JEREMY CORBYN was last night challenged to use his “friendship” with Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro to “stop the beatings and killings” of his people.

Jeremy Corbyn ‘turns blind eye’ to the plight of Venezuelan people, slams top minister

The gauntlet was thrown down by Tory defence minister Tobias Ellwood, who said it would be the ultimate test to see how much the Labour leader actually believed in democracy.

It comes a week after Maduro created a new assembly of sympathetic politicians with the power to rewrite the constitution and overrule government departments which no longer back his socialist agenda.

Last night the new body carried out its first order of business by sacking attorney general Luisa Ortega.

Corbyn and Maduro are friends, he could speak to the Venezuelan president

Tobias Ellwood

She was escorted out of her government building by armed troops.

Ellwood, hailed a hero after he attempted to save PC Keith Palmer as he lay dying following the Westminster terror attack, said Corbyn had made a career out of befriending “mostly anticapitalist nations whose interests are not aligned to Britain.”

“Corbyn and Maduro are friends, he could speak to the Venezuelan president,” he said last night.

“This is what soft power is about between nations and politicians. Yet when he has an opportunity to make a real difference…to help those poor people in Venezuela, he ducks the issue.

“What Corbyn is actually doing, by not using this connection to attempt to moderate Maduro’s actions, is turning a blind eye. And that is scandalous.”

He said sinister moves in Caracas mirrored the way Jeremy Corbyn was “manipulating” Labour today.

“There’s a direct comparison with Maduro’s attempt to have a new assembly and the underlying current of having people replaced in the Shadow Cabinet; the growth of Momentum and the manoeuvring happening behind the scenes which most people do not see,“ he said.

“Corbyn may say that he is pushing transparency, but the reality is that he’s playing the game of manipulating positions on the NEC and dumping moderate Labour elements. There’s an entire groundswell of activity pushing this.”

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