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News > World

Corbyn Urges UK Gov't Against 'McCarthyite, Cold War' Approach on Russia

  • In a Guardian opinion piece, Corbyn said the UK should not jump to conclusions, warning against the “McCarthyite intolerance of dissent” over Russia.

    In a Guardian opinion piece, Corbyn said the UK should not jump to conclusions, warning against the “McCarthyite intolerance of dissent” over Russia. | Photo: Reuters

Published 15 March 2018

"We should not resign ourselves to a ‘new cold war’ of escalating arms spending and a McCarthyite intolerance of dissent," Jeremy Corbyn said.

U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn warned Theresa May Thursday to take a "calm, measured" approach and not "rush way ahead of the evidence" in connection to the recent Salisbury attack in which a former Russian spy and his daughter were killed by a Russia-manufactured nerve agent in southern London.  

UK Blames Russia for Attack on Ex-Spy, Expels 23 Diplomats

Former spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench in the city of Salisbury on March 4 and remain in hospital in critical condition. A police officer was also harmed and remains in a serious condition.

“This horrific event demands first of all the most thorough and painstaking criminal investigation, conducted by our police and security services," Corbyn said in an opinion piece for the Guardian. "To rush way ahead of the evidence being gathered by the police, in a fevered parliamentary atmosphere, serves neither justice nor our national security." 

Corbyn said the United Kingdom should not jump to conclusions, warning against the “McCarthyite intolerance of dissent” over Russia.

"The Russian authorities must be held to account on the basis of the evidence, and our response must be both decisive and proportionate. But let us not manufacture a division over Russia where none exists," Corbyn said, adding, "Labour is of course no supporter of the Putin regime, its conservative authoritarianism, abuse of human rights or political and economic corruption. 

However, that does not mean we should resign ourselves to a ‘new cold war’ of escalating arms spending, proxy conflicts across the globe and a McCarthyite intolerance of dissent." 

Corbyn also said, "We must stop servicing Russian crony capitalism in Britain, and the corrupt billionaires who use London to protect their wealth." 

We will be holding the government’s feet to the fire to fully back Labour’s proposed Magnitsky-style sanctions against human rights abusers, along with a wider crackdown on money laundering and tax avoidance."

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Further pointing out the ill-effects of wars waged in the world based on flawed, inadequate information. "Flawed intelligence and dodgy dossiers led to the calamity of the Iraq invasion. There was overwhelming bipartisan support for attacking Libya, but it proved to be wrong. A universal repugnance at the 9/11 attacks led to a war on Afghanistan, which continues to this day, while terrorism has spread across the globe," Corbyn wrote in the Guardian piece. 

Moscow-based RIA Novosti agency was quoted by BBC as saying Russia is also planning on expelling the U.K. diplomats "soon." 

Russia's President Vladimir Putin said he "will not take too long" to respond to the recent U.K. decision of expelling 23 Russian diplomats on Wednesday. 

According to the Russian agency, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, said, that the Russian authorities will inform the British authorities, as soon as they know more. "This is, in my view, being polite; this is how gentlemen behave," he said, according to the BBC. 

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the British prime minister for her "accusations" further adding they "made no sense." Zakharova said they were "absolutely insane accusations made by the U.K. prime minister against Russia." 

According to the Guardian, Corbyn has backed May's decision of expelling the Russian diplomats.  "We agree with the government’s action in relation to Russian diplomats, but measures to tackle the oligarchs and their loot would have a far greater impact on Russia’s elite than limited tit-for-tat expulsions," the U.K. Labour leader argued. 

Leaders from France, Germany, the U.S., and U.K. also issued a joint statement on the attack, calling it the "first offensive use of a nerve agent in Europe since the Second World War."  

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