Tory attack video filled with lies


A smear campaign against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn by the British Conservative Party took a sinister turn this week after the party promoted a “fake news” attack video over his views on the conflict in Ireland.

The video was edited to show Jeremy Corbyn refusing to condemn the IRA, when in fact the Labour leader said: “I condemn all the bombing by the loyalists and the IRA.”

Efforts to demonise Mr Corbyn (pictured with Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness in 1995) for his progressive stance on dialogue with Sinn Fein when the peace process was in its early stages have been turned against the veteran left-winger by Tories increasingly desperate to stem a surge of support for the Labour leader.

The 85-second montage of Mr Corbyn’s quotes has been circulating online for the last week and has been viewed 5.3m times, three times more than any other political campaign video. The Conservatives are also paying Facebook to insert it into people’s news feeds. It is subtitled: “On June 9th, this man could be Prime Minister. We can’t let that happen.”

It includes a clip from Mr Corbyn’s appearance on Sky News last month when interviewer Sophy Ridge asked whether he could “condemn unequivocally the IRA”. The Labour leader said: “Look, bombing is wrong, all bombing is wrong, of course I condemn it.” Ridge responded: “But you’re condemning all bombing, can you condemn the IRA without equating it to.” The Labour leader said: “No.”

The clip was cut off there but the full quote was: “No, I think what you have to say is all bombing has to be condemned and you have to bring about a peace process. Listen, in the 1980s Britain was looking for a military solution, it clearly was never going to work. Ask anyone in the British army at the time... I condemn all the bombing by the loyalists and the IRA.”

Because it is on Facebook, the film is beyond the reach of election broadcast regulators, which can only consider complaints about “unjust or unfair treatment of individuals or organisations” in TV party broadcasts.

Another Facebook advert paid for by the Conservatives claims Mr Corbyn wants to abolish Britain’s armed forces, another untruth.

The Tory media has also been busy, recruiting the services of IRA informer Sean O’Callaghan, a serial liar to both state forces and the media, to falsely depict Mr Corbyn as an IRA “cheerleader”.

“The Conservatives are running a hateful campaign based on smears, innuendo and fake news,” said a spokesman for Mr Corbyn. “They do so because they have nothing to offer the British people and their super-rich donors fear Labour’s plan to transform Britain for the many not the few.”

A recent poll has suggested that Labour has cut the Conservatives’ lead to just three points, putting the result into possible hung parliament territory if repeated in a week’s time.

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