Army confirms investigation after soldiers filmed using Corbyn image as target
The Army has confirmed it is investigating after a video was shared on social media showing soldiers shooting at an image of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Footage captured in Kabul, Afghanistan, shows personnel from 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment using an image of the Islington North MP for target practice on a Simunition range.
An Army spokesman said on Wednesday that they are aware of the video circulating on social media.
“This behaviour is totally unacceptable and falls well below the high standards the army expects, a full investigation has been launched,” he added.
The video shows a number of soldiers taking aim down the range and firing their weapons – the camera then focuses on the target and zooms in on an image of Mr Corbyn.
With a graphic of “happy with that” across the screen throughout, a number of marks can be seen peppered across Mr Corbyn’s face.
It is understood it was a non-lethal hardened wax substance aimed and fired at the image instead of metal bullets, with the incident taking place in the past few days.
The range is designed for and used by personnel to practice what is called the “guardian angel drill” – a force protection tactic.
In response, shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith slammed the video on Twitter, describing it as “shocking and completely unacceptable”.
“Right that the Army is carrying out a full investigation,” she added.
Labour MP, Luke Pollard, added that the actions of the soldiers is “disgusting and wrong” and that he hopes the Ministry of Defence “takes action swiftly”.
“The armed forces need to be outside of party politics. They serve the Government of the day – whoever that may be – and rightly so,” he added.
Shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, also criticised the video and incident, branding it as “absolutely disgraceful”.
She added: “I hope the investigation will be conducted thoroughly and the conclusions made public.
“Political tensions are heightened at the moment and this type of behaviour is wholly inappropriate and unacceptable, we expect much better from our Army and soldiers.”