James Forsyth

PMQs: Jeremy Corbyn’s views on security are only harming Labour

PMQs: Jeremy Corbyn’s views on security are only harming Labour
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One moment from PMQs today will stick in the mind for a long time. After Corbyn had asked his last question, Cameron declared ‘Hasn’t it come to something when the leader of the opposition thinks that the police, when confronted by a Kalashnikov-waving terrorist isn’t sure what the reaction should be?’ At that point, the Labour front bench just looked utterly dejected and beaten. They will soon have to decide how much longer they can let this farce continue for. If they do not act soon, then the damage done to the Labour party might be irreversible.

The essential problem is that Jeremy Corbyn’s views on foreign policy and security are so far outside the political mainstream, that it is almost impossible for him to talk about these matters without causing Labour political problems. At the Labour briefing afterwards, the Corbyn team struggled as they tried to bat away the question of whether the leader agreed with Ken Livingstone — the man who has been put in co-charge of the party’s defence review — that the Paris attacks were, in part, a consequence of Western foreign policy. If the Corbynites said what they really thinks on this, they would cause themselves huge political problems. Yet, they can also not disown everything they have previously said on the matter. So, they are simply stuck.