Britain’s intelligence services and the Foreign Office are worried that Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn could put national security at risk if he wins the December general elections and becomes the next prime minister, The Times reported citing sources within Whitehall.
Senior Whitehall insiders told the outlet the inflow of information that Britain receives from the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance, which includes the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Great Britain, could be jeopardised due to these countries’ mistrust of the Labour leader.
In particular, former UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw under Labour leaders told the media that other countries could “lessen intelligence cooperation with us” if Corbyn becomes the next prime minister.
“The Americans would be very wary indeed about having the same broad confidence in intelligence sharing”, Straw said as quoted by the media.
This view was reportedly echoed by former Defence Secretary Lord John Hutton of Furness, who insisted that Corbyn’s potential premiership would “place a major question mark over the continued operation of a vital source of intelligence” and should be viewed with extreme alarm.
“His views on NATO, his anti-Americanism, his failure to support any single British military expedition since he came into parliament, his opposition to nuclear weapons and his support for Putin’s Russia — his world view is completely at odds with every postwar Labour leader”, the former defence secretary said.Parliament TV/Reuters
The concerns from several former Labour cabinet ministers, defence chiefs, and intelligence officials towards Corbyn’s candidacy follow a signal by the Labour that he would scrap the UK’s nuclear missile system Trident this April, as well as his plan to renegotiate Johnson’s Brexit deal in a bid to retain negotiating power in EU trade talks.
On 29 October, British MPs voted 438 to 20 to hold a general election on 12 December, as PM Boris Johnson pushed for an early poll in a bid to break the deadlock over his re-negotiated terms of divorce with the European Union. Both the Conservatives and Labour will face each other in a heated competition the results of which many observers see as being the most unpredictable in modern British history.