Bomb widow: Jeremy Corbyn must condemn all IRA violence

Judith Jenkins
Judith Jenkins

The widow of an IRA bomb victim has warned that electing Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister “would not be in the UK’s best interests”.

Judith Jenkins hails from the Welsh Valleys, traditionally a Labour heartland, and was once a staunch supporter of the party.

But she has told the News Letter she will never vote for Labour again as long as Mr Corbyn remains in charge.

The Labour leader at the weekend condemned the IRA’s bombing campaign as “completely wrong” because it killed civilians.

Mrs Jenkins, whose husband Cpl Jeffrey Young was one of four Household Guards killed by the IRA bomb in London in 1982, said Mr Corbyn’s remarks were “simply not good enough”.

She told the News Letter yesterday: “Servicemen and police officers were on the front lines trying to protect people from IRA violence, yet Jeremy Corbyn has not stated that he supported these people.

“He needs to condemn all IRA violence outright, without these caveats. But I don’t believe he ever will.”

Mrs Jenkins asked how Mr Corbyn could condemn last week’s suicide bombing in Manchester, which killed 22 people including young children, but not condemn other acts of terror.

“Terrorism is terrorism, no matter where it is coming from,” she added.

“As you would expect, being from the valleys I was a Labour supporter for many years, but I haven’t voted for them in recent times and will not be doing so again as long as that man remains leader.

“What he stands for is not in the best interests of our country and I can only hope he is not elected prime minister.”

Tom Elliott, the UUP’s Westminster candidate for Fermanagh & South Tyrone, also slammed Mr Corbyn’s criticism of the IRA’s bombing campaign.

Mr Elliot said: “As condemnations go this is a very hollow one, because the obvious implication is that had bombings ‘only’ taken the lives of the military and police, they would have somehow been acceptable.

“There is also no mention of the IRA’s shooting campaign, which was directed against anyone who stood in their way, be they military, police or civilian.”

The UUP representative said Mr Corbyn’s remarks were “an insult” to those who died at the hands of the IRA.

He added: “Jeremy Corbyn is no longer a back bench MP on the fringes of his party, he is now the Labour leader who wants to be prime minister in less than a fortnight and his views matter.

“It is utterly shameful that it has taken the murder of 22 people in a Manchester concert hall to drag any kind of condemnation of IRA terrorism out of Jeremy Corbyn.

“The British people need to be fully aware of exactly what Mr Corbyn stands for.

“His record is there for all to see.”