Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to walk out of the meeting between the Prime Minister and opposition party leaders yesterday was somewhat surprising.
Apparently the Labour leader was unwilling to attend a meeting with Chuka Umunna, the de facto leader of The Independent Group. That he doesn’t like the former Labour MP isn’t a shock, but Corbyn has peculiar standards for who we will and will not talk to.
For comparison, here’s a reminder of some of the other people he has been willing to deal with, and his given reason.
Nicolás Maduro – whom Corbyn phoned live on Venezuelan TV in order to congratulate him on gaining power.
Bashar al Assad – to “pay tribute” to Syria for accommodating Palestinian refugees.
The PLO – when he took part in a wreath-laying ceremony honouring dead terrorists.
Hamas – whom he infamously called his “friends” at a Parliamentary event, some of whose leaders were also in attendance at the conference during which the wreath-laying took place. He justified meeting the terrorist group in the pursuit of “dialogue”.
Hezbollah – another group of “friends”, Corbyn recently criticised the Government’s decision to proscribe the political subdivision of the terrorist organisation.
Iran – he not only met with but worked for the propaganda arm of the mass-murdering, gay-hanging dictatorship, Press TV, for several years. He claimed he “spoke about human rights and justice” on the channel, though he continued to do work for them after they broadcast a ‘confession’ from a tortured journalist from his cell.
The IRA – Among many incidents, Corbyn invited IRA terrorists to Parliament for tea, shortly after the Brighton bombing, and took part in commemorations to honour dead IRA terrorists. All justified by the claim that he was pursuing “peace and dialogue”.
Czech ‘diplomats’ – At the height of the Cold War, Corbyn was allegedly content to meet and chat to extremely curious and conversational ‘diplomats’ from at least one hostile totalitarian state, Czechoslovakia.
Readers might like or dislike – and trust or distrust – his given reasons for meeting all those people. But is it really consistent to refuse to meet a fellow Westminster MP, while being willing to engage with all of the rotters and wrong’uns listed above?