Jeremy Corbyn’s response to suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria labelled ‘unsurprisingly and depressingly weak’ by Labour MPs

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Jeremy Corbyn's response to suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria labelled 'unsurprisingly and depressingly weak' by Labour MPsJeremy Corbyn’s response to a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria was labelled “unsurprisingly and depressingly weak” by his own MPs as he failed to single out the Assad regime for criticism. The Labour leader said he condemned “all violence” and “all killings” as he appeared to put the Syrian government on an equal footing with other actors in the country’s civil war. President Bashar al-Assad is suspected of being responsible for a chemical attack on Saturday which killed 70 people and while Downing Street yesterday stopped short of directly blaming the dictator it stressed there have been “issues in the past with the Assad regime”. But Mr Corbyn refused to single out the Syrian government for criticism, prompting accusations that he was “too close” to Russia – a key backer of the Syrian government. He told LBC Radio: “I have condemned absolutely what he (Assad) has done, and what every other force has done in Syria. Douma chemical attack “I made that clear in a statement I put out last night. What happened is abominable and appalling. The UN must be allowed to investigate and all sides must undertake a ceasefire immediately and there be a political solution in Syria. The killing has to stop.” He continued: “I condemn all violence from wherever it’s come. I condemn all killings from wherever they’ve come. “I condemn the Syrian forces as well as other forces for what they have done in that civil war. My point is there has to be a ceasefire, there has to be a political solution.” Labour MPs were left exasperated by the way in which the party leadership responded to the attack in Douma, a besieged suburb of Damascus. One senior Labour MP told the Daily Telegraph: “This response is not only out of step with the general public but it is out of step with Labour voters who will be wondering why the leadership of the Labour Party yet again equivocates in condemning the brutality of the Syrian regime, backed up by Russia and Iran.” Syria chemical weapons Another said: “Labour should be supporting further action. The Labour leadership, or those close to the Labour leadership, are far too close to the Russians in my view.” Another Labour MP added: “It's unsurprisingly and depressingly weak and disappointing. To be honest I just despair.” A statement issued by Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, struck a markedly different tone to Mr Corbyn’s comments. "What has happened in Douma looks to be just the latest abhorrent attack in Syria using chemical weapons, a war crime for which the Assad regime has been found responsible in the past and which we utterly condemn,” she said.



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