24 May 2018
East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has spoken of his disappointment after Jeremy Corbyn snubbed the opportunity to meet victims of terrorism during his two day visit to Northern Ireland.
DUP Spokesman on International Development and Cabinet Office
The DUP MP had extended an invite to Mr Corbyn on behalf of victims almost two weeks ago.
Mr Campbell said,
“Jeremy Corbyn is due to speak at an event in Londonderry. His interest in Northern Ireland over the years could not be described as balanced, but as the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition in Parliament it is important that he should hear a range of views when he arrives for his first visit as Labour leader.
There will undoubtedly be a focus on the border and as such I issued an invitation to Mr Corbyn to meet with people who live near the border. 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.
Jeremy Corbyn is well known for having avoided specific issues relating to terrorism in Northern Ireland. His answer that he “condemns all bombing” when asked about IRA terrorism is somewhat reminiscent (if different in scale) to his comments that he “condemns all racism” when asked about anti-Semitism.
This would have been a very useful opportunity for Jeremy Corbyn to demonstrate just how willing he is to meet people who live and work in border areas, but whose views he may not have heard face to face before.
Unfortunately having emailed the invitation on the morning of 14 May, hand delivered that invitation and personally invited him in a face to face interaction yesterday, I am still without any substantive reply. Yesterday afternoon Mr Corbyn's office emailed me asking for my direct number. I supplied it but I have never received a call. This appears to be a blatant and deliberate snub to innocent victims.”