Julian Assange getting support from Labour leaders was ‘dangerous’ blasts party’s former Home Secretary Lord Blunkett
A LABOUR grandee has slammed the party’s leadership over giving Julian Assange “unqualified support” as “extremely unwise”.
Lord Blunkett hit out at Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott for defending the Wikileaks founder who the US want to extradite.
Assange, holed up in the Ecuador embassy since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault claims, is accused of a major leak of classified national security secrets.
The ex-Home Secretary hit out at their “kneejerk response” that presumes his actions were acceptable if acting in a journalistic capacity.
He said in a letter to The Times their words are “particularly dangerous” especially as they come from individuals aspiring to be Prime Minister and Home Secretary.
Mr Corbyn had tweeted after Mr Assange’s arrest that his extradition for exposing atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan “should be opposed” by the government.
Diane Abbott defended Assange after he had “exposed wrongdoing by US administrations and their military forces” after he was arrested on Thursday.
Seventy MPs and Peers have signed a letter urging Home Secretary Sajid Javid to ensure Assange faces the authorities in Sweden if requested over rape allegations – which was backed by Ms Abbott last night.
Prosecutors have said they are looking into the case but the investigation hasn’t been re-opened. A woman claims she was raped by Assange in Stockholm in 2010.
Meanwhile, Emily Thornberry said she was “disgusted” that attempts to extradite the Wikileaks founder over US military leaks had been allowed to “eclipse” the serious sexual accusations.
Thornberry said: “I think that what should happen is that he should be extradited to Sweden and then the Americans can make a further application to have him extradited from Sweden.”
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She claimed that her “priority” is the two women who made the claims of rape and other sexual offences in Stockholm nine years ago.
Jeremy Corbyn last night said: ““If there are allegations which Julian Assange needs to answer of sexual issues, sexual attacks that may or may not have taken place in Sweden, then it’s a matter for the courts to decide, but I do think he should answer those questions.
“My objection was to extradition to the United States because I do believe Wikileaks told us the truth about what was happening in Afghanistan and in Iraq.”
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