Social media users and politicians have condemned a video that shows British soldiers using Jeremy Corbyn’s face as a target during shooting practice.
The British Army is opening an investigation into a video showing British soldiers firing at a photo of Jeremy Corbyn, the opposition Labour Party leader, during target practice.
In the 26-second video, four soldiers identified by the British press as members of the 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment in Kabul, Afghanistan, are seen shooting simulation handguns at the poster. The video was initially shared on Snapchat with the text “happy with that” before surfacing on social media on April 3.
The Ministry of Defence said in a statement that it was aware of the video and that a full investigation had been launched. “This behaviour is totally unacceptable and falls well below the high standards the army expects,” a ministry spokesperson said.
The video was quickly condemned by British politicians, who are in the midst of grueling Brexit negotiations. Labour MP Alex Sobel tweeted, “How can serving soldiers think it acceptable to use Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition, for target practice?”Jess Phillips, also a Labour MP, called it “absolutely hideous and irresponsible".
Brexit Minister Robin Walker told BBC Radio that the video was “extremely distasteful” and said that “that kind of violence is unacceptable in any context about a democratically elected representative".
Rory Stewart, minister for prisons and a Conservative MP, said in an interview with the BBC that soldiers “defend the nation and the Queen, and they should not be party political".
“I think these soldiers have made a very, very bad mistake,” Stewart added.
The sentiment was echoed by many Twitter users, who called the video “appalling” and suggested that the soldiers had gone too far.
Corbyn is known for his strong opposition to military action, having called for nuclear disarmament and cuts to military spending.
The Labour leader is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday to discuss a way out of the deadlocked Brexit negotiations. Parliament has already rejected May’s proposal three times and has until April 12 to reach a consensus if it wants to avoid exiting the European Union without a deal.
This article was written by Jenny Che.