In news that throws more huge questions over the British government’s response to a nerve agent attack which left former double agent Sergei Skripal, his daughter and a policeman in critical conditions in hospital last week, Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May reportedly refused to allow Jeremy Corbyn access to vital British intelligence over the attack.
The Labour leader was refused access to the same top level briefings that David Cameron allowed Ed Miliband to receive in the run up the the vote over proposed military action in Syria in 2013, according to The Times.
Whilst a generic intelligence briefing was extended to Jeremy Corbyn as per the terms of his membership of the privy council, he was denied access to high-level information surrounding the attack briefed to the government in a national security council meeting held this week.
Both Mr Corbyn and his Chief of Staff Karie Murphy were not invited to the meeting – a move by Theresa May which goes a long way to explaining why Jeremy Corbyn was unable to draw the same conclusions over Russia’s alleged culpability in the nerve agent attack that the government have already drawn.
Downing Street also refused to comment to requests made by The Times over their refusal to allow Jeremy Corbyn access to the intelligence.
The news that the government has denied Jeremy Corbyn access to all the information throws up huge questions over the Tories’ handling of the situation.
Did the government intentionally deny Mr Corbyn access to all the information so that he was unable to draw the same conclusions about Russia’s culpability in order for the government to play politics and portray him as weak? The response of both Tory Ministers and their lackeys in the right-wing media to Corbyn’s cautious approach would suggest this explanation was at least feasible.
Or, did the government simply deny Corbyn access to the top-level information because the evidence was not actually sufficient enough to conclusively implicate the Russian state in the attack?
Whatever their reasoning, the government have serious questions to answer over their refusal to allow Mr Corbyn access to all the facts.
The precedent set by David Cameron in 2013 to allow opposition leaders access to crucial intelligence, and the need for all sides of the political spectrum to be united in their condemnation, should the attack have been carried out by the Russian state, should have meant that Jeremy Corbyn was given all the facts to judge his response to the situation.
However it seems that the government is more intent on playing politics with the situation. Either that or they have something to hide.
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