Corbyn and McCluskey praise media outlets accused of fuelling Labour antisemitism crisis

Ex-Labour leader and Unite general secretary praised the Morning Star, The Canary and Skwawkbox as they attacked the mainstream media


Jeremy Corbyn and his union chief ally Len McCluskey have used the launch of ex-Labour leader’s new ‘Peace and Justice Project’ to heap praise on media outlets that have regularly been accused of helping fuel the antisemitism crisis.

At an online rally on Sunday, Mr Corbyn said a “just, free and accountable” media was one of the four key goals of his new global campaign, which aims to bring together activists, trade unions and other left-wing groups.

But after attacking media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s planned News UK TV channel which he said his project would campaign against, Mr Corbyn then went on to praise the “incredible job” done by the Morning Star newspaper in the UK.

Last June, the JC revealed how the Morning Star, the paper of the Communist Party of Britain, repeated the smear that attempted to link Israel with the killing of Black American George Floyd.

In October the newspaper claimed that allegations of antisemitism within Labour had been overwhelmingly “manifestly untrue and malicious” and the work of “not only British and Israeli state actors but an unscrupulous assembly of reactionary forces of all kinds.”

But Mr Corbyn singled out the Morning Star for praise, despite its limited circulation,  as he admitted most other left-wing newspapers have “struggled to survive.” He urged his supporters to continue to exploit social media as an alternative platform to the mainstream media.

Setting out the aims of his new political venture, he  also appeared to take a sideswipe at his successor Sir Keir Starmer, saying: “If you refuse to argue for your side, our opponents win by default.

In his own speech, Unite general secretary Mr McCluskey said he wanted to “restate Unite’s absolute determination and commitment” to have Mr Corbyn’s suspension from sitting as a Labour MP lifted.

He said it was “a disgraceful action”.

The union chief then praised the impact of alternative media outlets, naming among others, the online blog Skwawkbox and The Canary.

He added: “Certainly in my union we would be looking to try and financially support those sort of alternative media outlets.”

Mr McCluskey said these were “blogs that speak truth to power.”

Both The Canary and Skwawkbox have sparked fury among campaigners against antisemitism with a series of articles published on their platforms.

The JC understands that the government’s antisemitism adviser Lord John Mann is close to publishing a report looking into the role of The Canary and other websites in the growth of antisemitism in the United Kingdom.

Its editor-in-chief Kerry-Anne Mendoza is responsible for making a stream of inflammatory comments about the racism crisis under Mr Corbyn.

Meanwhile, Skwawkbox  editor Stephen Walker was forced to apologise in 2018 after describing an article about the “Jewish war against Corbyn” both “pertinent and frightening”.

In another speech at Sunday’s event, Ronnie Kasrils, a former South African government minister and member of the African National Congress executive, launched a confused attack on Sir Keir and the veteran Jewish MP Dame Margaret Hodge whom he spoke of as “Lady Hodge”.

Mr Kasrils praised the “women, men and children of Palestine facing the bombs and bullets of Israel refusing to submit.”

He then continued: “Tell that to  Lady Hodge in the House of Lords and to this new leader of the Labour Party that ousted Jeremy in an atrocious coup.”

Labour MP Zarah Sultana also spoke at the event, attacking “Tory ideology and the contempt they have for our class.”

She added: “Our opponents want to divide white against black, Christian, against Muslim against Jew.”

Yanis Varoufakis, who served as Minister of Finance with the Syriza party in Greece, also spoke at the event and claimed Mr Corbyn had been "demonised" with what he said were false allegations of antisemitism.

Mr Corbyn was suspended from the Labour Party last October as he responded to the publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission report into antisemitism with a critical statement on Facebook.

He was readmitted into the party 19 days later, but was then relieved of the whip by Sir Keir in response to anger from Jewish campaigners.

Mr Corbyn also used his speech on Sunday to say his new project would help with organising direct support in communities, such as food banks; campaign for a green new deal; and press the government to speed up the delivery of Covid vaccines in developing countries.








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