Soldiers just ‘fooling around’ by shooting at Corbyn targets

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The soldiers filmed shooting at targets of Jeremy Corbyn were just “fooling around” according to a retired Army Colonel.

Colonel Richard Kemp said he did not believe the footage was “sinister” but confirmed he thought their actions were “entirely inappropriate and unacceptable”.

The MOD has confirmed it has launched an investigation into the actions of the paratroopers, who are reportedly serving in the 16 Air Assault Brigade in Kabul.  

Speaking to talkRADIO’s Eamonn Holmes, Colonel Kemp said: “The way it looks is not in my opinion any way sinister.

“It’s quite obvious these soldiers are not planning to or practicing to kill Jeremy Corbyn, they are having a laugh and fooling around.

“However it is entirely inappropriate and it is unacceptable within the regulations of the Army for them to be doing it.”

Colonel Kemp said in his experience the men were likely to be severely reprimanded rather than court-martialled.

“This is not a court-martial matter, I don’t think it’s that level of seriousness at all but it is something that’s got to be dealt with, it’s not acceptable and the people involved have to be punished in some way,” he said.

“I think it’s something that would probably result in either a verbal admonishment or maybe a minor punishment with sufficient of a b********g to make sure they never do it again.”

However journalist Eleanor Perry told Eamonn it was important the incident was not "dismissd as an isolated incident or as banter". 

She added: "Really we need to face up to the serious threat of this kind of violence, because as we've seen with Jo Cox and as we've seen before with Jeremy Corbyn, who was the supposed target of the recent Finsbury Mosque attack, this is representative of a genuine threat to the lives of our parliamentarians."

In a video statement, Brigadier Nick Perry, Commander 16 Air Assault Brigade said the paratroopers showed a “serious error of judgement”.

He added: “I think at this time it would be helpful to remind ourselves of the importance as soldiers of always remaining non-political and focusing on the mission at hand and success of that mission.”

 

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