Jeremy Corbyn is facing criticism after he said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the so-called Islamic State (IS), should have been taken alive and put on trial if at all possible.
Al-Baghdadi died last month when he blew himself up with a suicide vest during a raid by US special forces on his hideout in Syria.
The Labour leader said that while Al-Baghdadi’s removal was “a very good thing” the “right thing to do” would have been to put him before the International Criminal Court.
He was accused by the Tories of “flawed judgment” and an “inability to stand up to people who reject our values”.
If it’s possible to arrest somebody and put them on trial, then that is what should have been done
Mr Corbyn faced similar criticism following the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011, when he said it was a “tragedy” the al Qaida leader had been killed rather than put on trial.
Asked by LBC radio about al-Baghdadi’s death, Mr Corbyn said: “If we preach international law and international legal process through the International Court of Justice in the Hague, then we should carry it out and if it’s possible to arrest somebody and put them on trial, then that is what should have been done.
“That is what I said about the death (of bin Laden) in 2011 and it will continue to be my principle.
“If we believe, as we do, in international law and justice and the power of the International Court of Justice, then we should do everything we can to bring people, where they deserve to go on trial, to be put on trial.”
He added: “Him being removed from the scene is a very good thing. If it would have been possible to arrest him – I don’t know the details of the circumstances at the time, I’ve only seen various statements put out by the US about it – surely that would have been the right thing to do.
“If we want to live in a world of peace and justice, we should practice it as well.”
Security minister Brandon Lewis said Mr Corbyn’s comments showed he would be a “disaster” for Britain’s national security.
“Corbyn’s comments are yet more proof of his flawed judgment and inability to stand up to people who reject our values,” he said.
“Every time he is given the opportunity to take the side of this country’s enemies he does so.”