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not backing down

Jeremy Corbyn is being attacked in the UK press over his 'refusal to directly condemn the IRA'

The pro-Tory papers have not been kind to the Labour leader today despite the fact he condemned all violence.

JEREMY CORBYN IS today fending off attacks from the British press after claims he failed to directly condemn the IRA’s bombing campaign during a TV interview yesterday.

A number of UK front pages carry the story with The Daily Telegraph’s splash headline reading: “Corbyn engulfed in IRA furore”. The Daily Mail’s headline reads: “Corbyn’s kick in teeth for IRA victims”.

While it is no surprise that the pro-Tory newspapers would use Sophy Ridge’s Sky News interview to attack Corbyn, it comes at a delicate time in the UK elections as the Labour party experienced a significant jump in the polls.

Despite all the outrage, Corbyn did in fact condemn the IRA. On Sky News yesterday, he said: ”I condemn all the bombing by both the loyalists and the IRA.” He also defended his close relationship with Gerry Adams and members of Sinn Féín during the 80s.

His apparent refusal to single out the actions of the IRA has sparked outrage among members of the British public.

“I wanted to bring about peace in Northern Ireland. You have to talk to people with whom you don’t agree. And I did.”

In the 1980s Britain was looking for a military solution in Ireland. It clearly was never going to work. Ask anyone in the British Army at that time.

“Therefore you have to seek a peace process. You condemn the violence of those that laid bombs that killed large numbers of innocent people and I do.”

Tweet by @/Twitter /Twitter /Twitter

Ridge continued to probe Corbyn over his apparent refusal to condemn the IRA outright.

He added: “There were loyalist bombs as well, which you haven’t mentioned. I condemn all the bombing by both the loyalists and the IRA.

“I don’t know quite the point you’re trying to make here. Those of us that wanted peace in Ireland worked very hard for it; that Labour government in 1997 worked very effectively to achieve that. It was the Thatcher government that, after the collapse of Sunningdale, went very much in the direction of a military solution which clearly didn’t work.”

The Politics Hub / YouTube

You can watch the full video here.

The news comes as Theresa May’s Conservatives lost some of their substantial lead over the opposition Labour party,  after both sides published their manifestos for the 8 June election.

The governing centre-right party is still on course for a comfortable victory, but no longer enjoys the 20-point lead that provoked talk of a landslide at the start of the campaign.

Newspaper commentators warned of a backlash against May’s proposed plan to address the rising cost of social care for the elderly, which could see higher bills for many people.

“Tory wobble as cuts for elderly slash May’s lead,” headlined the Sunday Times, as a YouGov poll found the party’s lead halved in a week.

The online survey put the Tories down five points at 44% and Labour up four points at 35 points, the closest gap since last year.

YouGov found 40% of voters opposed the social care plan, and 35% supported it.

Read: Michael D Higgins to meet Pope Francis in the Vatican today >

Read: Luas not operating between Blackhorse and The Point due to technical fault >

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