Tory MP attacks Owen Smith over views on ISIS

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Conservative MP Johnny Mercer has accused Owen Smith of being “unfit” to run for the Labour leadership after suggesting homophobic ISIS should be brought into Syrian peace talks.

At a leadership hustings on the Victoria Derbyshire show yesterday, Mr Smith – who is challenging Jeremy Corbyn for the party’s top job – said that “all of the actors” in the Syrian conflict should be involved to bring an end to the violence in the region.

However, the Pontypridd MP’s comments received widespread condemnation with Johnny Mercer, a member of the Commons Defence Select Committee, saying it showed he was “unfit for leadership”.

“His desperate attempt to out-Corbyn Jeremy Corbyn has led to the view that barbaric murderers who behead journalists and lynch homosexuals are now the sort of people that we should negotiate with,” he said.

During the debate, Mr Corbyn said that he would not allow ISIS to be involved in the peace talks in any form.

He said: “They are not going to be round the table, no.”

A spokesman for the current leader said that Mr Smith’s remarks were “hasty and ill-considered”.

The ongoing Syrian conflict between President Assad’s forces and rebels have crippled the country since civil war broke out in 2011.

The ongoing dispute contributed in part to the rise of ISIS, who believe in, what many would describe as, a warped view of sharia law.

The group are known to publically execute men they believe to be gay by throwing them from buildings.