Corbyn Condemns “Grotesque Abuse” of UK International Aid in Syria

Jeremy CorbynJeremy Corbyn

Britain’s opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has mounted a defense of Britain’s overall spending on international aid and demanded answers from Theresa May over claims that taxpayers’ money was diverted to extremists in Syria.

The Labour leader on Wednesday wrote to the prime minister following reports of what he described as “grotesque abuses” of British funding for aid, LabourList reported.

Corbyn spoke out following allegations made by the BBC’s Panorama that British aid money was being diverted to extremists in war-ravaged Syria and that officers from a British-backed police force had been working with courts carrying out brutal sentences, including the stoning to death of women. Adam Smith International (ASI), the British company running the project, told the BBC strongly denies the allegations.

“The British public is extremely proud of our country’s commitment to spend 0.7% of national income on aid to reduce global poverty. Under a Labour government, the UK was a world leader in aid effectiveness and global development. Therefore, allegations of aid money ending up in the hands of an Al Qaeda affiliate and contributing to the Free Syrian police’s work with a judicial system accused of numerous human rights abuses is yet another blow to Britain’s reputation on the world stage,” Corbyn wrote.

“Given the humanitarian crisis in Syria, with millions of Syrians internally displaced and millions of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries, it is a real concern that your government has appeared to use aid funding to support sectarian division rather than humanitarian need.”

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