Serious error of judgment by soldiers shooting at Corbyn image, says British commander

Serious error of judgment by soldiers shooting at Corbyn image, says British commander

Latest: A decision by soldiers to shoot at an image of UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was a “serious error of judgment”, a senior UK military commander has said.

Footage captured in Kabul, Afghanistan, shows personnel from 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment using a picture of the Islington North MP for target practice on a Simunition range.

Brigadier Nick Perry, commander of 16 Air Assault Brigade, said the Army is conducting a full investigation and wants to get to the bottom of what happened.

“This is a serious error of judgment,” Brig Perry said. “Let me be clear – the Army is, and always will be, an apolitical organisation.

“We have 400 soldiers from the Brigade conducting force protection in Afghanistan, and working closely with both Nato and Afghan partners. These soldiers are doing an outstanding job out there.”

There was no immediate response from the British Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, today as an Army spokesman said they are aware of the clip circulating on social media.

“This behaviour is totally unacceptable and falls well below the high standards the army expects, a full investigation has been launched,” he added.

The video shows a number of soldiers taking aim down the range and firing their weapons – the camera then focuses on the target and zooms in on an image of Mr Corbyn.

With a graphic of “happy with that” across the screen throughout, a number of marks can be seen peppered across Mr Corbyn’s face.

It is understood it was a non-lethal hardened wax substance aimed and fired at the image instead of metal bullets, with the incident taking place in the past few days.

The range is designed for and used by personnel to practise what is called the “guardian angel drill” – a force protection tactic.

Theresa May’s official spokesman said the incident was “clearly unacceptable”, and that the British Prime Minister was aware of the video’s content but had not seen it.

Commons speaker John Bercow also condemned the footage and said he would be “horrified” if service personnel behaved in such a way towards an MP.

- Press Association

Use of Corbyn image by soldiers for target practice is alarming, says Labour

Update 11.35am: The behaviour of British soldiers who used an image of UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for target practice is “alarming and unacceptable”, a party spokesman has said.

In the wake of the video being shared on social media – showing personnel shooting at a picture of Mr Corbyn – the Army has confirmed an investigation has been launched.

The footage captured in Kabul, Afghanistan, shows personnel from 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment using the Islington North MP for target practice on a Simunition range.

In response, a Labour party spokesman, said: “This behaviour is alarming and unacceptable. We have confidence in the Ministry of Defence to investigate and act on this incident.”

An Army spokesman said they are aware of the video circulating on social media.

Screenshot of soldiers firing side arms at an image of Jeremy Corbyn. Pic: Twitter
Screenshot of soldiers firing side arms at an image of Jeremy Corbyn. Pic: Twitter

“This behaviour is totally unacceptable and falls well below the high standards the Army expects, a full investigation has been launched,” he added.

The video shows a number of soldiers taking aim down the range and firing their weapons – the camera then focuses on the target and zooms in on an image of Mr Corbyn.

With a graphic of “happy with that” across the screen throughout, a number of marks can be seen peppered across Mr Corbyn’s face.

It is understood it was a non-lethal hardened wax substance aimed and fired at the image instead of metal bullets, with the incident taking place in the past few days.

The range is designed for and used by personnel to practise what is called the “guardian angel drill” – a force protection tactic.

Former soldier and Tory MP, Johnny Mercer, tweeted that “every organisation has good people who make serious misjudgements”.

He added: “It’s how it police’s itself that matters, and an inability to do that correctly has caused so many problems of late (IHAT). I look forward to a robust response.”

Labour MP, Dan Jarvis, who is also a former Paratrooper, said the incident is “shameful and utterly unacceptable”.

“This goes against the values and standards of the British Army. I welcome the Ministry of Defence investigation into this video and trust it will be resolved quickly,” he added.

Labour MP Lucy Powell said she is “absolutely shocked”, and that the behaviour of the personnel is a “total disgrace and utterly unacceptable”.

“Not least emerging the day after someone was convicted of trying to murder an MP,” she added.

It comes after far-right activist Tommy Robinson posted a photograph of himself surrounded by grinning soldiers in October – prompting another Army probe.

The former English Defence League leader also shared a video featuring Army personnel who cheered and shouted his name.

At the time, the Army said it was aware of the image and footage and was “investigating the circumstances”, adding that a “far-right ideology is completely at odds with the values and ethos of the armed forces”.- Press Association

British army investigating after video of soldiers shooting Jeremy Corbyn image surfaces

Update 10.25am: The British army has confirmed it is investigating after a video was shared on social media showing soldiers shooting at an image of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Footage captured in Kabul, Afghanistan, shows personnel from 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment using the Islington North MP as target practice on a simulation range.

Serious error of judgment by soldiers shooting at Corbyn image, says British commander

It is understood it was a non-lethal hardened wax substance aimed and fired at the image instead of metal bullets, with the incident taking place in the past few days.

An Army spokesman said it is aware of the video circulating on social media.

"This behaviour is totally unacceptable and falls well below the high standards the Army expects. A full investigation has been launched," he added.

The video shows a number of soldiers taking aim down the range and firing their weapons – the camera then focuses on the target and zooms in on an image of Mr Corbyn.

With a graphic of “happy with that” across the screen throughout, a number of marks can be seen peppered across Mr Corbyn’s face.

It is understood it was a non-lethal hardened wax substance aimed and fired at the image instead of metal bullets, with the incident taking place in the past few days.

The range is designed for and used by personnel to practice what is called the “guardian angel drill” – a force protection tactic.

In response, shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith slammed the video on Twitter, describing it as “shocking and completely unacceptable”.

“Right that the Army is carrying out a full investigation,” she added.

Labour MP, Luke Pollard, added that the actions of the soldiers is “disgusting and wrong” and that he hopes the Ministry of Defence “takes action swiftly”.

“The armed forces need to be outside of party politics. They serve the Government of the day – whoever that may be – and rightly so,” he added.

Shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, also criticised the video and incident, branding it as “absolutely disgraceful”.

She added: “I hope the investigation will be conducted thoroughly and the conclusions made public.

“Political tensions are heightened at the moment and this type of behaviour is wholly inappropriate and unacceptable, we expect much better from our Army and soldiers.”- Press Association

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