Jeremy Corbyn 'more than happy' to meet victims of IRA violence
Jeremy Corbyn is “more than happy” to meet victims of IRA violence despite his failure to do so on a recent visit to Northern Ireland, a member of his frontbench has said.
Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Tony Lloyd said the Labour leader will sit down with those who suffered attacks in the Troubles “if the victims want that”.
Mr Corbyn has repeatedly come under fire for his associations with Irish Republicans, and has been forced to deny that he supported the IRA.
He was accused of snubbing IRA victims when he went to Belfast last month to insist there must be no hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit.
But addressing the criticisms today, Mr Lloyd insisted again that the failure to meet them was an issue “of logistics in a tight programme that was already pre-organised”.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Jeremy made it quite clear that on another occasion he’s more than happy to meet them.”
The MP added: “Jeremy made it clear when he was in Northern Ireland that there’s no difficulty in meeting with them.”
Last month DUP MP Gregory Campbell accused the Labour leader of avoiding "specific issues relating to terrorism in Northern Ireland".
"These are people affected by the terrorism which blighted Northern Ireland for so long and whose views must be heard as part of any attempt to achieve a balanced range of views,” he argued.
But responding to the criticisms, Mr Corbyn said at the time: "It is absolutely not a snub.
"I did receive a letter from Gregory Campbell yesterday. We had already made the arrangements for this visit.”