Jeremy Corbyn just can’t help making friends wherever he goes. He previously described Hamas operatives as ‘friends’ and now he has found time out of his Labour leadership campaign to meet up with his old ‘comrade’ Gerry Adams in Portcullis House. The Sinn Féin president has tweeted a picture of their meet up, which Martin McGuinness also attended:
With Jeremy Corbyn & the comrades @ Portcullis House, Westminster. pic.twitter.com/A6Vgmaglsa
— Gerry Adams (@GerryAdamsSF) July 21, 2015
Of course the pair go way back. Corbyn, who supported ending British status for Northern Ireland, was heavily crtiticised after he invited Adams — along with other Sinn Féin members — to the House of Commons shortly after the Brighton bombing in 1984. A point which Andrew Neil brought up with Corbyn on the Sunday Politics show over the weekend:
AN: On Northern Ireland you didn’t just deal with Sinn Fein, you dealt with the IRA. Three weeks after the Brighton bomb in which the IRA had tried to destroy the democratically elected government of this country, you invited two convicted IRA terrorists to the House of Commons.
JC: They were former prisoners who had come out of prison, women who had come out of prison, came to parliament actually at a meeting that had been arranged long before to talk about prison conditions and rehabilitation of prisoners.
AN: They were IRA.
JC: Is there anything wrong with that since they had a spent conviction? Surely –
AN: Their organisation had just tried to blow up the British government.
JC: Andrew, the whole history –
AN: Did you not think about that?
JC: of course I thought about it and I would
AN: You still invited them in.
Still the exchange hasn’t appeared to put Corbyn off meeting up with Adams for a second time.