LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn came under fire from Tory opponents yesterday after suggesting there were links between the UK’s involvement in the “war on terror” and terrorist attacks in Britain.

The speech to activists, though carefully worded, general and nuanced, was Corbyn’s first event after the election campaign had resumed. There had been a truce after Monday’s night atrocity in Manchester.

“The blame is with the terrorists, but if we are to protect our people we must be honest about what threatens our security,” Corbyn said.

“Those causes certainly cannot be reduced to foreign policy decisions alone.

“Over the past 15 years or so, a sub-culture of often suicidal violence has developed amongst a tiny minority of mainly young men, falsely drawing authority from Islamic beliefs and often nurtured in a prison system in urgent need of resources and reform.

“And no rationale based on the actions of any government can remotely excuse, or even adequately explain, outrages like this week’s massacre.

“But we must be brave enough to admit the war on terror is simply not working. We need a smarter way to reduce the threat from countries that nurture terrorists and generate terrorism.”

Corbyn responded to criticism from the Tories and LibDems over the timing of his speech, insisting he does not want to exploit Manchester to make “a narrow political point”.

But he stressed the “responsibility” of government to minimise the chance of attacks and accused the Tory government of underfunding the police, increasing the terror threat with foreign interventions in Iraq, Syria and Libya, and “surrendering” freedoms in the face of the threat.

“But we cannot carry on as though nothing happened in Manchester this week,” he added.

“So, let the quality of our debate over the next fortnight be worthy of the country we are proud to defend. Let’s have our arguments without impugning anyone’s patriotism and without diluting the unity with which we stand against terror.”

Senior Labour politician Mike Gapes, a former chairman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, suggested Corbyn was buying into Daesh propaganda, saying the Islamic terror group “hate us for what we are”, not “for what we do”.

“Our foreign policy is used as justification for their crimes – it is not the reason,” he said.

Abedi was was born in Britain to Libyan parents who had fled the Gaddafi regime.

His sister claimed he “wanted revenge” for US-led military strikes in the Middle East.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the Labour leader’s position was “absolutely monstrous” and it was “absolutely extraordinary and inexplicable in this week of all weeks that there should be any attempt to justify or to legitimate the actions of terrorists in this way”.

He added: “This is a moment ... when we should be coming together, uniting to defeat these people, and we can and we will, not just in Iraq and in Syria but of course in the battle for the hearts and minds.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon defended Corbyn.

During a campaign stop in Edinburgh, the SNP leader said: “We must be able to have a robust debate about foreign policy, about security, about how we keep the population safe.

“I’ve been a long-standing critic of the war in Iraq. The SNP did not vote for the bombing campaign in Syria because we believe that these kinds of foreign-policy approaches have tended to hinder rather than help the process of dealing with the underlying problems.”