" remark, Dr Fox said:
"I think he certainly undermined, the Labour left were undermining the security of the United Kingdom by their one-sided disarmament and their very clear preference for a Soviet-style communism during that period."
His remarks were echoed by fellow Brexiteer Andrea Leadsom, who told ITV's Peston on Sunday: "It is concerning that somebody who would like to lead this country seems to have some very odd friends who would not be seen to be friends with this country."
BEN BRADLEY APOLOGY
The latest salvo comes after Conservative vice chair Ben Bradley issued an apology to Mr Corbyn for claiming he had "sold secrets to communist spies".
“I am very sorry for publishing this untrue and false statement and I have no hesitation in offering my unreserved and unconditional apology to Jeremy Corbyn for the distress I have caused him," Mr Bradley said in a statement.
As well as publishing the apology, the Mansfield MP has agreed to donate money to a food bank in his constituency.