Another split at the top of Labour has emerged after Hilary Benn backed the idea of a so called "shoot to kill" policy for British security forces in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Paris. The shadow foreign secretary said UK police and military should be allowed to eliminate a target when there is an immediate threat to life.
"The circumstances that those French forces faced when they went into the Bataclan concert hall on Friday night and there were the attackers there killing those who attended the concert one by one, then long established procedures say it's perfectly reasonable – to prevent further loss of life – to use lethal force," Benn told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
The top Labour MP also claimed that the party's policy had not changed on the issue, but his comments came after Jeremy Corbyn said he was "not happy" with a "shoot to kill" policy. "I think that is quite dangerous and can often be counter-productive – you have to have security that prevent people from firing off weapons where you can," he told BBC's Newsnight show.
The Labour leader's interview apparently caused discontent among the parliamentary party and Corbyn faced open opposition on the issue when they met in parliament on the night of 16 November. The left-winger also reportedly faced criticism over his plans to attend Stop the War Coalition's Christmas fundraiser.
Labour MPs are apparently unhappy with their leader's close links to the controversial group, particularly in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks. Asked whether he would resign from the shadow cabinet if Corbyn attended the event, Benn refused to rule out such a move. "That's a question for Jeremy," he said.