Jeremy Corbyn refuses to call Hamas terrorists in tetchy Piers Morgan interview

Piers Morgan pushed him to answer the question 15 times in an explosive interview


Jeremy Corbyn refused multiple times to say whether Hamas is a terrorist group in an explosive interview with Piers Morgan on Monday night.

The former Labour leader – who famously called the terror group “friends” – was asked by Morgan 15 times whether he would describe Hamas as terrorists during the Talk TV show.

Talking about the ongoing conflict between the IDF and Hamas, the 74-year-old politician appeared frustrated at Morgan’s questioning.

Corbyn said the massacres on October 7 were “abominable” and “appalling” but failed when pushed to describe Hamas as a “terrorist group.”

Speaking about the prospect of negotiating with Hamas, Morgan asked Corbyn: “And you think Israel can do peace with people who did that?”

Corbyn replied: “If you want to have a discussion, fine. But if you want to shout at me that’s your prerogative, your TV show.”

Morgan continued to ask Corbyn if he thought Hamas was a terrorist group.

The MP for Islington North grew frustrated at the questioning and said: “Listen, I do not approve, support or welcome Hamas.”

Morgan asked: “Are they a terror group?”

Corbyn said: “Everybody knows what they are, is it possible to have a rational discussion?”

Morgan said it was “very telling” that the ex-Labour Leader, who was suspended from the party in 2020 by Keir Starmer, was unwilling to answer his question.

When Morgan asked his other guest, former Unite the Union leader Len McCluskey, who was appearing alongside Corbyn to promote their book of poems, he answered the question with “of course.”

Morgan told Corbyn: “And you wonder why people think you had a problem with Jewish people.”

Morgan tried again to ask Corbyn whether he condemned Hamas’ actions on October 7.

Corbyn replied: “Of course I have, at every speech I’ve made I’ve utterly condemned the killing on October 7 and it was the taking of innocent life.

“It was totally wrong under any circumstances. You don’t bring back the tragedy of those 1,400 deaths by killing 10,000 in Gaza. You must have a process that leads to a ceasefire.”

Morgan went on to ask him to clarify details about an event in 2009, when the then-Labour backbencher said he had invited “our friends from Hamas” to speak at an event in Parliament.

Corbyn said: “10 years ago I was in a private meeting in the House of Commons with people who were representatives of different Palestinian groups, it was an attempt to understand their views and to bring people together.

“For a short time, a person who was related to Hamas left the room and I said in a friendly and collegiate way as you would, where’s our friend from Hamas gone.”

He repeated this explanation in another interview with Times Radio, also posted on Monday.

adding: "That was all I said."

However, a video from 2009 shows Corbyn speaking the night before the event in question, and his comments seem to contradict his statements to the media.

In the video posted to X/Twitter from 2009 Corbyn is seen speaking to an audience ahead of the meeting in parliament where he explained “Israelis” would not allow the Hamas representatives to travel to the UK.

He said: “The idea that an organisation that is dedicated towards the good for the Palestinian people and bringing about long term peace and social justice in the whole region should be labelled as a terrorist organisation by the British government is really a big, big historical mistake and I would invite the government to start talking directly to Hamas and Hezbollah.”

Dave Rich, of the Community Security Trust, said Corbyn’s memory of the event was ”simply untrue" posting an explanation he gave at the time which said: "I spoke at a meeting about the Middle East crisis in parliament and there were people there from Hezbollah and I said I welcomed our friends from Hezbollah to have a discussion and a debate, and I said I wanted Hamas to be part of that debate."

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