‘Why would he take Putin’s side?’ Corbyn’s constituents furious at ‘mad’ NATO comments

Ben Wallace makes NATO dig at Jeremy Corbyn

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Their comments come after the MP for Islington North called for NATO to be disbanded. In an interview with Times Radio, he said: “Do military alliances bring peace? I would want to see a world where we start to ultimately disband all military alliances.”

He has also endorsed Stop the War Coalition, an organisation which has publicly implied that the West should do more to “address Russia’s security concerns”.

Despite Western allies widely dismissing Russia’s “security concerns”, the organisation in February said the crisis “should be settled on a basis which recognises the right of the Ukrainian people to self-determination and addresses Russia’s security concerns.”

Many Islington residents hit out at Mr Corbyn’s stance, calling it “mad”.

Gary, 58, who lives near Upper Street, told Express.co.uk: “No, he can’t do that. NATO protects us all.

“It’s our protection from Russia and China.

“He’s mad. He’s got to be mad to want to get rid of them.

“I saw on the news this morning that Russia are blaming NATO.

“Why would [Corbyn] take their side? I thought he’d be with the Ukrainians really.

“He’s madder than I thought.”

Henrich, 54, agreed, saying: “I think it’s madness getting rid of NATO.”

However, he also criticised the alliance for failing to stand up to Putin over Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014 and questioned their reliance on Russian energy.

He said: “It was slightly the West’s fault when it allowed Russia to take Crimea, which it didn’t really react to.

“Also Russia has a little bit too much control over gas and oil. And there was no backup plan. So that’s a problem.”

Speaking on Holloway Road, Steve Gibbs, 48, criticised Mr Corbyn’s stance, saying “we’re stronger together”.

He told Express.co.uk: “Surely with Brexit we’ve all learned that we’re stronger together.

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“It just doesn’t seem like a good idea.

“Whether it’s the EU or NATO or whatever unit we’re in we should know that we’re stronger together.”

Another Islington resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said Mr Corbyn’s views were “idealistic”.

They added: “I get where he’s coming from – it would be great if we could disband military alliances to promote peace, but the world will always have nasty, power-hungry people in it and so they are needed for security.”

But another anonymous resident who lives on Highbury Crescent said there may be “some truth” in Corbyn’s stance, adding that the crisis may have been avoided had NATO chosen to designate Ukraine as neutral territory.

They said: “I think there is possibly some truth in it, in the sense that NATO is a military body and it is now right on the borders of what was an opposing ideology.

“I don’t know whether it could have been avoided if NATO and Ukraine had gone into talks about neutrality.

“Like ‘Okay, we’re not moving expansively towards the Russian territory, but it would be best for all concerned to keep this as a neutral, independent state.’

“Which may well have averted the crisis and acknowledged Russia’s concerns, even if those concerns aren’t justified.”

But they added: “I don’t think it’s the cause of this crisis because Putin has his own agenda.

“I think Putin is quite power-hungry and I think that’s driving it.”

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