Jezza Manages to Upset Everyone in Northern Ireland

Jeremy Corbyn is making his first visit to Northern Ireland as Labour leader today. He has already managed to annoy, well, just about everyone. And he’s only just arrived…

Corbyn’s decision to speak at Queen’s University, Belfast, where the IRA shot 29-year-old-law lecturer Edgar Graham in 1983, is being seen as a deliberate provocation. Yesterday the DUP called on Corbyn – once and for all – to categorically renounce and condemn the IRA. DUP MP Sammy Wilson has demanded he specifically condemns that killing…

Meanwhile, victims groups are incensed as Corbyn has declined multiple invitations to meet with them. Corbyn’s team actively ignored emails asking for a meeting until he was confronted after PMQs yesterday. Jezza was apparently too busy to spend time with those bereaved and injured during the Troubles…

Local business leaders are infuriated by the Labour leader’s ambiguity on Brexit. John McGrane, director-general of the British-Irish chamber of commerce, said: “It’s getting late in the day for continued vagueness.” Jezza faces an awkward showdown with business leaders tomorrow…

Labour’s sister party the SDLP are angry that Corbyn wants to leave the single market. The party has written to all Labour MPs at Westminster asking them to defy Jezza…

Outstandingly, Jezza has even managed to rile up his own Labour members by snubbing them too – he will not meet with any representatives of the Labour Party in Northern Ireland, his own closest supporters. LPNI’s Dugald McCullough said: “Some members feel it’s a snub”…

Jezza’s own party are also irked that he has not allowed members to stand. Labour does not currently field candidates in Northern Ireland but let the SDLP have a free run instead. Corbynista activists want their own ticket. Corbyn is annoying them by resisting…

Perhaps worse of all, Jezza’s key announcement – that he wants to resurrect the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference – is a highly sensitive and somewhat hypocritical intervention. The BIIGC is part of the Good Friday Agreement, which Corbyn’s own Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner dismissed as a “shibboleth”. Perhaps Jezza should have just stayed at home…




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John McDonnell tells the Gallery/Lobby lunch what the priest told him to do…

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