Guardian checked controversial Steve Bell EHRC cartoon with ‘senior Jewish colleagues’

The cartoon drew criticism for supposedly comparing Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension to John the Baptist’s beheading 


The Guardian comment desk checked a recent Steve Bell cartoon accused of containing an antisemitic trope with “senior Jewish colleagues” before publishing it, according to the Private Eye

In the wake of last week’s EHRC report on antisemitism in the Labour Party, the controversial cartoonist depicted Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer offering the head of Jeremy Corbyn on a plate – which was taken as a reference to the Caravaggio painting portraying Salome being offered the head of John the Baptist. 

In the New Testament story, the Jewish daughter of King Herod demands John the Baptist's execution as reward for dancing for her father. Online users including Labour peer Andrew Adonis suggested it portrayed Mr Corbyn as being martyred by a “sinister and murderously violent plot” by Jews. 

According to the satirical magazine, after the cartoon was published, Guardian editor Kath Viner told a Monday editorial conference that the comment desk had checked with Jewish colleagues to make sure the cartoon was kosher, declaring: “We took all the right steps!” 

Mr Bell has previously been accused of using antisemitic tropes in cartoons, which he denies.

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