NATO leaders will gather in London for a summit to celebrate the alliance’s 70th anniversary in December – but according to a political analyst, it could be the last one in Britain if Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister.
The UK will host NATO heads of state and government in London on December 3-4 to celebrate the alliance 70th anniversary. The meeting, chaired by the NATO Secretary General, will take place at the Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire, and will be an opportunity for leaders to address current and emerging security challenges. The UK, one of NATO’s twelve founding members, was the home to its first headquarters. London also hosted the event in 1949.
London was chosen to host the event as in 1949, the UK was one of NATO’s twelve founding members and its capital was the home of NATO’s first headquarters.
The event is scheduled for the week before Britons head to the polls.
In a recent event organised by The Spectator and attended by Express.co.uk, the magazine’s political editor James Forsyth claimed if Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister on December 12, the NATO summit in London might be the last one.
Mr Forshyth said: “Jeremy Corbyn, I think, is the most left-wing leader the Labour Party has ever had.
“I think he is more left-wing than Michael Foot when you add in the foreign policy to economic policy.
“About a week before the election there will be a NATO summit in London.
“It is far from certain whether the UK will be hosting a NATO summit if Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister.
“He regards that alliance as the major cause of the world’s problems.”
The Labour leader has been a long-time critic of NATO.
In May 2012, he wrote a piece in the Morning Star titled “High time for an end to NATO” where he described the organisation as an ” instrument of cold war manipulation”.
He also wrote that the “the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, with the ending of the Warsaw Pact mutual defence strategy, was the obvious time for Nato to have been disbanded” and during a speech in 2014, he called the organisation an “engine for the delivery of oil to the oil companies”.
For these comments and a refusal to answer whether he would defend a NATO ally in the case of attack he was criticised by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former Prime Minister of Denmark and Nato Secretary General, who said Mr Corbyn’s opinions were “tempting President Putin to aggression” and made comparisons between his views and those of the American president Donald Trump.
He was also criticised by George Robertson, former Labour party defence secretary, who said it beggars belief that the leader of the party most responsible for the collective security pact of NATO should be so reckless as to undermine it by refusing to say he would come to the aid of an ally.”
Mr Corbyn told The Guardian in August 2015: “I am not an admirer or supporter of Putin’s foreign policy, or of Russian or anybody else’s expansion.”
He claimed that though he would like to pull the UK out of NATO, he acknowledges that there is not an appetite for it among the public and instead will push for the Alliance to “restrict its role”.