A video has re-emerged of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn claiming that the Great Irish Famine of 1845-52 was the result of deliberate British policy, and amounted to ‘genocide against the Irish people’. In a video released in July 2015 Corbyn told interviewer Hassan Alkatib that the Famine was the result of ‘a contrived food shortage’ created ‘by the British’. When Alkatib asked if this meant it was a ‘deliberate genocide’ Corbyn replied ‘absolutely deliberate yes’.
Corbyn begins discussing the Great Famine at 07:45 in the video posted below:
The resurfacing of these comments is likely to anger Labour moderates, who could be asked whether they support Corbyn’s incendiary claims. They could also reopen the debate about the Labour leaderships sympathy with militant Irish Republicanism, with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell having to apologise in September 2015 for historic comments in which he claimed that we should be ‘honouring’ those who engaged in ‘the armed struggle’.
This debate comes at a bad time for Labour, with the party trailing the Tories by 13 points according to the most recent Opinium poll, whilst public satisfaction with Corbyn’s performance has hit a new low at 23%.