British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday accused Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn of “terrorist-sympathising” as he outlined his government’s programme in the time left before he steps down by 2020.
Speaking about Labour’s new hard-left leader, Cameron told his Conservative Party’s annual conference: “We cannot let that man inflict his security-threatening, terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating ideology on the country we love.”
Corbyn described the killing of Osama bin Laden in a 2011 television debate as “a tragedy” saying: “There was no attempt whatsoever that I can see to arrest him, to put him on trial, to go through that process.
“This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy,” Corbyn said at the time.
Cameron, speaking on the final day of his party’s annual conference in the northwestern city of Manchester, also promised to tackle extremism, poverty and discrimination to create “a greater Britain”.
He has already said he will not contend the next general election in 2020, prompting frenzied speculation over who could succeed him and when.
“As you know, I am not going to fight another election as your leader. So I don’t have the luxury of unlimited time,” he told the conference.
The British leader also stressed the importance of intervening against the Islamic State group (IS) in Syria.
“Some think we can contract that out to America. We shouldn’t. We must play our part too,” he said.
Cameron has said he wants to ask for parliamentary approval for Britain to extend its anti-IS air campaign from Iraq to Syria but has not said when.
The issue of Britain’s relations with Europe has proved particularly divisive during the conference and also featured prominently in Cameron’s speech.
“We all know what’s wrong with the EU – it’s got too big, too bossy, too interfering. But we also know what’s right about it — it’s the biggest single market in the world,” he told delegates.
Cameron assured fellow Conservatives that he would “fight hard” for European Union reforms, adding: “Believe me, I have no romantic attachment to the European Union”.
Britain is due to hold a referendum on its EU membership by 2017 at the latest and Cameron has promised he will campaign to stay in – but only if he agrees reforms in Britain’s interests.
“Let me put this very clearly: Britain is not interested in ‘ever closer union’ – and I will put that right,” he said.