David Lammy 4pm - 7pm
Maajid Nawaz: Corbyn And Abbott Need To Stop Making Excuses For Assange
13 April 2019, 15:58
Maajid Nawaz calls for Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott to stick with their principles and stop making excuses for Julian Assange by urging the government to block his extradition to the Untied States.
The Labour leader argued that the WikiLeaks founder should not be extradited to the United States on charges of conspiring to hack into a government computer - an intervention criticised by some for making the battle of Mr Assange's future more political than legal.
Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott also faced criticism for appearing to down play allegations of rape and sexual assault against Mr Assange.
A letter written to Ms Abbott, signed by more than 70 MPs, called for Mr Assange to be extradited to Sweden so that the "formal investigation into an allegation of rape can be concluded".
It added that "justice has already been denied" in some parts of the investigation because of Assange's unavailability.
But Maajid Nawaz called out at the two Labour frontbenchers for a hypocrisy in their support for women.
"Regardless of where you stand on this, he must face these allegations in Sweden and clear his name if he thinks he's innocent," Maajid said.
"And if he's not innocent then of course the Swedish justice system is generally seen as quite fair - he won't be mistreated as we suspect he will be at a US super-max jail."
But pointing the finger at Mr Corbyn and Ms Abbott, Maajid said: "You can't claim to be a progressive, you can't claim to be of the left, you can't claim to stand for social justice if when women make allegations against trump you say believe them but when they make allegations against your man you're suddenly making excuses for him.
"And that's what Jeremy Corbyn has done, and it's what Diane Abbot has done.
"There is a woman in Sweden who has been waiting since 2012 for her day in court."