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Johnson lashes 'monstrous' Corbyn speech

Press Association logoPress Association 26/05/2017 Harriet Line

Boris Johnson has condemned a speech by Jeremy Corbyn which sought to link terror in the UK to the country's military interventions as "absolutely monstrous".

The Foreign Secretary said it was "extraordinary" that "there should be any attempt to justify or to legitimate the actions of terrorists in this way" after the Labour leader drew a connection between the country's involvement in the "war on terror" and attacks in Britain.

Mr Corbyn stressed that the link between foreign policy and terrorism "in no way reduces the guilt of those who attack our children", but Mr Johnson said such comments were "inexplicable in this week of all weeks".

Mr Johnson was speaking alongside US secretary of state Rex Tillerson at the Foreign Secretary's official residence in London.

"This is a moment ... when we should be coming together, uniting to defeat these people, and we can and we will, not just in Iraq and in Syria, but of course in the battle for the hearts and minds," he said.

"They are wrong, their view of the world is a corruption and perversion of Islam and it can be completely confounded.

"But now is not the time to do anything to subtract from the fundamental responsibility of those individuals, that individual in particular, who committed this atrocity and I think it is absolutely monstrous that anybody should seek to do so."

Mr Johnson and Mr Tillerson signed a condolence book for the victims of the Manchester attack after holding talks on issues including Syria, Iran and North Korea, as well as the "vital importance of the work that we do together across such a range of fields including, of course, intelligence sharing".

The US secretary of state, who was making his first official visit to the UK, said the US took "full responsibility" for and "regrets" the leaking of information from the Manchester bombing.

A row erupted between the US and British authorities after a host of sensitive information, including photographs from the scene of the attack, was leaked to American news outlets in the wake of Monday's attack.

"This special relationship that exists between our two countries will certainly withstand this particular unfortunate event," Mr Tillerson said.

He paid tribute to the victims of the attack, saying that "hearts are broken" across America and that the British people would "not be broken by terrorists".

"For those families there will be forever a void in this world that will never be filled."

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