The Prime Minister and leader of the opposition sparred over Iran in the first House of Commons clash of 2020 Wednesday, where Boris Johnson appeared to back U.S. action against Qassem Soleimani and goaded Corbyn over money he received from an Iranian propaganda outfit.
Meeting in Prime Minister’s Questions, a weekly chance for the leader of the opposition and other members of parliament to interrogate the Prime Minister, the beleaguered Labour leader challenged Boris Johnson over his response to the killing of Qassem Soleimani by the United States. In what amounted to the strongest official British backing of U.S. policy in Iran yet, Johnson said the erstwhile Quds force commander “had the blood of British troops on his hands”, having coordinated bomb attacks on UK forces.
Prime Minister Johnson also hit out at Jeremy Corbyn for his attitude towards Iran, likening his theories about Britain’s relationship with the U.S. to “little green men” conspiracy theories and reminding the chamber that Mr Corbyn had taken thousands of pounds from the Iranian government in return for appearances for their state-funded Press TV propaganda network.
The Prime Minister said: “This is, of course, a leader of the opposition who has famously received £10,000 from Iranian Press TV. He should be in absolutely no doubt that we are determined to guarantee with everything we can the safety and security of the people of Iraq, where he would disband NATO.”
In fact, as Breitbart reported in 2016, Corbyn had actually received far more — £20,000 for the appearances — payments he dismissed as not “an enormous amount actually”. Despite the claim, the figure for five appearances was not far off the whole annual salary of a fully qualified nurse at the time he was doing the shows.
Boris Johnson continued his attack on Corbyn, pointing to his opponent’s refusal to condemn Qassem Soleimani: “And it is this government that will continue to stick up for people across the Middle East who have suffered at the hands Qassem Soleimani and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds force that he has led, and whose terrorism he has promoted. And I’m very surprised that at the end of these exchanges [Mr Corbyn] has yet to condemn the activities of Qassem Soleimani and the Revolutionary Guard.”
While Jeremy Corbyn has led the UK labour Party since 2015, it has been a difficult time for him and the party and he is due to be replaced as leader by April this year. As leader, Corbyn lost four major national elections he contested in 2016, 2017, and 2019, has faced a massive and ongoing antisemitism scandal, and repeated revelations of his historic involvement with violent extremists and dangerous regimes.
Among the top of the pack to replace Mr Corbyn is so-called continuity candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey, who believes what Britain needs is a “proud socialist leader” and despite the calamity of the Corbyn era, gave his leadership “ten out of ten”.