Jeremy Corbyn 'fully understands' treatment hope of baby Charlie's parents


Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has expressed sympathy for the parents of terminally ill Charlie Gard.

The comments came after Pope Francis and US president Donald Trump intervened in the case and made offers of help to the family of the 11-month-old.

Mr Corbyn said: "I feel absolutely for the parents.

"Any parent going through this would want their child to get the best possible treatment that could be found anywhere, and I think it is up to us to ensure they do get that best possible treatment.

"It is difficult to judge what a medical, a medically qualified person, has assessed on the case, I haven't seen that, I'm not medically qualified.

"All I can say is that any parent would feel for those parents and say if it was my child that was going through a terrible, terrible trauma like this, a life threatening trauma, you'd move might and main to get them the best treatment they can. I fully understand that."

Charlie has been at the centre of a lengthy legal battle involving his parents, who want to take him to the US for experimental therapy, and doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

The Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome asked GOSH if Charlie could be transferred there after the Pope called for Charlie's parents to be allowed to "accompany and treat their child until the end".

Charlie's parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, are spending the last days of his life with him after judges ruled his life support should be switched off.

Charlie is suffering from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage and no one can be certain whether or not he feels pain, GOSH has said.

Successive legal attempts by Charlie's parents failed as judges in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in London ruled in favour of GOSH doctors, while the European Court of Human Rights declined to hear the couple's appeal.

His plight has touched people around the world and the family received donations totalling more than £1.3 million to take him to the US for therapy.

Charlie's parents, both in their 30s and from Bedfont, west London, had said his life support was going to be switched off last week, but the hospital then released a statement saying they were working to give them more time together as a family.

Since then Mr Trump is among those to have spoken out about the case, tweeting: "If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so."