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General election: Boris Johnson is worlds leading sycophant towards Trump, Corbyn says as US president heads to London

20 min read

Jeremy Corbyn has told Boris Johnson to stop being the “world’s leading sycophant” towards Donald Trump, ahead of the US president flying into Britain this week.

“It is time for Britain to stop being tied to Donald Trump’s coat-tails,” the Labour leader said – accusing the government of failing to stand up to him taking the world “on a dangerous path.”

In a major foreign policy speech, Mr Corbyn attacked Mr Trump’s record “from climate change denial to unconditional support for Israel’s far right, from racism, to confrontation with China”.

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And he said: “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.”

No 10 is nervous about the two-day visit starting on Tuesday, for a Nato summit, fearing any backing by the unpopular president for his “friend” the prime minister will backfire in the general election campaign.

In the speech, Mr Corbyn, two days after the London Bridge terror attack, also risked controversy by blaming the invasions of Iraq and Libya for making “us less safe at home”.

The Labour leader said nothing should “absolve terrorists of blame for their murderous actions”, saying: “The blame lies with the terrorists, their funders and recruiters.

But he added: “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.”

On those previous wars, Mr Corbyn said: “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.”

And, on the Libyan war in 201, he said: “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.”

Mr Corbyn also said he would be willing, as prime minister, to meet with Mr Trump, insisting the ‘close relationship” with the US would continue.

But he suggested his first visit “in Christmas week” would be to Berlin and Angela Merkel, joking: “I would have thought a trip to a German market would be a really good idea.

Mr Corbyn announced that Labour would spend an extra £100m on UN peacekeeping operations, saying: “Our standing on the world stage and the resources at our disposal mean we have enormous capacity to be a force for international solidarity and peace.

And he confirmed a War Powers Bill “to ensure that no prime minister can bypass democracy when taking our country to war.”

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