Tory MP and Iraq war veteran Johnny Mercer says:
“Owen Smith’s suggestion that we should get ISIS ’round the table’ demonstrates his unfitness for leadership.
“Everyone knows negotiation is far more desirable than violence in any conflict, but to suggest it in this case, is to entirely misunderstand and fail to grasp the challenge posed by Daesh.
“His desperate attempts to out-Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn have led him to the view that barbaric murderers who behead journalists and lynch homosexuals are now the sort of people that we should negotiate with.
“It shows that whoever wins this increasingly bizarre leadership election, I’m afraid Labour just cannot be trusted with keeping us safe.”
Fellow MP and TA officer James Cleverly adds:
“Owen Smith’s Deash gaffe shows how low Labour has sunk. Whoever wins this leadership contest the real loser is moderate Labour politics.”
A rare Tory intervention into the Labour leadership race – shows how bad a gaffe this is…
UPDATE: Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign spokesman says Smith is soft on terror!
“Jeremy has always argued that there must be a negotiated political solution to the war in Syria and the wider Middle East, and that maintaining lines of communication during conflicts is essential. But Isis cannot be part of those negotiations. Instead, its sources of funding and supplies must be cut off. Owen Smith’s comments were hasty and ill-considered.”