Owen Smith believes Isis should be 'around table' for peace talks

THE MAN hoping to take over the Labour Party from Jeremy Corbyn has been widely criticised for saying he would get Isis around the table for negotiation talks.

Labour leadership candidate, Owen Smith.

Owen Smith delivered his bizarre olive branch to the terrorist organisation during a live head to head debate with Mr Corbyn during the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show.

He said: “And my view is that ultimately all solutions to these sorts of crises, these sorts of international crises do come about through dialogue.

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“So eventually, if we’re to try and solve this, all of the actors do need to be involved. But at the moment ISIL are clearly not interested in negotiating ...

“At some point for us to resolve this we will need to get people round the table.”

His spokesman immediately sought to clarify the remarks by saying Mr Smith believes there can be no negotiation with Isis until they “renounce violence”.

However Mr Corbyn’s team were quick to seize on the remark, branding them hasty and ill-considered. This is despite the Labour leader coming under fire himself for previously describing terrorist organisations Hamas and Hezbollah as friends.

A spokesperson said: “Jeremy has always argued that there must be a negotiated political solution to the war in Syria and the wider Middle East, and that maintaining lines of communication during conflicts is essential. But Isis cannot be part of those negotiations.”

Johnny Mercer MP, member of the Defence Select Committee, said: “Owen Smith’s suggestion that we should get ISIS ‘round the table’ demonstrates his unfitness for leadership.

“Everyone knows negotiation is far more desirable than violence in any conflict, but to suggest it in this case, is to entirely misunderstand and fail to grasp the challenge posed by Daesh.

“His desperate attempts to out-Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn have led him to the view that barbaric murderers who behead journalists and lynch homosexuals are now the sort of people that we should negotiate with.”