Tory MPs question McDonnell ‘IRA support’ in Osborne row

Tory MPs question McDonnell ‘IRA support’ in Osborne row

Conservative MPs have accused Labour’s shadow chancellor of supporting terrorists after he questioned George Osborne’s behaviour around the Budget.

Big Ben clock tower at Houses of Parliament.

Mr McDonnell described the comments as "unacceptable". ©UTV

The row erupted on the day terror attacks wracked the Belgian capital, Brussels.

In a dispute over proposed cuts to disability benefits, John McDonnell called on the Chancellor to resign, calling him a “political chancellor” and accusing him of “grubby, incompetent manipulations”.

But Tory MPs hit back, asking whether it was appropriate for the Hayes and Harlington MP to question the integrity of George Osborne, considering he had suggested at a 2003 meeting that IRA “bombs and bullets” had helped bring about the Northern Ireland peace process.

James Cartlidge, the Conservative MP for South Suffolk called on Mr McDonnell to “withdraw your previous support for terrorist organisations that have attacked this country”.

Mr McDonnell described the comments as "unacceptable" and replied, "You have heard me share the sentiments of the whole House on the issue of Belgium".

Tom Tugendhat, a former army officer, said Mr McDonnell had stood alongside terrorists who murdered his friends.

“You have called into question the morality of the leadership of the Chancellor,” said the Tonbridge and Malling MP, adding, “Will you please discuss with this House the morality that allows you to stand with bombers who murdered my friends in Northern Ireland and question the integrity of the Chancellor?”

Mr McDonnell had been responding to George Osborne’s speech in the Budget debate.

He said he believes the behaviour of the Chancellor in the last 11 days “calls into question his fitness for the office”.

"I also believe that it certainly calls into question his fitness for any leading office in Government,” he added.

The Labour front bencher accused Osborne of “personally forcing through the cuts in PIP (personal independence payment” which he said for many disabled people “actually make life worth living”.

He added, "The Chancellor was willing to cut away this vital support to some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people of our community.

"Do not tell us we're all in this together."

© UTV

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Comments (2)

Newest jackie in belfast wrote (2 months ago):

The IRA terrorists that Mr McDonnell thinks so highly of are in no way different to the Islamic terrorists that struck Brussels yesterday.

Big D in Belfast wrote (2 months ago):

Its no surprise with Mcdonnell who he had sympathy with.!! How in this day and age this person is in goverment beggars belief with his comments regarding IRA terrorists being honoured.!! Then again you only have to look at whos wearing suits and ties in stormont.. Just seems what was once wrong is now right and vice versa..

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