17/02/2016 03:54 GMT | Updated 17/02/2016 09:59 GMT

'Jeremy Corbyn Is Not A Bigger Threat Than Argentina To Falklands' Says Island's Official

Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses the first-ever Unite Scotland policy conference at the Golden Jubilee Hotel, Clydebank, Glasgow.

A senior member of the Falkland Island's government has rubbished claims Jeremy Corbyn poses a bigger threat to the the overseas territory's sovereignty than Argentina.

Michael Summers, who has represented islanders on the Legislative Assembly since 1996 and chaired several executive committees, smacked down the comments disparaging Labour's leader by defence secretary Michael Fallon.

Conservative cabinet minister Fallon insisted late last night: "The biggest threat at the moment isn’t Argentina, it’s Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party who want to override the wishes of the islanders."

Labour's official position is in fact to allow islanders self-determination rights, although Corbyn has said he wants to open a "dialogue" with the Argentinian government. A 2013 referendum on the matter found 99.8% of those balloted voted to retain allegiance to the UK.

He later admitted to BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme on Wednesday that Corbyn had not called for "giving the islands up".

Fallon admitted Corbyn did not want to give up the islands

But speaking today, Summers admonished the allegations peddled by Fallon.

An ex-serving member of the governing 'Executive Council', he said on the biggest threat to remaining part of Britain: "It's undoubtably Argentina and the Argentinian general app to the Falklands.

"Mr Corbyn has his views. We've been advising him to listen to Falkland islanders so he properly understands modern developments to our way of life.

"But I don't think he's a threat."

Fallon is in the Falklands today to pay tribute to British casualties of the Falklands War, becoming the first defence secretary to visit the territory in 14 years.


Jeremy Corbyn's spokesperson told The Huffington Post: "Michael Fallon is inventing his own stories and commenting on them.

"Labour is not considering changing its position on the Falkland islands and this whole episode is a figment of the defence secretary's own imagination, created with the sole aim of falsely smearing Jeremy Corbyn."