'Are they a terror group? Can you say it?' Piers Morgan challenges Jeremy Corbyn 38 times to condemn 'terrorists' Hamas

Tuesday 14 November 2023

Jeremy Corbyn has clashed with TalkTV's Piers Morgan in an explosive row over Hamas.

The former Labour leader was challenged 38 times to condemn the group as "terrorists" and asked whether they should remain in power in Gaza.

The Islington North MP attended the pro-Palestinian march on Armistice Day, claiming the protesters calling for a ceasefire in the Middle East were largely peaceful and from all walks of life.

“I don’t support Hamas, I’m not a friend of Hamas.” Piers interjected: “You used to call them friends."

Accusing Piers being obsessed with "tittle tattle politics from years ago," Mr Corbyn explained: "Ten years ago, I was in a private meeting in the House of Commons, with people representative of different Palestinian groups. It was an attempt to understand their views and bring people together.

"For a short time, a person related to Hamas left the room and I said in a collegiate, friendly and appropriate way: Where’s our friend from Hamas gone? That’s all I said.”

Piers said: “I wouldn’t say 'my friend from the IRA, my friend from ISIS. I’ll ask you two questions. Should Hamas stay in power and are they a terror group?

Mr Corbyn during the Armistice Day pro-Palestinian protest

Some 300,000 protesters demonstrated on Armistice Day

Many were calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza

“Are they a terror group? Can you say it? Are you going to call Hamas a terror group? Are Hamas a terror group? Answer the question."

"You are refusing to answer either of them, that is very telling and you wonder with why people think you had a problem with Jewish people?”

A frustrated Corbyn accused Piers of getting guests on his show to shout his views at them, adding he wanted to ask him a question but Piers replied it was his show and he would ask the questions.

Mr Corbyn said: "I think it's quite clear that Hamas has engaged in terrorist activities because it has targeted civilians as well as military and we saw that on 7th October.

Counter-protesters threw beer cans at police

Police described the counter-groups as generating "unprecedented levels of violence"

Police arrested 145 people and seven have been charged

"I think the point though, is that while that is the case, it doesn't justify the response from Israel which has been to collectively punish the Palestinian people.

"Generally speaking when you get hectored saying 'is Hamas a terrorist group?', the purpose of it is either to say well therefore what Israel is doing is okay or to say therefore you can't have peace, and the answer is you have a to have peace with your opponent."

Some 300,000 pro-Palestinian protesters demonstrated on Armistice Day, mostly peacefully. Police arrested 145 people and seven have been charged.

In the wake of the weekend, police could get tougher powers after London witnessed "unprecedented" levels of violence.

Suella Braverman was also sacked as Home Secretary after she condemned “sick, inflammatory and, in some cases, clearly criminal” chants and placards on Armistice Day.

Ahead of the protest, Mr Corbyn posted the following message on X: "We will be marching for a ceasefire on Saturday, not in competition with Remembrance weekend, but as part and parcel of it.

"We are remembering all those who have been killed in war, and we are trying to prevent more human life from being destroyed."