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Monday May 20 2019

Jeremy Corbyn says IMF deals did not benefit ordinary people

LONDON: Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn on Monday expressed his reservations at the deal between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), saying such deals did not benefit the ordinary people.

In an exclusive interview with Geo News, Corbyn, who was attending an iftar-dinner at the Islamic Centre to show his support for the Muslim community during Ramzan, said he had always expressed his reservation at such agreements.

The Opposition leader in the UK House of Commons said: “What can [in fact] resolve the issue of poverty around the world is fairer trade, dealing with the debt crisis that many countries face, [an] investment in agriculture and industrial systems for the future, and dealing with the issues of climate emergency.

"I'm always concerned when arrangements are made particularly … what the terms are of those arrangements because we need a world in which there is less poverty, and a fairer distribution of wealth and power,” he said.

Corbyn explained that he was glad his party has adopted the definition of Islamophobia as presented by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG). Racism is unacceptable in any shape and form in any society, he said.

“We have adopted the definition of Islamophobia because we believe that Islamophobia is a form of racism. It’s a nasty form of racism and has to be outlawed.

"The government is delaying on it and I urge them to recognise what’s happening on the streets of our country when mosques are abused and attacked … when Muslim women are abused on the streets.

He underscored the reason behind the urgent need to adopt such a definition, saying it was crucial "so our police and all of our law enforcement agencies are fully aware that this country does not accept any form of abuse against people because of their faith and their clothes.”

Corbyn also condemned the rise of hate and related crimes in the UK, especially during the European Union (EU) elections.

“There is a disgraceful rise of far-right extremism in the UK and various parties; some election candidates are trying to divide people and being abusive towards Muslim people. The language used is disgraceful and disgusting.”

He said he keeps reminding people that similar language was used against the Jewish people in the 1920s and 1930s and, today, similar language is being used against Muslims by the far-right.

“The abuse of any ethnic group or community is unacceptable. Labour is campaigning in this elections as we did in 2016 on economic issues. We need investment in poor parts of our country. We cannot go with under-funding of our services, our schools and hospitals.

The Labour leader gave a robust defence of his party's decision to try appealing to both the 'Leavers' and 'Remainers'.

“Labour supporters voted both leave and remain, and every other party in this European election is appealing to either one side or the other. […] We’re not.

"We’re defining people as — hopefully — supporters of us but also people who have common problems however they voted.

"The levels of poverty in remain and leave areas are very similar; the levels of child poverty. I think we have to be responsible about this and appeal to people across those views.”

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