Watch Corbyn obliterate May’s government with one simple question

Ed Sykes

On 22 October, Jeremy Corbyn left Theresa May shifting about uncomfortably in her seat. Because with one simple question, he challenged her government to give a truly meaningful response to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi Arabian consulate. But we already knew the answer to that question.

May’s woeful response

The prime minister has condemned Khashoggi’s murder. But as Corbyn said:

condemnation, Mr Speaker, is not enough. What matters now is what action the government is prepared to take. Will they now end arms sales to Saudi Arabia?

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Unfortunately, we all know the answer to that question.

The UK has licensed £4.7bn arms exports to Saudi Arabia in the last three years. And this has coincided with a Saudi-led military coalition decimating Yemen, causing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and leading it towards the Earth’s worst famine in a hundred years. This was apparently not a good enough reason to stop the arms sales. Nor were Saudi terror links or human rights abuses. And nor is Khashoggi’s murder, apparently.

Human Rights Watch says a suspension of arms sales would send Saudi Arabia a “critical message”. And on 21 October, Germany became the first country to send this message by pledging to stop arms sales. But so far, Theresa May has failed to follow Germany’s lead.

The UK’s ‘special responsibility’

Corbyn isn’t just jumping on a bandwagon, though. He has consistently called for an end to arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Responding to a recent tweet from foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt which talked about a “special responsibility” to Yemen, for example, Corbyn said:

But no matter how much pressure Corbyn puts on the government, its policy position seems clear: no atrocity is worth sacrificing billions of pounds of arms sales.

As Andrew Smith from Campaign Against Arms Trade asked on 22 October:

What more would it take to end the arms sales and end the uncritical support that has been given to the regime?

That’s a brilliant question. And we should all demand an answer from May.

Get Involved!

– Ask Theresa May and your MP to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

– Support Campaign Against Arms Trade.

– See more articles on Saudi Arabia at The Canary Global.

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