Theresa May attacks Jeremy Corbyn over Saudi 'collusion' claims

Posted On: 
8th March 2018

Downing Street has accused Jeremy Corbyn of “twisting the facts” about UK involvement in Yemen after the Labour leader said Britain was “colluding” in war crimes there.

Jeremy Corbyn accused UK military advisers of "directing the war" in Yemen.
PA Images

In the Commons yesterday Mr Corbyn said UK military advisers were "directing the war" in the country between Saudi Arabia and Houthi rebels.

And a Labour spokesman went further - saying the Government should be held accountable for the deaths of civilians caused by UK weapons sold to Saudi Arabia.

Britain is responsible for the deaths of innocent children in Yemen, say Labour

Kate Osamor MP: Saudi visit puts trade deals ahead of the lives of millions of people in Yemen

Penny Mordaunt issues warning to Saudi Arabia over Yemen blockade

But a Downing Street source shot back: "It is now clear that Jeremy Corbyn is prepared to twist the facts about the work our dedicated troops are doing overseas in order to score political points - and that’s totally unacceptable.

"He should correct the record at the earliest opportunity.”

A report by Unicef in January claimed that 5,000 children had been killed in Yemen - where a Saudi Arabia-led coalition is battling Houthi rebels - since 2015.

In the Commons, Mr Corbyn called on Theresa May to demand an end to the military action when she holds talks Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who is visiting the UK.

"A humanitarian disaster is now taking place in Yemen - millions face starvation, 600,000 children have cholera because of the Saudi-led bombing campaign and the blockade, " he said.

"Germany has suspended arms sales to Saudi Arabia, but British arms sales have sharply increased and British military advisers are directing the war. It cannot be right that her government is colluding in what the UN says is evidence of war crimes."

And a Labour spokesman said afterwards: "We quite clearly hold the Government to account and hold the Government responsible for its support for this campaign and for the large number of civilians that have been killed and civilian infrastructure which has been targeted.”