Analysis News

In 2016, Corbyn forced vote against arms sales to Saudis. Boris Johnson – and Tom Watson – helped defeat it

Weapons sales to Saudi now declared illegal – but Corbyn was attempting to end them years ago

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has today called on the government to accept a court ruling outlawing the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia because they are being used against civilians in the awful carnage in Yemen:

Corbyn’s record on Saudi Arabian arms sales is impeccable. In 2016, the Labour leader forced a vote in the House of Commons on a motion to halt weapons sales and military support to that country in the devastation it was inflicting on Yemen:

Shamefully, the likely next Tory Prime Minister Boris Johnson voted against the motion – as did each one of the remaining Tory leadership hopefuls.

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson – currently the centre of a storm of scorn for ignoring Labour’s Brexit policy and his attempts to use the media to paint Labour into a full-remain corner – did not vote for Corbyn’s motion.


As the media and centrists push harder than ever to smear and undermine the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn continues to demonstrate his humanitarian and political credentials – even when it is against the odds and without glory, he has consistently been on the right side of history on vital issues.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here for a monthly donation via GoCardless. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. We need Jeremy corbyn on the right side of history when ridding the cancer eating away at the Labour party.The name of the cancer is Tom Watson and we cannot hope for any type of cure for such a evil and malignant force at the helm of the Labour party.Will not one mp step forward and rescue the socialist Labour party??

  2. Some seem to either not fully realise, or dismiss the notion outright that those same weapons could be used on israel one day.

    In fact, IIRC there was a time, during the first gulf conflict, when saddam was sending scuds to tel aviv, israel threatened to retaliate by bombing iraq.

    The saudis then told the coalition if israel DID indeed do so, then all coalition forces were to leave saudi with immediate effect…And I’m not aware of many (if any at all) positive changes in the saudi/israeli relationship.

    1. Ooops!

      Hadn’t finished. The point being that those who sanctioned the arms sales to saudi would never be considered ‘antisemitic’ but had it been Corbyn sold them…

    2. The Toffee (597) 20/06/2019 at 3:28 pm

      “And I’m not aware of many (if any at all) positive changes in the saudi/israeli relationship”

      Oh deary-me Toffee yet another illustration of how out of touch you are with current events. You really should try to stay in touch with reality.
      Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have any official diplomatic relations. However, news reports have surfaced indicating extensive behind-the-scenes diplomatic and intelligence cooperation between the countries, in pursuit of mutual goals against regional enemy Iran. At the same time, the Saudi relationship with the Palestinian National Authority and Mahmoud Abbas is deteriorating.–Saudi_Arabia_relations

      1. You really are a fucking idiot – now you’re going out of your way to annoy me?!

        I suppose you think saudi would stand by and allow israel to nuke iran? The saudis already have an agreement that pakistan will be the ones doing that if saudi is threatened.

        However, iran’s main target is israel, along with plenty of saudi-backed terrorist organisations. The saudis are happily playing iran & israel off against each other.

      2. The Toffee (597) 20/06/2019 at 4:29 pm

        “You really are a fucking idiot – now you’re going out of your way to annoy me?”

        No, I was simply pointing out that you were wrong again. If people don’t point out when you are wrong then how are you ever going to learn.

        I acknowledge that it may be annoying and embarrassing for you when people point out your ignorance of current affairs. However there is a simple solution, keep up with the news and check before you post that you know what you are talking about.

      3. No, I was simply pointing out that you were wrong again.

        Except I wasn’t wrong, nincompoop.

        Unless of course, israel is now fully allied to saudi?

        Does saudi still fund anti-israeli terrorist factions?

        Have saudi said they WON’T drive israelis into the Med?

        Would the sauds take an entirely neutral stance in another 6 day war?

        Oh, and how does a deteriorating relationship with abbas automatically make an improving relationship with netanyahu?

        It doesn’t, does it?

        So go on….you were saying, bellend?

      4. The Toffee (597) 20/06/2019 at 5:38 pm

        What a disappointment, although on refection I suppose it was expecting too much of you.

      5. Again – when challenged, swerve the subject and call the person challenging.

        Risible showing again, from the resident shithouse. Gives it, but can’t take it.

      6. The Toffee (597) 20/06/2019 at 5:56 pm

        I simply pointed out that you were wrong about the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Israel. You are the one with all the other claims and I really don’t have any obligation to answer your nonsense. If you want answers then do the work yourself it is not my responsibility to educate you.

      7. ^^^This from the gobshite what also demands I trawl through his post history to find evidence he’s wrote the words ‘disingenuous crap’ more than twice.

        The fucking nerve of the entitled wee prick.

      8. The Toffee (597) 20/06/2019 at 6:33 pm

        Perhaps if you learnt how to use the search facilities in Google you may not find it such an imposition. The absence of this phrase from the rest of my comments is the only proof that exits and the only proof I need. Your grasp of what is and isn’t proof is somewhat tenuous.

      9. Your grasp of what is and isn’t proof is somewhat tenuous.


        More total hypocritical bollocks and disingenuous crap from someone who claims to know exactly how labour voters (Even those undecided) will vote

        So go on plums, my dad voted leave and then labour…how will HE vote in cv or GE

        Do tell me cos even he doesn’t know yet? YOU DO THOUGH 🙂

      10. Toffee

        Christ, he’s annoying me too! The coward wouldn’t dare speak to you like that in real life. What a patronising, ignorant cunt!

        Risky behaviour for someone who’s had a fucking stroke!

      11. I’m still waiting for Toffee to give me details of the evidence he would like me to provide. Do you think that despite wittering on for several hours demanding that I provide him with evidence that all along he hasn’t a clue what he wanted me to answer and he was just trolling

      12. As SteveH says, a notable feature of Israeli policy under the extreme right has been a cosying-up to a number of less-than-savoury regimes. We know about Trump, obviously, and the reciprocation there. But there has been association with the antisemitic Orban in Hungary and – yes – Saudi Arabia.

        The politics of the middle east are far from straightforward. In this context, there aren’t just two sides or simply good guys and bad guys. Alliances are deceptive. Shifting sands and mirages.

      13. As a rider to that general point, it’s worth remembering that the key schism in the ME isn’t between Judaism and Islam, it’s between Shia and Sunni branches of Islam.

        Never forget the force of ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’. The intricacies of this can be pretty difficult to fathom.

  3. Were the arms, that the UK is supplying to Yemen, to end up in the hands of forces ready to protect Palestinians against Israeli aggression, there would be something to say for them. But the reality is that Israel, the UK and Saudi Arabia have been allies in Yemen, against Arab nationalism since the early 1960s when a military coup in Sa’ana, supported by Nasser overthrew the tyrannical Imam’s government.
    It was while Egypt had its best troops committed to supporting the Yemen’s new government that Israel attacked it in 1967.

    It is one of the ironies of the cruel war in Yemen that half of the country-in the not so long ago days of Empire was ruled from London. It was called the Aden Protectorate.

    1. Mad Mitch running wild. The SAS. We’ve been involved for donkeys years. The poor have never had democracy, most haven’t had tea or breakfast. ENOUGH!

  4. Saudi Arabia is the most evil country on the planet. No matter how bad North Korea, Iran and all the other bogeymen are, they can’t hold a candle to this terror exporting, child beheading, racist, vile shitocracy.

    It is no ally of Britain, the House of Saud is a malignant cancer on humanity, and Wahabbism is ISIS in practice.

    1. Hi dogpole, I can’t argue with that, except for one point. Iran is sadly controlled by hardline clerics, however the people of Iran are the warmest, most friendly and hospitable I have ever met, I have been to Tehran 5 times. Unfortunately they have no way of combatting their autocracy. Most of the young Iranians I have met are deeply saddened by this, and by the perception of Iran globally. And the food is fuc*ing amazing.

    2. Well said. The glorious days of the Saud empire will just be a sandy Disney land. And the young gun sheiks will be persona non grata at all the houses that cater to their tastes.

  5. Let us not forget the awful role of Labour MP Graham Jones here:

    Parliamentary scrutiny of Britain’s compliance with arms export control laws is the responsibility of the Committees for Arms Export Controls (CAEC). This cross-party grouping, which includes 18 MPs, is chaired by Graham Jones, a Labour MP who has criticised the “dishonesty” of NGOs reporting on human-rights violations in Yemen, written in support of Bin Salman and the Saudi-led coalition, and touted BAE’s “vital role” for employment and the economy in his Lancashire constituency.

    Dr Anna Stavrianakis, an academic researching arms licensing at the University of Sussex, who has regularly given evidence to CAEC, accused Jones of keeping Yemen off the committee’s agenda. “The government deliberately mobilises doubt and ambiguity when it comes to international humanitarian law violations in Yemen,” she told me. “And the chair acts in support of government policy rather than acting impartially to scrutinise it.” In an email to the Guardian, Jones replied that his critics were “far-left Marxists [who] back a violent, racist, Islamic fascist militia” in Yemen, and said he had been “at the forefront of discussions on Yemeni issues”.

    The full article is here:

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: