JEREMY CORBYN furiously lashed out at accusations of Russian interference in Labour’s 2019 election campaign as the former party leader ranted about the UK’s “obsession” with Russia.
Jeremy Corbyn has hit out at claims his party’s general election campaign may have been influenced by Russia. In July, the British Government accused Russian hackers of seeking to meddle with the UK’s 2019 general election. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also said there was evidence that the documents on UK-US trade discussions that were used by Labour in the campaign had been leaked by Russia.
In response, during an online rally, Mr Corbyn told viewers: “In the general election, yes it did become the Brexit election.
“You might remember in Sheffield, I brought out some copies of the secret trade talks between Britain and the Trump administration.
“Those secret trade talks to put our public services, not just our NHS, on the negotiating table for American companies to take over.
“Did the wonderful British media pick this up as a story of interest?”
He continued: “No, they claimed that I’d been given them by the Russians.
“Their obsession with Russia overtook everything else.
“Well, I simply say this, understand what happened in the past five years.
“But also understand that what unites people is opposition to poverty, to austerity and to environmental degradation.”
The former Labour leader was speaking at the Socialist Campaign Group’s virtual rally.
The Labour Party is currently holding its annual conference, although proceedings are entirely online due to the pandemic.
Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy admitted to Sky News that Mr Corbyn had failed on his policy towards Russia.
She said: “I think we got it wrong on Russia and I made a feature of this during the Labour leadership campaign because I felt that it really needed to be said.
“When the Salisbury attacks happened, we prevaricated, we equivocated, we called for dialogue at a moment when chemical weapons had been used on the streets of the UK.
“What that did was to let an authoritarian regime that has invaded its neighbours, that has interfered in elections across European democratic countries over several years, that has had an appalling record of human rights against its own people, against LGBT people, Muslims and other minorities, and used chemical weapons on the streets of the UK off the hook.
“We also let the Conservative Government off the hook because I believe they have been desperately slow to wake up to the threat that is posed by the current Putin administration.
“We should have been much quicker to act in relation to that.”