“She is a British national and, therefore, she has that right, like any of us do, to apply for legal aid,” Corbyn stated.
By World Israel News Staff
British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn created controversy on Monday by suggesting that Shamima Begum be allowed to apply for legal aid in order to challenge moves to revoke her U.K. citizenship.
Mr. Corbyn said that no matter what crimes Begum committed after leaving Britain to join ISIS in Syria, she is still entitled to proper legal representation, which is funded by taxpayers’ money.
“She is a British national and, therefore, she has that right, like any of us do, to apply for legal aid if she has a problem,” stated the opposition leader.
“The whole point of legal aid is that if you’re facing a prosecution, then you’re entitled to be represented, and that’s a fundamental rule of law, a fundamental point in any democratic society,” he said, adding that “we cannot and should not judge outside of a court.”
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that on a personal level, it made him “very uncomfortable because she made a series of choices and she knew the choices she was making, so I think we made decisions about her future based on those choices.”
However, in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Mr. Hunt added: “The decision to deprive her of her citizenship was taken by a politician. Obviously the decision about whether she accesses legal aid or not has to be done independently.”
Begum was 15 when she left east London in 2015 with two other schoolgirls on a flight to Turkey to join ISIS.
“I don’t regret coming,” she said in an interview earlier this year in Syria with the British newspaper The Times.
MP Andrew Bridgen of the ruling Conservative (Tory) Party argued that “people would not expect anything different from Jeremy Corbyn, who has consistently supported terrorists and terrorist sympathizers, particularly if they are acting against our country,” reported the MailOnline.
Another Tory MP, David TC Davies, referred to reports suggesting Begum played an active part in ISIS operations by sewing suicide bombers into explosive vests. “Given that evidence, we need to do everything possible to ensure she does not come back into the U.K.,” he told the British news outlet.
A Legal Aid Agency spokesman said: “We are unable to comment on individual cases. Anybody applying for legal aid in a Special Immigration Appeal Commission case is subject to strict eligibility tests,” according to the MailOnline.