The man who will take over the leadership of one of Britain’s two major parties has said Britain should abolish its armed forces.
New Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn made the remarks against the existence of military units in 2012, at an atomic-bomb memorial ceremony in Japan, The Sun reported.
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every politician around the world instead of taking pride in the size of their armed forces did what the people of Costa Rica have done and abolished the army and took pride in the fact that they don’t have an army … surely that is the way we should be going forward,” Mr. Corbyn said.
The Sun went on to report that “two weeks ago Mr. Corbyn admitted he ‘couldn’t think’ of a situation in which he would deploy British troops.”
After the resignation of Ed Miliband as Labor leader following the party’s defeat in the May general elections, Mr. Corbyn won a substantial majority to become the new party leader. Mr. Corbyn will become prime minister should Labor win a majority of seats in the House of Commons at the next election, which could theoretically happen any time, though an election need not be held until 2020.
With the exception of Vietnam, Britain has fought alongside America in every major war the U.S. has fought since World War I a century ago. One of Mr. Corbyn’s predecessors as Labor Party leader is former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who joined the U.S.-led second Iraq war despite its unpopularity within his socialist party.
The remarks prove Mr. Corbyn is “living on a different planet,” Sir Gerald Howarth, a former Conservative-government U.K. defense minister, told the Sun.
According to “a Corbyn campaign insider,” the tabloid newspaper reported Sunday night, his remarks about abolishing Britain’s army and navy were merely a “theoretical aspiration.”
“His view is the world would be a much better place if there were no wars — and no need for armies,” the unnamed source told the Sun.