It is “remarkable” that Jeremy Corbyn would speak to terrorist groups such as the IRA, Hamas and Hezbollah without preconditions, but set a red line on the dialogue with the UK’s Prime Minister, TUV leader Jim Allister has said.
Mr Corbyn is now the only Westminster party leader who has not held discussions with Theresa May, after she held out an olive branch across the Commons on Wednesday.
The Labour leader has said he will not hold talks with the Prime Minister until she agrees to remove the threat of a no-deal Brexit.
Several of Mr Corbyn’s critics have pointed out that he has sat down with terrorist groups in the past without putting down any preconditions.
North Antrim MLA Mr Allister told the News Letter: “Between 1986 and 1992 Corbyn attended and spoke each year at the annual Connolly/Sands commemoration in London - an event which celebrated the wicked actions of the IRA which was still then actively engaged in terrorism against the people of the United Kingdom.
“It also openly supported what it terms IRA ‘prisoners of war’.
“Corbyn is also on record as describing members of the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah as ‘friends’.
“Having not only met but lauded terrorists as friends for the last 30 years and more it is remarkable that the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition would be so dismissive of an invitation to meet the Prime Minister.”
Conservative MP and Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood also criticised the Labour leader, tweeting: “Corbyn won’t speak with PM but happy to engage with Hamas and Hezbollah.
Tory MP James Heappey also tweeted: “Jeremy Corbyn has sat down with terrorists around the world apparently in pursuit of and always without preconditions.
“But will he sit down with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to tackle biggest constitutional challenge of our time without preconditions? Errr, no.”