Last Friday, the BBC’s Andrew Neil frustrated a majority of viewer and even the press by spending the bulk of his half-hour interview with Jeremy Corbyn on the topic of the IRA. Others have done similarly and it’s to be expected that Jeremy Paxman will do more than touch on the topic tonight.
One of the main questions that keeps being used is whether Corbyn will condemn IRA violence specifically. Corbyn will answer, because it’s true, that he condemns all bombings.
But he has, in fact, condemned IRA violence specifically. Parliament even has it on record.
In 1994, Labour MP David Winnick proposed an EDM (Early Day Motion) in the Commons commemorating the victims of the IRA bombing in Birmingham 20 years earlier.
The wording of the motion is unequivocal:
That this House notes that it is 20 years since the mass killings of 21 people in Birmingham as a result of terrorist violence; deplores that such an atrocity occurred and again extends its deepest sympathy to the relatives of those murdered and also to all those injured; and strongly hopes that the present cessation of violence by the paramilitary organisations in Northern Ireland will be permanent and thus ensure that such an atrocity as took place in Birmingham as well as the killings in many other places both in Northern Ireland itself and Great Britain will never occur again.
Jeremy Corbyn – who had helped bring about the ceasefire – is one of the sponsors of that EDM:
Debate over, or should be. Whether it will be, I guess we’ll see when Corbyn meets Paxman tonight.
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