Corbyn aide pro-Indy storm
Adviser’s influence will see him ‘surrender to the SNP’
ONE of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest political aides has been exposed as an outspoken supporter of independence – raising fears for the Union under a Labour government.
Karie Murphy said she was voting for ‘independence from Tory rule’, in the year Scots went to the polls.
Last night, Scottish Conservatives said the social media post from 2014 was further evidence that the Labour leadership would betray the Union ‘in a heartbeat’.
Ms Murphy, a former nurse from Glasgow, is a close confidante of Unite chief Len McCluskey and attempted to stand for Labour in Falkirk, in a 2013 by-election.
The following year, she posted on social media: ‘We aren’t voting for nationalism but independence from Tory rule and class betrayal by existing Scottish parties.’
After Mr Corbyn was elected Labour leader, in 2015, she started working in his office. Until recently, when she was seconded to the party’s HQ to lead its Election campaign, she was his chief of staff.
Last night, Tory MSP Annie Wells said: ‘It’s no wonder Jeremy Corbyn is so keen on independence if Karie Murphy’s been in his ear for the last few years. These revelations show just how passionate his sidekick was on the break-up of Britain.
‘It’s yet more evidence of the Labour Party’s weakness on Scotland’s place in the UK.
‘They’d surrender to the SNP in a heartbeat – and that’s a betrayal of two million Scottish voters.’
Labour has said it would not grant a second referendum in the ‘formative years’ of a new government.
But they are trailing in the polls and appear increasingly unlikely to win a majority in the December 12 General Election.
Nicola Sturgeon has made it clear that she hopes Nationalist MPs will prop up a minority Labour government. But she has warned Mr Corbyn not to even ‘pick up the phone’ unless he is ready to agree to her demands for another referendum next year.
It means Scots face the prospect of two referendums next year, as both Labour and the SNP would first want to hold a second poll on Brexit. Chancellor Sajid Javid has warned that the ‘Scottish economy is lagging behind the rest of the UK’ adding that this ‘is all down to SNP mismanagement and also the uncertainty it creates by continuing to talk, again and again, about another independence referendum, which no doubt stalls investment’.
He said: ‘I’ve met companies that have said it’s affecting their own investment decisions. The way to end that, in a couple of weeks, is to have a Conservative majority.
‘That will allow us to send a very strong message that it is not going to happen, there will be no second independence referendum, and it will allow businesses to move on.’
Mr Javid also attacked the SNP’s approach to taxation, saying: ‘Scottish people, because of the SNP, are the highest taxed in the UK.
‘That’s wrong economically, because it puts Scotland at a competitive disadvantage, in terms of attracting the skills it needs, versus the rest of the UK.
‘It’s also wrong morally – we believe people should be able to keep more of their own hard-earned cash. That’s why we’re committing to cutting National Insurance, which will be a cut for everyone in the UK. There’s our tax lock – we won’t be increasing National Insurance, income tax or VAT.
‘The SNP could say, “We’re going to have this tax lock, too”. They won’t, because the only thing Nicola Sturgeon is interested in is getting another divisive referendum and for that she needs Jeremy Corbyn.
‘She will sign up to anything he wants, which includes higher taxes on working people, windfall taxes on the oil and gas industry, and so much other damage to the UK.’
Last night, Labour sources did not deny Ms Murphy backed independence in 2014, but insisted she does not now. A friend of Ms Murphy’s said: ‘Karie doesn’t support independence. She’s working for a transformational socialist government for the whole UK.’
A Labour Party spokesman said: ‘We don’t comment on staffing matters.’
‘Labour’s weakness on Scotland’s place in UK’
JEREMY CORBYN has played the role of ‘useful idiot’ for the Kremlin by undermining Nato for decades the Defence Secretary declares today.
As London prepares to host the leaders of the Western military alliance, Ben Wallace says in an astonishing broadside that the Left-wing Labour leader’s ‘long record of siding with Russia’ is unpatriotic and renders him unfit to be Prime Minister.
In the most dramatic intervention of the General Election campaign far, the former British Army officer says the Leader of the Opposition ‘is not a man capable of making the decisions we need to defend this nation’.
Citing his own military service in Northern Ireland, Mr Wallace also slammed Mr Corbyn’s past prevarications over Britain’s armed police and the shoot-to-kill policy during terror attacks. The former Scots Guard writes in The Mail on Sunday: ‘I know that in dangerous situations the decision to pull the trigger is taken in a heartbeat.
‘There is no time for a committee or a lawyer. It is just you on your own. Just the time to aim and squeeze. In that split second our security forces need to know that their political leaders have their backs.’
Tory strategists hope to put Mr Corbyn’s perceived lack of support for Britain and historic undermining of the Armed Forces at the heart of their plans to sweep through Labour heartlands on December 12.
Appealing directly to traditional Labour supporters on the defence of the realm, Mr Wallace states ‘there have been hardLeft leaders in British politics before but Jeremy Corbyn is different’. He claims ‘ordinary, decent, hard working, patriotic Labour voters know it too. He is not a man capable of making the decisions we need to defend this nation.
He is no patriot.’
Last night polling showed that less than a quarter of voters believed Mr Corbyn would be the best leader during a security crisis such as Friday’s London Bridge attack. The Deltapoll survey showed 54 per cent of the public backed Prime Minister Boris Johnson in such a situation compared to just 24 per cent for the Labour leader. The blistering assault in today’s Mail on Sunday comes as Mr Johnson and Mr Wallace prepare to host the leaders of Nato at a summit in London this week.
The military alliance will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its establishment as Western bulwark against the Soviet Union with a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Queen on Tuesday.
The 29 Nato leaders will then gather at a luxury hotel near Watford for talks on Wednesday.
Nato is hoping for a show of unity at the summit but Mr Johnson and his team are braced for his Election campaign being upstaged by public spats and interventions from US President Donald Trump as well as other policy rows between the allies.
Mr Trump has repeatedly attacked EU countries for refusing to raise their defence spending to two per cent of their GDP, and is expected to use the London summit to call for fairer ‘burden sharing’.
Ahead of the gathering, Downing Street has announced ‘the deepest review of Britain’s security, defence, and foreign policy since the end of the Cold War’.
The Defence, Security and Foreign Policy Review, which begins next year, will involve a complete overhaul of how the UK uses its budget to keep the country safe.
However, money is unlikely to be the only source of tension at the summit with France’s President Macron already infuriating the US after a thinly veiled attack on Mr Trump, calling Nato’s current leadership ‘brain dead’ and calling for a European defence alliance to be set up alongside Nato. This newspaper has also learnt that Mr Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are ‘pushing back’ at American plans to use the summit to launch a strong warning about China.
The White House wants its allies to formally brand China an ‘emerging military threat’ to the world,
but European leaders are livid at the proposal and have called for calm. A diplomatic source said last night: ‘The Americans are coming spoiling for a fight, and that is going to get messy, Election or otherwise.’
Amid the backdrop of a bitterly fought Election, Mr Corbyn hopes to use Mr Johnson’s potentially siding with Mr Trump at the summit as a central plank of his final week of campaigning.
Ahead of the US President jetting in to London, the Labour leader is expected to use a speech today to accuse the PM of ‘knee-jerk subservience’ to the White House.
He will claim: ‘Boris Johnson has been the world’s leading sycophant towards the US President.
‘From climate-change denial to unconditional support for the Israeli far-Right, from racism to confrontation with China, Trump is taking the world on a dangerous path.’
The Tories, meanwhile, are turning their fire on Mr Corbyn’s Nato record with Mr Wallace today highlighting his previous calls for the alliance to be broken up.
The Defence Secretary claims the Kremlin would celebrate a Labour victory, writing: ‘Russia has always sought to divide our alliance so it’s no surprise that there is nothing the Kremlin loves more than a good Nato row.
‘But who in Britain could divide us? Who has a track record of wanting Nato shut down?
‘The answer is the same useful idiot who asked the IRA to tea.
‘Cue Mr Corbyn. He has a long record of siding with Russia and against Nato.’
OUTSPOKEN: Karie Murphy, left, is leading the Election campaign for Jeremy Corbyn
SECURITY RISK: Jeremy Corbyn speaking at a Stop Trident rally in 2016