IRA bombing campaign was completely wrong: Corbyn

IRA bombing campaign was completely wrong: Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has condemned the IRA's bombing campaign after coming under severe pressure about his links to the organisation.

The Labour leader said the IRA's bombing campaign was "completely wrong" because it killed civilians.

Mr Corbyn has come under fire over his association with the IRA and for failing to single out the IRA for criticism and instead condemning all bombing during the Troubles.

But asked about his reaction when Downing Street and then-prime minister John Major were targeted in an IRA mortar attack in 1991, Mr Corbyn told reporters in Hackney Marshes, east London: "Obviously appalled. I was in Parliament at the time, I heard the attack go off.

"And the bombing campaign was completely wrong because it was taking civilian lives and there had to be a process that dealt with the basis of it in Northern Ireland.

"And fortunately politicians in Northern Ireland, firstly on the national(ist) side, Gerry Adams and John Hume, privately got together and brought about the Hume-Adams accord, that moved on to agreements between the nationalists and the unionist side, which eventually led to the peace process which was a recognition of the shared history of Ireland from extremely different cultural perspectives and that led to the Northern Ireland peace process, which I think was the great success of the 1997 (Labour) government."

The Labour leader has faced repeated questions about his association with the IRA and Sinn Féin during the 1980s and 1990s.

On Monday he condemned "all acts of violence from wherever they came" during the Troubles, but declined to specifically denounce the IRA as terrorists.

On Friday, the BBC's Andrew Neil pointed out to him in an interview that the IRA had killed 1,800 people.

Mr Corbyn replied: "Yes. And people were killed by Loyalist bombs as well. All deaths are appalling, all deaths are wrong. There isn't a military solution to a conflict between traditions and communities. There has to be a better way and a better process of doing it."


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