Jeremy Corbyn has faced criticism for referring to the “wars and terror” that followed the September 11 attacks in a controversial tweet.
The Labour leader, who played a leading role in the Stop the War Coalition opposed to the military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, came under attack on social media after posting a tweet on the 15th anniversary of the attack.
The tweet was an edited form of a slightly longer statement, released before the social media post, in which Corbyn had described the attacks as a “horrific atrocity”.
It prompted a stream of replies with some people arguing it was disrespectful to the 2,977 victims of the terror attack.
Others defended the Labour leader and agreed with the tweet’s sentiment.
But Dan Kaszeta, a security expert apparently present on the fateful day 15 years ago was particularly angered.
His leadership rival, Owen Smith, tweeted:
London mayor Sadiq Khan posted his own message to mark the anniversary of the terror attack, writing on Facebook:
Labour former home office minister and ex-MP Tony McNulty referred to Khan’s message and said: “Good solid unequivocal statement in memoriam of 9/11 - free from any weasel words about other events.”
A spokesman for the Labour leader told the Press Association: “As Jeremy said in his statement, the 9/11 attacks were a horrific atrocity. The statement speaks for itself.”
The full statement released by Corbyn said: “My thoughts are with those whose lives were shattered 15 years ago in the horrific atrocity on 9/11 - and in the wars and terror unleashed across the globe in its aftermath.”
In London, people gathered in silence to mark the 15th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks.
Two silences lasting one minute were held at the 9/11 memorial in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to mark the times two passenger jets hit the World Trade Centre on September 11 2001.