Cor­byn aide pro-Indy storm

Ad­viser’s in­flu­ence will see him ‘sur­ren­der to the SNP’

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - December 12 Battle For Britain - By Gareth Rose

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

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