Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt backs Venezuela leader change amid mass protests and takes swipe at Corbyn

BRITAIN has thrown its weight behind a change of leader in strife-torn Venezuela.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said yesterday that National Assembly head Juan Guaido was “the right person to take the country forward”.

PA:Press Association

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Britain backs a change of Venezuela’s leadership[/caption]

He wants him to take over from President Nicolas Maduro who was sworn in earlier this month despite widespread claims of election vote-rigging.

Mr Hunt said: “It is clear that Nicolas Maduro is not the legitimate leader of Venezuela.

This regime has done untold damage to the people of Venezuela.

Ten per cent of the population have left Venezuela such is the misery they are suffering.”

In a swipe at Jeremy Corbyn he said anyone who saw Venezuela as an example to follow should “think again”.

Mr Guaido declared himself acting president in the capital Caracas on Wednesday amid mass protests against Mr Maduro, whose time in office has been marked by economic collapse and shortages of basic goods.

Britain’s response brings it into line with the US, Canada, Brazil and Argentina in backing Mr Guaido, 35.

Donald Trump has already recognised him as leader, prompting Mr Maduro to break diplomatic ties with the US.

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Mr Hunt said Nicolas Maduro’s regime has done ‘untold damage’ to the people of Venezuela[/caption]

Getty Images – Getty

Venezuela broke off diplomatic relations with the USA, after Donald Trump voiced his support for Mr Guaido[/caption]


By Lynn Davidson, Whitehall Correspondent

JEREMY Corbyn last night sparked uproar after opposing “outside influence in Venezuela” as Ministers hailed the overthrow of his pal President Maduro.

It separately emerged the Labour leader hosted a Venezuelan diplomat in Parliament on Wednesday night as the coup took place – but refused to discuss the devastating hardship and suffering of its people.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday declared the UK does not regard President Nicolas Maduro as the “legitimate leader” of Venezuela.

In statement issued from Washington Mr Hunt said leaders were “extremely concerned” about the situation in the country.

He said: “The election on May 20 was deeply flawed; ballot boxes were stuffed, there were counting irregularities and the opposition was banned.

“This regime has done untold damage to the people of Venezuela, 10% of the population have left Venezuela such is the misery they are suffering.

“So the United Kingdom believes Juan Guaido is the right person to take Venezuela forward. We are supporting the US, Canada, Brazil and Argentina to make that happen.”

Last night Tory MP David Morris slammed Labour’s position.

He raged: “This is another example of how out of step Jeremy Corbyn is with the British public and other world leaders.

“Venezuela’s socialist regime has caused devastating suffering and misery for millions of its people.”

A Labour spokesman said they “opposed outside interference in Venezuela, whether from the US or anywhere else” adding “the future of Venezuela is a matter for Venezuelans”.

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