JEREMY Corbyn sparked fresh uproar yesterday as Labour said there was no “clear evidence” for a ban on Hezbollah.
And the party accused Home Secretary Sajid Javid of proscribing the terror group to further his “leadership ambitions”.
EPA Jeremy Corbyn famously referred to Hezbollah as his ‘friends’
The move came just hours after Labour MPs revealed they had been told they could oppose the Government ban in a Commons vote if they wanted to. The Labour leader called Hezbollah his “friends” during a controversial parliamentary meeting with them in 2009.
Mike Gapes – who quit as a Labour MP last week – said yesterday’s statement proved Jeremy Corbyn was “unfit” to be Prime Minister.
Sajid Javid extended a ban on Hezbollah’s military wing to its political arm on Monday – saying it was vital to “protect the British people”.
Jewish groups had urged Ministers to close the loophole as it allowed Hezbollah’s flag to be flown on Britain’s streets during marches.
The Home Secretary insisted the Lebanon-based Shia group was continuing in its attempts to destabilise the fragile situation in the Middle East.
It’s shocking but not at all surprising that Corbyn fails to stand up to appalling terrorists and anti-semites.Racheal McLean, Home Office aide
But Labour yesterday claimed Ministers didn’t have the evidence to back up their move and the decision would strain diplomatic relations with Lebanon.
A Labour spokesperson said: “The Home Office has previously ruled that there was not sufficient evidence that the political wing of Hezbollah fell foul of proscription criteria, a position confirmed by ministers in the House of Commons last year. Ministers have not yet provided any clear evidence to suggest this has changed.”
The spokesperson added: “The Home Secretary must now demonstrate that this decision was taken in an objective and impartial way, and driven by clear and new evidence, not by his leadership ambitions.”
Home Office aide Racheal Maclean said Labour’s stance was “shocking”. She said: “It’s shocking but not at all surprising that Corbyn fails to stand up to appalling terrorists and anti-semites who beyond any doubt seek the destruction of Israel and their allies.”
Labour’s London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Monday said the ban was “long overdue”.
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Tory deputy chair James Cleverly last night stormed: “There has long been cross-party cooperation on national security, but Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party continues to reject the values that once united people across the political divide.
“His refusal to back our decision to ban the antisemitic terrorist organisation Hizballah is yet another example of why even ex-Labour MPs think he is not fit to lead the Labour Party, let alone the country.”
Labour last night said it would not oppose Sajid Javid’s “overall” motion which also called for the proscription of Jamaat Nusrat al Islam Wall Muslimin and Ansaroul Islam.
Reuters The Home Secretary has sought to ban the Lebanese terror group
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