Jeremy Corbyn has dismissed claims that he met and briefed a Czech spy during the Cold War as a “ridiculous smear”.
According to a report the Labour leader held three meetings with a communist spy in 1986 and allegedly warned about a clampdown by British intelligence on European spies in the UK.
It was claimed that he met with the Soviet-backed agent Lieutenant Jan Dymic in the House of Commons on two separate occasions.
But a spokesman for the Labour leader said the claim that Mr Corbyn was an “agent, asset or informer” for any intelligence agency “is entirely false and a ridiculous smear”.
He added: “Like other MPs, Jeremy has met diplomats from many countries. In the 1980s he met a Czech diplomat, who did not go by the name of Jan Dymic, for a cup of tea in the House of Commons.
“Jeremy neither had nor offered any privileged information to this or any other diplomat.
“During the Cold War, intelligence officers notoriously claimed to superiors to have recruited people they had merely met. The existence of these bogus claims does not make them in any way true.”
The story in The Sun, which ran under the headline “Corbyn and the Commie spy”, alleged that soviet-backed intelligence officers placed Mr Corbyn – then a backbench MP for just three years – on a “list of the Czechoslovakian state security team’s agents and sources”.
The claims are based on documentation released in Prague relating to the former Czech secret police force (Statni Bezpecnost). The reports noted that Mr Corbyn was “negative towards USA, as well as the current politics of the Conservative government”.
After an alleged meeting between Lt Dymic and the MP for Islington North, a note added: “Behaviour is reserved and courteous, however, occasionally explosive (when speaking about human rights), though the performance is calm and collected.”
But Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, who is attending a Nato briefing in Brussels, referred to the report in The Sun as evidence of Mr Corbyn’s untrustworthiness.
Mr Williamson told the London Evening Standard: “Jeremy Corbyn has never had Britain’s interests at heart.
“Time and time again he has sided with those who want to destroy everything that is great about this country, whether it is sympathising with terrorists, backing rogue regimes, or cosying up to those who want to inflict pain and misery on the British people.
“That he met foreign spies is a betrayal of this country. He cannot be trusted.”