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Northern Ireland veteran Robert Grey brands Jeremy Corbyn a ‘coward’

Retired Private Rob Gray said the IRA-linked Labour leader had more sympathy for terrorists than veterans

A Northern Ireland veteran accused Jeremy Corbyn of cowardice last night after he ran away from his grilling on a troops witch hunt.

Retired Private Rob Gray, who spent four years in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, said the IRA-linked Labour leader had more sympathy for terrorists than veterans.

And he branded him a coward – saying it showed Mr Corbyn’s true beliefs - that soldiers committed worse crimes than the IRA.

Mr Gray - who was part of the Duke of Wellington regiment - had turned up in uniform to see Mr Corbyn at a rally in York where he hoped to ask him what Labour policy was on prosecutions against NI veterans.

He told The Sun he had waited for Mr Corbyn to finish, put his hand up and shouted “Mr Corbyn sir, can I ask you one question?”.

Mr Corbyn gestured he would “come down to him”, but on his way did an about turn and “waltzed off” to take selfies and photographs with fawning supporters in the crowd instead.

Broadcast footage showed the 62-year-old Sheffield pensioner, in his beret and medals, standing on his own in the crowd.

Last night Mr Gray, who is Chairman to British Armed Forces 'The Best' and a member of the Justice for Northern Ireland veterans group, branded the Labour leader a “coward” and “ignorant” saying he’d never vote for him now.

He said: “I was prepared to go to him. I didn’t get escorted away from him, or him from me.

“I only wanted to ask one question with respect: what is the position of Labour on the prosecutions of veterans in Northern Ireland?

“That was it, and he waltzed off to take photographs of his own accord. He was loving it. I didn’t see security taking him away.

“I would ask Theresa May the same question. I think he just saw the uniform and didn’t want to engage.

I spoke to his press secretary and he told me Labour policy was that the most serious crimes should be prosecuted.

“What we want is fairness, we don’t want to be above the law– we were just doing our job but if we are being prosecuted so should the IRA.”

The grandfather added: “We were the ones out there being spat on, having bricks and petrol bombs thrown at us. He clearly thinks soldiers committed worse crimes than the IRA did.

“I wasn’t aggressive, I was getting abused by the crowd. I was on my own in the middle of it. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt to see if he would offer something I could vote for.

“But I can’t vote for anyone who won’t give a straight answer.”

Mr Corbyn has long insisted his close links with Sinn Fein and IRA bosses Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams - when the fight against the terror group was at its height in the 1980s -was to progress the peace process.

Last night a Labour spokesman said: “Labour supports the Good Friday Agreement, which states that the Crown Prosecution Service should be able to prosecute for the most serious crimes committed by any party to the conflict.”

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