Richard Dearlove ex-head of MI6 (Source: Wiki Commons) Richard Dearlove ex-head of MI6 (Source: Wiki Commons)

Dearlove’s allegations of Corbyn’s sympathies are wrong and completely baseless argues Chris Nineham

The front page of yesterday’s Mail on Sunday ran a headline claiming that Jeremy Corbyn is a security threat. Former head of MI6 Sir Richard Dearlove shared his security concerns about Corbyn – not exactly a news story.

Dearlove has made similar public allegations against Jeremy Corbyn at least twice in the recent past, including in the run-up to the last general election. Indeed, the Mail ran a similar front-page story at pretty much the same time in the 2017 election.

Dearlove’s opposition to Corbyn is not surprising. The former head of M16 was a close associate of Blair and Alistair Campbell during the Iraq War and was one of two security service heads responsible for the ‘dodgy dossier’ which was used as the main justification for the Iraq War, the biggest disaster in British foreign policy for fifty years or more.

The dossier was heavily criticised in the Chilcot report and is widely believed to have been the worst mistake made by the UK intelligence community in the post-1945 era.

Unlike Dearlove, Jeremy Corbyn opposed what turned out to be a catastrophic war. Dearlove’s claims about Corbyn’s sympathy for former Eastern European regimes and ‘enemies of Britain’ are unsubstantiated and baseless.

What he doesn’t like about Corbyn and some of his advisors is that they oppose the kind of aggressive and interventionist foreign policy that he advocated. If Tony Blair had listened to Jeremy Corbyn instead of Sir Richard Dearlove then the more than 179 British soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died in the war might still be alive. The world would also be a much safer place.

Chris Nineham

Chris Nineham is a founder member of Stop the War and Counterfire, speaking regularly around the country on behalf of both. He is author of The People Versus Tony Blair and Capitalism and Class Consciousness: the ideas of Georg Lukacs.

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