Jeremy Corbyn has been a leading anti-war campaigner before and after becoming leader of the Labour Party.
On Friday, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the U.K.'s Labour Party, the official opposition, announced that he had refused an invitation from the Queen to attend a banquet, which is to be held for U.S. President Donald Trump during his upcoming state visit to Britain. Most media outlets have accused Corbyn of turning his back on Britain's relationship with the US.
Donald Trump is set to visit the U.K. on June 3 and is expected to be in the country for two days when he will meet the Queen and Prime Minister Theresa May. He will also attend a commemoration event to mark the 75 anniversary of D-Day. As is custom, the Queen holds an honorary banquet at Buckingham Palace for world leaders who visit the country on official business. All party leaders and the speaker of the house of commons traditionally attend; therefore, leftist Jeremy Corbyn was also extended an invitation.
However, Corbyn refused the invite, writing on twitter; “Theresa May should not be rolling out the red carpet for a state visit to honor a president who rips up vital international treaties, backs climate change denial and uses racist and misogynist rhetoric.”
He continued, “Maintaining an important relationship with the U.S. doesn't require the pomp and ceremony of a state visit. It's disappointing that the Prime Minister has again opted to kowtow to this U.S. administration. I'd welcome a meeting with President Trump to discuss all matters of interest.”
Corbyn’s refusal also prompted Liberal Democrats leader Vince Cable and Commons speaker John Bercow to follow suit.
British journalists and media outlets have long criticised Corbyn for his stances against U.K. and U.S. foreign policy. On Saturday, they expressed their dismay at Corbyn’s refusal.
The U.K.’s most widely read news source, the right wing Daily Mail, ran a front page on Saturday that read, “Corbyn’s Snub To The Queen.” They continued, “Despite his record of meeting terrorists and extremists, the Labour leader yesterday said he would refuse to attend the dinner with Mr. Trump at Buckingham palace.”
BBC North America editor, Jon Sopel, wrote on twitter, “A genuine question - why are Labour leader, Lib Dem leader and Speaker boycotting state banquet for @realDonaldTrump, with U.S. our closest ally - when they attended the one for President Xi.”
Prominent Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan also attacked Corbyn, saying that he met with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, but refused to sit with Trump.
Jeremy Corbyn has long been a leading anti-war campaigner before and after becoming leader of the Labour Party. He has been a patron of the Stop The War Coalition group, as well as the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Both of which are highly critical of U.S. foreign policy and Britain's close relationship to Washington.