Posted on Sep 16, 2018
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s chief political advisor, Andrew Murray, has been barred from entering Ukraine on the grounds that he is a threat to national security due to his links with Russia’s global propaganda network.
The ban, which has been imposed on the advice of the Ukrainian security service, the SBU, will be in place for three years.
Murray also attracted negative attention in the UK when it was discovered that he had been working for Corbyn in the House of Commons without having first obtained the necessary security clearances. Although it is understood that he had requested a Commons pass, the authorities have not granted one.
The Mail on Sunday has reported that according to a senior Commons official there have been ‘vetting problems’ over Murray’s application. Commons security advisers take their decision based on advice from Government agencies, including the police and intelligence sources, and passes are usually issued within a few weeks. Passes may be refused if there are security concerns including evidence that 'an individual may be susceptible to pressure or improper influence'.
So, who is Andrew Murray, and why are Ukrainian security services so concerned about him?
Murray was a member of the Communist party for 40 years, leaving the party to join Labour only after Corbyn took over the leadership in 2016. He is also chief of staff to Len McCluskey at the Unite trades union. He has defended Josef Stalin, suggesting that life under his brutal regime was better than living in the West, and has expressed 'solidarity' with North Korea.
If there were to be any doubts about his political position, they were dispelled in a 2017 book review when he wrote 'We need urgently to raise the level of our Leninist education. Everything we are talking about, the imperialist crisis, inter-imperialist conflict, war, political strategy and tactics, are Leninist issues. We need to do far more to study Marxism-Leninism.'
In 2014, the year of the illegal annexation of Crimea by Vladimir Putin, another self-confessed admirer of Stalin, Murray helped to launch a group called Solidarity With The Antifascist Resistance In Ukraine (SARU), to protest at the West's backing of the Kyiv regime.
Murray used SARU as a vehicle to present the Russian backed conflict in eastern Ukraine as 'a war waged by the Kyiv government against peoples exercising their right to self-rule’, and for propagating the story that Kyiv is being dictated to by the EU, USA, and NATO.
He has also questioned whether Moscow was responsible for the shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew, over Eastern Ukraine in the same year.
In a formal statement, the SBU said: 'We made a decision to ban the entrance of the citizen of Great Britain Mr Murray, starting from June 2018 for 3 years based on the law of Ukraine about the legal state of foreign citizens ... in order to insure the national security of Ukraine’.
Like many of the far-left of the Labour Party, Murray himself comes from a privileged background. The grandson of Conservative MP Arthur Hope, 2nd Baron Rankeillour, governor of the Madras Presidency of India during the final years of British rule, from 1940-46, Murray was privately educated but finished his education at the age of 16 with relatively few qualifications.
He immediately began working in journalism, and spent some time on the staff of the Soviet state-owned Novosti news agency, and The Morning Star, the British Communist newspaper to which he still contributes occasionally. He attracted vilification from many quarters when some days after the September 11 attacks in the USA, apparently condoning the terrorist acts, Murray described them as 'landmarks in world history… Imperialism is the terrorism of the powerful, breeding night and day the revenge of the weak.'
As a parliamentary correspondent Murray was reportedly the first journalist on the scene when British politician Airey Neave was murdered by means of a car bomb at the House of Commons in 1979 by the Marxist terrorist group the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA).
This has raised many eyebrows over the years as the Morning Star was sympathetic to the Irish Republican movement. Murray’s current boss, Jeremy Corbyn, has also expressed sympathies towards the Irish Republicans, who received much of their military equipment, including sophisticated explosives such as used in the Neave murder, from the Soviet Union.
His first wife, Prof. Susan Michie was also a member of the Communist Party.
Murray’s political position, his support for the Putin regime, and his apparent sympathy for terrorists explains not only the decision of the Ukrainian government to ban him from evening the country, and the reluctance of the Commons authorities to grant him a pass, but also tells us a great deal about his boss, Jeremy Corbyn.
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