A vast majority of British voters agree with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn that the UK’s involvement in foreign wars increases the risk of terrorist attacks at home, according to a new poll.
Seventy-five percent of people say British interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have made terror attacks on UK soil more likely, the exclusive ORB survey for The Independent found.
The poll was conducted before Saturday night’s terrorist attack on and near the London Bridge that left 7 people dead and 48 others injured.
It also comes after Corbyn was criticized for suggesting that British foreign policy decisions were linked to terrorism in the country and that the “war on terror” had failed.
According to the ORB survey, three-quarters of people – taking in all age groups, political persuasions and social classes – believe that Britain’s military involvement abroad has put the public at greater risk of terrorism.
Within that, around 68 percent of Tory voters had the same view, according to the poll which interviewed online 2,038 people adults aged 18+ throughout the UK on 31 May and 1 June.
The terror attacks, some former officials believe, are also the result of heavy cuts in police forces across the country, with official figures showing a drop of 20,000 since Theresa May, the current prime minister, took charge of the Home Office in 2010.
Jim Gamble, former head of Special Branch in Belfast, said there were now “fewer eyes and ears on the street” and former Met senior inspecting officer Peter Kirkham said the police service was “in crisis” because of the cuts.
Also, a serving officer writing for The Independent said Saturday’s attack was in part a consequence of the reductions.
In a television interview on Monday, Corbyn called on May to resign for reducing the number of police officers during her six years as interior minister, which has allowed terrorists to attack the country three times in recent months.
According to another poll commissioned by The Mail on Sunday, Corbyn had cut down the gap between his party and May’s Conservatives to only one point, raising the stakes in the June 8 general election.