Pays tribute to bravery of emergency services and members of public on London Bridge
“Real security requires calmly making the right calls at moments of high pressure” and can’t be done “on the cheap””
In a speech in York on Sunday, following Friday’s terror attack in London, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will praise those who responded with such bravery to the attack – and will criticise government policies, saying real security can’t be done “on the cheap”.
Corbyn will pay tribute to emergency services personnel and members of the public who put themselves in harm’s way:
My heart goes out to the families and friends of those who lost their lives in such an appalling and senseless act of terror, to the injured and to all those in shock at what they witnessed on London Bridge on Friday.
We all owe the deepest debt of gratitude to our emergency services – to the incredibly brave police officers who put their own lives on the line to save others and to all our emergency service workers involved in responding to the incident and caring for the injured. They are true professionals and our whole country is proud of them.
And once again, we saw extraordinary bravery from members of the public who ran towards the attacker and put themselves in harm’s way to stop him doing harm to others. You are an example to us all; we admire you, and we all give you our very deepest thanks.
He will also underline his commitment to keeping the UK’s people safe:
I will always do whatever is necessary and effective to keep our people safe.
First of all, the police who put themselves on the line to protect us will have the authority to use whatever force is necessary to protect and save life. If police believe an attacker is wearing a suicide vest and innocent lives are at risk, then it is right they are able to use lethal force.”
Corbyn will re-emphasise the importance of properly funding our public services:
It is our duty to look calmly and seriously at what we need to do to give people real security. Our public services are the glue that bind our society together. Community policing, the probation service, mental health, youth and social services, all play a vital part.
When those public services are cut back as they have been during the past decade, they leave behind gaps. That can lead to missed chances to intervene in the lives of people who go on to commit inexcusable acts, whether it’s during their childhood, their first brush with the law, their first conviction, or in prison through rehabilitation programmes.
Take the probation service, part-privatised in 2014, resulting in disaster. The most serious cases stayed in a justice system badly undermined by austerity. A failure to recruit has left huge staffing shortfalls and with staff supervising more cases than ever expected, posing a serious risk to our security.
Real security doesn’t only come from strong laws and intelligence, it comes also from effective public services that have the funding they need. You can’t keep people safe on the cheap.
And he will remind the Tories of their foreign policy mistakes that have made the UK less safe:
Real security demands more than the correct operational decisions by trained and properly funded professionals, it requires political leadership as well.
For far too long, our country’s leaders have made the wrong calls on our security. Their mistakes in no way absolve terrorists of blame for their murderous actions. The blame lies with the terrorists, their funders and recruiters. But if we are to protect people we must be honest about what threatens our security. The threat of terrorism cannot and should not be reduced to questions of foreign policy alone. But too often the actions of successive governments have fuelled, not reduced that threat.
16 years ago, I warned against the invasion and occupation of Iraq. I said it would set off a spiral of conflict, hate, misery, desperation that will fuel the wars, the conflict, the terrorism, and the misery of future generations. It did, and we are still living with the consequences today.
I was also one of the few in parliament warning against the NATO-led intervention in Libya in 2011. Britain should not have joined this conflict, which has created a vast ungoverned space, contributed to misery in the region and made us less safe at home.
The war on terror has manifestly failed. Britain’s repeated military interventions in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia have exacerbated, rather than resolved the problems. Now we risk being dragged into a further conflict with Iran on the side of a Saudi regime which is an enemy of human rights everywhere, prolonging a desperate humanitarian crisis in Yemen, interfering in its neighbours’ affairs and murdering journalists. This policy has not made us one bit safer.
Real security requires calmly making the right calls at moments of high pressure, often against the grain of conventional wisdom. That requires the courage and strength to chart an independent course when we think our friends and allies are doing the wrong thing.
It is time for Britain to stop being tied to Donald Trump’s coat-tails. Boris Johnson has been the world’s leading sycophant towards the US President. From climate change denial to unconditional support for the Israeli far right, from racism to confrontation with China, Trump is taking the world on a dangerous path.
Britain must make its own foreign policy, free from a knee-jerk subservience to a US administration which repudiates our values. Under Labour, Britain will have its own voice in the world, standing tall for security, peace and justice. That’s the path to real security.”
Only Labour has as its leader a statesman capable of the calm and measured approach that will keep this country safest.
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