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'Spot the ludicrous mistake!' Angela Rayner ridiculed over Russia nuclear weapons claim

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Angela Rayner was caught in a slight blunder as she defended former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s response to the chemical attack on two Russian-born UK residents which caused the death of one British national in 2018. Ms Rayner had a bit of a Freudian slip when she said Russia had deployed “nuclear weapons” in the UK rather than chemicals. Speaking to LBC, she said: “This was about…if the Russian state had done that, which we were looking at facts at the time, we didn’t know that at the time. 

“When we did find out about that, it was an absolute disgrace that President Putin thought he could come on UK soil and use weapons, nuclear weapons, in that way.

“It was completely despicable. It was absolute condemnation from across the House about what had happened.

“It’s despicable that any nation thought they could come on foreign soil and use those types of weapons and it needed a strong, robust response.”

Twitter user @jatroa said: “President Putin thought he could come on UK soil and use nuclear weapons in this way?”

“Is it a ‘Spot the Ludicrous Mistake’ competition? Putin was on UK soil?

“Using nuclear weapons?….How did he get them through customs?”

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@BristolTed commented: “Oh. My. Goodness. The deputy leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. How did we fall so far?”

@Barrie_West said: “I must have been out when Putin used a nuke in the UK.”

And @somesayparsley added: “That’s something … not sure what.”

Ms Rayner also dismissed suggestions Jeremy Corbyn would not have been an effective wartime leader if he had been in power during the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

LBC presenter Andrew Marr challenged the deputy Labour leader, pointing out Mr Corbyn was well-known for his anti-war views. The debate arose after Ms Rayner rejected claims from Boris Johnson that Labour would “run up the white flag” with Russia.

Mr Marr said: “If it’s true – and it may well be true – that the Russians are in effect losing in this war, in this invasion, it is in part because of those anti-tank missiles that Boris Johnson and Ben Wallace had sent to Ukraine before the war even started.

“Are you really suggesting that a Corbyn government would have done that?”

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Ms Rayner said: “We’re very clear that we would support and we would have given that.

“We’ve seen actually the government have not been doing anywhere near enough to ensure that refugees can come to the country.”

She continued: “Jeremy Corbyn was very clear on his condemnation of Putin, long before it was popular to do that.

“We’ve seen pictures of the prime minister with Russian oligarchs, shaking the hands of President Putin, so I’d be very careful about that language.”

Labour’s deputy leader added: “Keir Starmer has made it very clear our commitment to NATO.

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“I think [Boris Johnson] is just playing fast and loose with his comments as he often does.”

Labour has been trying to distance itself from Jeremy Corbyn’s stance on NATO and military intervention since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The former Labour leader is a longtime critic of the North Atlantic alliance, branding it a “major problem” for the party.

In a speech in 2011, Mr Corbyn said: “We in the radical end, the left, of the unions and the Labour Party, have got to be realistic that NATO is a major problem and a major difficulty, and we have to campaign against NATO’s power, its influence and its global reach, because it is a danger to world peace and a danger to world security.”

He doubled down in his criticism whilst attending an “anti-NATO” summit in 2014, saying the alliance was founded “in order to promote a Cold War with the Soviet Union.”

And shortly before the invasion, the former Labour chief told a Stop the War Coalition forum that Britain and the US shipping troops and weapons to help Ukraine was “incredibly dangerous.”

Sir Keir Stamer dismissed the Stop the War Coalition, branding members and contributors as “naive.”

Sir Keir said: “The likes of the Stop the War coalition are not benign voices for peace.

“At best they are naive; at worst they actively give succour to authoritarian leaders who directly threaten democracies.”



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'Have to kick the pedal to the metal' Ex-Ukrainian leader slams Macron tank aide hesitancy

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Ex-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk sat down on LBC Radio to discuss NATO leaders. NATO has been allying themselves with Ukraine, sending help and weaponry and taking fleeing Ukrainian refugees. NATO members held a conference on the Russian invasion earlier this week to discuss more ways to help Ukraine.

Mr Yatsenyuk pushed for Macron to send over military tanks as promised, slamming him for dragging his feet, and claiming that the war in Ukraine affects the security of every European country.

Mr Yatsenyuk said: “That’s what Putin is closely watching, as for now, Putin didn’t expect this kind of unity and consolidated and concerted actions against the Russian federation.

“But you know, the time is running and we don’t have enough time to wait until some EU member states decide to supply more weapons to Ukraine.

“Or to impose tougher and stronger sanctions on the Russian Federation, so the EU has to be decisive and they have to speed up the process of new sanctions.

“And the shipment and delivery of weapons to Ukraine, because it’s not just about Ukraina and they realise it clearly, this is about the free world.

“And this is about the security of every single nation in the European Union, so the French have to kick the pedal to the metal.”

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky explained this week that he expected “serious steps” from Western-allied countries.

Mr Zelensky repeated the calls for a no-fly zone over Ukraine to be imposed by NATO forces and complained that the Western allies had not yet provided Ukraine with sufficient planes, up to date modern anti-missile systems, tanks or anti-ship weapons.

Mr Zelensky added: “At these three summits we will see who is our friend, who is our partner and who sold us out and betrayed us.”

President Zelensky also expressed that he was grateful for the support Ukraine was continuing to receive from individual NATO member countries from around the world.

Mr Zelensky added: “But NATO has yet to show what the alliance can do to save people,” he said. “It feels like we’re in the grey zone between the West and Russia, but we’re protecting all our and your shared values.

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Mr Johnson added: “We’ve got to tighten the economic vice around Putin, sanctioning more people today, as we are, sanctioning the Wagner Group, looking at what we can do to stop Putin using his gold reserves, and also doing more to help the Ukrainians defend themselves.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has been playing an active role in trying to de-escalate the war with Russia by imposing tight sanctions on Russia to try and stop Putin’s warpath of destruction.

Ms Truss has warned that infighting between NATO countries at the moment could be highly detrimental for progress in ending the war.

Mr Truss said: “Russia’s targeting of critical national infrastructure is calculated and dangerous.

“It shows Putin is prepared to risk lives to sow division and confusion among allies.”



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Brexit news: What happens when Article 16 is triggered?

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After Britain’s exit from the European Union (EU) was confirmed, the two parties have been attempting to renegotiate terms for a special Brexit deal relating to Northern Ireland. Coined the Northern Ireland protocol it’s been a point of contention that’s led to threats from each side of triggering a mechanism called Article 16. But what is it?

What is Article 16?

The UK and EU agreed to the creation of the Northern Ireland protocol, in October 2019.

By allowing goods to flow freely between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland the deal removed the threat of a hard border.

But the arrangement has also resulted in what’s been labelled as an ‘Irish Sea border’.

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Goods that now arrive into Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK are subjected to more stringent checks and controls.

In the scenario that either the UK or EU feel that the protocol is leading to significant issues or hampering their capacity to trade, then they have the option of activating Article 16.

The component sets out the process for taking unilateral “safeguard” measures, which in reality would amount to suspending parts of the deal.

Specifically, Article 16 says safeguard measures can be taken if the protocol is leading to serious “economic, societal or environmental difficulties” that are liable to persist.

He said: “Triggering Article 16 now would severely disrupt the unity of the UK and EU response to the war in Ukraine.

“It is thus perhaps not surprising that key US figures chose this week to restate that any uncertainty around the stability of the Good Friday Agreement would hinder a future UK-US trade deal.”

In recent months talks between Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and her EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic have stalled, leading to calls from Brexiteers for the UK to act.

However, Professor Menon cautioned that triggering Article 16 won’t “rid” Britain of the protocol.

He added: “I think the British Government if it triggers Article 16 will do something relatively small and contained.

“And then there’s not a massive bust-up. You don’t end up getting rid of the protocol. You end up with months if not years of negotiations, mediation and arbitration.

“So, it’s a way of doing something but it’s not a way of solving anything. In a sense you’re still stuck with the protocol and you’re still negotiating about the future of the protocol.”

In essence, were Article 16 to be triggered it wouldn’t have a huge impact on the ground.

Many of the checks on goods flowing from Britain to Northern Ireland have already been unilaterally suspended.

Triggering the mechanism itself would only start a formal dispute process that requires both sides to go into talks to resolve.



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NATO slammed as former US Army chief exposes ‘two big issues’ in united Russia response

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US Army vice chief of staff general Jack Keane, sat down on LBC radio to talk about the NATO conference which took place earlier this week. Mr Keane discussed the possibility that Putin could deploy chemical biological weapons on the battlefield. Russian President Vladimir Putin has already used the highly condemned thermobaric weapons since the war started just over a month ago.

The US Army chief acknowledged there had been no public policy declaration on the consequences Putin would face if he was to take such a barbaric action.

Mr Keane said: “Listen I was very disappointed by the NATO summit.

“I totally applaud the fact that they’re going to increase by 40k troops in Eastern Europe.

“And they’re increasing sanctions and it seems like a sense of unity.

“But on two big issues, it’s got to be disappointing, there’s no NATO public policy declaration.

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Mr Keane added: “At the end of that summit to deal with this particular issue, chemical biological weapons and nuclear weapons which the Russians have been waving in front of our face now for almost 30 days.

“What we need is… Think policy statement, not something that’s left to a reporter to ask a question on.

“And then you get a statement that you just repeated, which leads to more confirmation than anything else.

“A much better statement, using my words… I don’t want to put words into other people’s mouths.

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“But with me, the use of any form of WMB would be unacceptable.

“We will not let it stand, it will result in decisive consequential actions and all options are on the table.

“Words to that effect, in a public policy statement, and we didn’t get it and it’s really unfortunate.

“And what it does it leaves in the minds of Putin and his  leaders just what would the reaction be, ambiguous like that and I think it’s very unfortunate.”

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Fear of the Russian military deploying chemical biological weapons has been heightened.

Ukrainian outlet InformNapalm has warned that: “Our conclusions may sound premature or too apocalyptic, but after the missile attacks and bombing of civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, which the Russian army resorted to, we believe that it is necessary to make these data public and try to thwart any such intentions of Russia.”

And NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in Brussels on Thursday: “We’ve tried to be very clear about the gravity of the use of any such chemical weapons.

“These are agents that should never be employed and certainly not on the battlefield, as we are concerned Russia might.”



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