The Stasi Records Agency say that in their “most recent researches” they have not been able to find a specific file on Jeremy Corbyn or Diane Abbott. Guido can however publish the Stasi files on the Labour Party and the British peace movement collated by East German secret police throughout the 1980s. Under German law the authorities will only release documents naming people who are now deceased, anyone mentioned in their records who is still alive has to consent. It is in these files that the East German infiltration of Corbyn’s Labour Action for Peace group is revealed. Marked “streng geheim” – “top secret” – the documents contain evidence of widespread collusion between British Labour MPs and peaceniks with the totalitarian regime at the height of the Cold War. They were the Stasi’s useful idiots…
After PMQs Corbyn’s spokesman declined to pass on a Stasi archives consent form which, if signed, would disclose any and all information held by the East German secret police about the Labour leader. At the briefing for journalists after PMQs Guido handed the completed form to Jeremy Corbyn’s spokesman:
Guido: “You’ll be aware there is some confusion over the level of information that’s held in the files of the Stasi about Jeremy Corbyn… Considering your commitment to transparency on this would you possibly offer Jeremy Corbyn this consent form which we have filled in for him so that he can put the issue completely to bed about the Stasi… hand it to him and just sign it for us so we can get everything that’s there?
Seumas: “It’s very touching that you’re helping us out with our busy day but we’re not aware of any Stasi file held on Jeremy Corbyn and I understand that officials at the Berlin Stasi Archive Center have put in writing that there’s no such file. Of course we’re happy to…
Daily Mail: “Sign the form then if there’s no file?
Seumas: “It’s for people who think there is such a file or who are interested in looking at more Eastern bloc intelligence material collected during the Cold War about Jeremy and other people if they want to pursue that then it’s up to them. As far as I’m concerned and as far was we know there is no such file if you find out otherwise please do get in touch.
Journalist: “There is now a suggestion that Labour Action for Peace was infiltrated by German spies, Jeremy Corbyn was obviously involved in that organisation, was he aware of that at all?
So we’re asking co-conspirators if they can help. When Jeremy Corbyn comes to your town why not ask him to autograph the consent form? You can download and print out the form here. If he has nothing to hide, he will, right? If a reader succeeds we will send him or her a certified piece of the Berlin Wall!
UPDATE: Following pressure from the British presss the Stasi archives have released an unprecedented statement saying they have not found any records for Corbyn.
Boris Johnson was just spotted using what appeared to be some unparliamentary language in #PMQs in response to Jeremy Corbyn suggesting the Foreign Secretary briefed the media that the Working Time Directive would be scrapped after Brexit pic.twitter.com/kyuNwJXU0d
— ITV News (@itvnews) February 21, 2018
Doesn’t take a lip reader to work out what BoJo thought of that Corbyn question…
Stasi files obtained by Guido reveal that a peace group run by Jeremy Corbyn was infiltrated by East German spies and was encouraged by East German officials into promoting GDR policies at Labour conference and in the House of Commons. The group was also infiltrated by a spy from the Czech security service who stood as a Labour candidate.
Files in the Stasi records archive marked “Streng geheim” – “Top secret” – show that German spies and officials closely monitored and influenced “Labour Action for Peace” (LAP) during the 1980s. Corbyn was an officer of the group in the ’80s, attended their meetings, authored pamphlets, was its vice chairman at the height of the Stasi’s interest, going on to become the group’s president. The Stasi concluded: “The position of leading representatives of the LAP coincides with that of the socialist countries: The blame for the escalation of the nuclear arms race is borne by the US and its NATO allies.”
The Stasi records released to Guido show East German officials met with Labour MP members of LAP, encouraged them to support GDR policies and were delighted with the results of their lobbying efforts. Stasi officers infiltrated LAP meetings and reported that East German officials were sent on a “mission” to convince Labour MPs to back their policies. In a Stasi report about an LAP delegation’s visit to East Germany dated 21 February 1987, a Stasi officer writes:
“The main objective of the mission is to further consolidate the traditionally good relations with the LAP and to continue the exchange of views and information”
Following the meetings, the Stasi officer concluded that “representatives of the LAP take up positions on fundamental issues that are largely in line with those of the socialist states”. This was at time of great tension between NATO and Warsaw Pact countries. The Stasi reports claim that following their lobbying attempts a Labour MP on the delegation proposed a Commons motion in support of East German policies:
“The proposal for a framework program for the creation of chemical free zones in Europe prepared by the SED and the SPD received considerable attention among UK Labour MPs. William McCelvey MP, who is also chairman of the LAP, initiated a signature campaign in the House of Commons in support of the SED and SPD initiative.”
The files show the Stasi took a keen interest in resolutions at Labour Party conference, believing they could influence the policies of the next UK government. The Stasi said this meant Corbyn’s LAP group was of “special importance” to East German spies:
“Under the present conditions, with resolutions at the Labour Party’s annual conference from Sept. 28 to Oct. 3 preparing for the upcoming election campaign and focusing on the party’s security policy and a future Labour government, the Activity of the LAP of special importance.”
The Secretary of LAP, Cynthia Roberts, who stood as a Labour parliamentary candidate, was outed as a spy for the Czechoslovakian secret service Statni Bezpecnost (StB). After the KGB’s London head of station Oleg Gordievsky defected in 1985, Roberts fled to Prague, presumably because she feared she was about to be exposed.
It is well known that spies for Warsaw Pact regimes targeted the British peace movement in the ’80s, Ján Sarkocy’s key role was to infiltrate and directly influence the peace movement in order to weaken NATO. It was a sensible strategy – Corbyn and his LAP fellow travelers would not have taken much convincing of the merits of the East German and Czech positions on unilateral disarmament. There are several questions for Corbyn to answer;
Most of all, why was a group with which Corbyn had considerable involvement so close to spies for two hostile totalitarian regimes at the height of the Cold War?
Oral Questions to the Prime Minister
Q1 Ruth Cadbury (Brentford and Isleworth) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 21 February.
Q2 Eddie Hughes (Walsall North)
Q3 Kevin Foster (Torbay)
Q4 Angela Smith (Penistone and Stocksbridge)
Q5 Anna Turley (Redcar)
Q6 Chris Bryant (Rhondda)
Q7 Chris Green (Bolton West)
Q8 Alan Brown (Kilmarnock and Loudoun)
Q9 Andrea Jenkyns (Morley and Outwood)
Q10 Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn)
Q11 Mr Steve Reed (Croydon North)
Q12 David Linden (Glasgow East)
Q13 Alison Thewliss (Glasgow Central)
Q14 Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak)
Q15 Paul Scully (Sutton and Cheam)
Comments in the comments…
BBC News World Affairs Editor John Simpson publicly defended Oxfam on the day its executives appeared before a parliamentary select committee – which was a major news item on the Beeb. Simpson, who is paid up to £200,000-a-year by the taxpayer and is bound by the same impartiality rules as any BBC journalist, said of the charity: “I for one am not abandoning it now”. What is going on at the BBC at the moment?