Jeremy Corbyn has rubbished claims he met a communist spy at the height of the Cold War and that he briefed against the British government.
On Thursday (15 February), The Sun published a story alleging the Labour leader met a top intelligence operative from Czechoslovakia during the 1980s. The story, which is based on what the newspaper described as "secret files", also claimed Czechoslovakian state security files listed Corbyn among their agents and sources.
The Labour leader, who was reportedly identified as "COB" within the network of Soviet spies, was "very well informed" of people in contact with "anti-communist agencies".
However, a spokesman for the Labour Party leader swiftly dismissed the claims, insisting that while Corbyn had met a Czechoslovak diplomat in London, he did not provide any information.
"Like other MPs, Jeremy has met diplomats from many countries. In the 1980s he met a Czech diplomat, who did not go by the name of Jan Dymic [the name quoted by the Sun], for a cup of tea in the House of Commons," he explained.
"Jeremy neither had nor offered any privileged information to this or any other diplomat. During the Cold War, intelligence officers notoriously claimed to superiors to have recruited people they had merely met. The existence of these bogus claims does not make them in any way true."
The files, which according to The Sun are also likely to be in the hands of Vladimir Putin's Secret Service", also alleged Corbyn's attitude towards Eastern Bloc countries was "positive" and he was "supporting the Soviet peace initiative".
The tabloid also added the files reportedly showed Corbyn was "negative towards USA, as well as the current politics of the Conservative government", which would hardly come as much of a surprise, given Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were in charge of the respective governments at the time.