Remembrance Sunday: Jeremy Corbyn hits the right note in Remembrance Day tribute

Jeremy Corbyn walks to lay a wreath
Jeremy Corbyn walks to lay a wreath

Many eyes fell on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn today as he attended the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph.

Before any Remembrance Day events this year there was speculation about whether the anti-war campaigner would wear a poppy - he had earlier refused to rule out wearing a white pacifist poppy.

But Mr Corbyn was seen wearing the well-known tribute to the war dead at the annual Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday, and again at the Cenotaph service at which he lay a wreath.

However, he faced some criticism on social media from those who felt he did not bow deep enough after placing his tribute. But he was also defended by many who felt the accusations were unfair.

People were also keen to see whether the life-long republican would sing the national anthem, after he did not participate in its singing during the Battle of Britain 75th anniversary commemorations.

But as he was standing next to David Cameron after the wreath laying, Mr Corbyn could be seen singing the anthem.

He then took up a spot on Horse Guards Parade, applauding as veterans made their way past.

After the Cenotaph Service, Mr Corbyn was due to also lay a wreath, and read a poem, at the North Islington war memorial in his constituency.

Mr Corbyn later joined a small gathering of locals at the North Islington war memorial to lay a wreath.

He said: “The problem of war is the trauma goes on and on, for decades and decades and for a whole lifetime for some people.”

Mr Corbyn called Remembrance Sunday a “traumatic” day for many people.

He said: “We have to mourn the dead and support the living, but also ... let us mourn all those that have fallen but genuinely resolve to build a world of peace.”

Mr Corbyn added: “The world is not at peace, the world is insecure.”

“There are dangers, there are threats and there are sadly millions of people who are displaced and desperate, seeking refuge.”

When later asked about his anti-war stance and whether that meant his relationship with Remembrance Sunday was complicated, he said he used the day as a thought process to pay tribute to those who have died and others who worked hard for peace.

Mr Corbyn, who attended last night’s Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall, said it was fitting that commemorations were not just about the military’s involvement in conflicts.

He said: “It was also about those who have dealt with the Ebola crisis, those who have helped refugees in the military, and the positive work that can be done to build peace by people in uniform.”