Jeremy Corbyn once said that he wished Nato and other Western military alliances did not exist, it emerged last night.
Newly-unearthed video footage showed Mr Corbyn saying, only five years ago, that he was ‘not a fan’ of the alliance that has helped keep Britain safe since the end of Second World War.
It emerged as Britain hosts a major Nato summit today, bringing together world leaders, including President Trump.
Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) once said that he wished Nato and other Western military alliances did not exist, it emerged last night
The video will further call into question the Labour leader’s stance on security matters, after he said that terrorists should not have to serve their full terms.
The footage, which has now been wiped from the internet, shows Mr Corbyn at a 2014 rally outside the BBC.
Flanked by Labour candidates Catherine West and David Lammy, he says: ‘I am no fan of Nato, indeed I wish Nato didn’t exist. I am no fan of Western military alliances, indeed I wish they didn’t exist.’
The footage emerged as the Tories plan to focus on Mr Corbyn’s stance on security matters.
Last month, he refused to call Nato a great military success during an interview. Asked if he agreed with chief of defence staff Nick Carter’s description of Nato as being the ‘most successful military alliance in history’, he said: ‘I’m not sure I’d define it as that.
Flanked by Labour candidates Catherine West and David Lammy (pictured), he says: ‘I am no fan of Nato, indeed I wish Nato didn’t exist. I am no fan of Western military alliances, indeed I wish they didn’t exist’
‘I would define it of a product of an attempt to bring people together during and after the Second World War and we are obviously in Nato and our voice is there to reduce tensions.’
The BBC’s Andrew Marr added that French President Emmanuel Macron had called Nato ‘brain dead’.
Mr Corbyn said: ‘They are both strong statements and maybe neither of them are particularly right.’
Asked if Nato had a future, Mr Corbyn replied: ‘I think there has to be some kind of relationship and alliance to make sure there aren’t conflicts but the point is Turkey is a member state but is now in conflict with many others.’
A Labour spokesman added: ‘Jeremy Corbyn will do whatever is necessary and effective to keep the British people safe. He has consistently made the right calls in the interests of peace and security at home and abroad.
‘In government, Labour will spend at least two per cent of GDP on defence and we will maintain our commitment to NATO, our close relationship with our European partners, and use our influence at the United Nations to support peace and security worldwide.’
The Tories hope to attack Labour’s perceived lack of support for Britain and undermining of the military at the heart of their campaign this week.
On Sunday, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Mr Corbyn was ‘Putin’s useful idiot’ for undermining Nato.
Mr Wallace said that the Labour leader’s ‘long record of siding with Russia’ is unpatriotic and renders him unfit to be Prime Minister.
The former British Army officer says the Leader of the Opposition ‘is not a man capable of making the decisions we need to defend this nation’.
Mr Wallace told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I know that in dangerous situations the decision to pull the trigger is taken in a heartbeat. There is no time for a committee or a lawyer. It is just you on your own.
‘Just the time to aim and squeeze. In that split second our security forces need to know that their political leaders have their backs.’
On Sunday, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace (pictured on Remembrance Sunday) said Mr Corbyn was ‘Putin’s useful idiot’ for undermining Nato
Citing his own military service in Northern Ireland, Mr Wallace also slammed Mr Corbyn’s past prevarications over Britain’s armed police and the shoot-to-kill policy during terror attacks.
Appealing directly to traditional Labour supporters, Mr Wallace said: ‘There have been hard-Left leaders in British politics before but Jeremy Corbyn is different’.
He claims ‘ordinary, decent, hard-working, patriotic Labour voters know it too. He is not a man capable of making the decisions we need to defend this nation. He is no patriot.’
Polling shows that less than a quarter of voters believe Mr Corbyn would be the best leader during a security crisis such as Friday’s London Bridge attack.
Polling shows that less than a quarter of voters believe Mr Corbyn (right, with PM Boris Johnson at a vigil for the London bridge terror attack victims in London) would be the best leader during a security crisis such as Friday’s London Bridge attack
The Deltapoll survey showed 54 per cent of the public backed Prime Minister Boris Johnson in such a situation compared to just 24 per cent for the Labour leader.
The Nato summit will take place this week and will be hosted by Mr Johnson and a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Queen.
The military alliance will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its establishment as a bulwark against the Soviet Union with
On Wednesday, 29 Nato leaders, including Donald Trump, will then gather at a luxury hotel near Watford for talks.
Though allies will be hoping for a show of unity, foreign policy issues – and the US President – may overshadow the event.
Mr Trump has repeatedly attacked EU countries for refusing to raise their defence spending to two per cent of their GDP.