Jeremy Corbyn tried to hide terrorist-ceremony 'Wreathgate' trip from Parliament

Leaked emails show he wanted to keep cost below the threshhold for declaration, lest it come up in 'debates etc'


Jeremy Corbyn tried to work around parliamentary rules so he would not have to declare his now-infamous "Wreathgate" visit to Tunisia.

His trip in late 2014 caused a scandal four years later when it resurfaced at the height of Labour's antisemitism crisis. It was revealed Mr Corbyn took part in a ceremony to lay a wreath for the Black September terrorists, who murdered Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

New emails, unearthed by the Guido Fawkes blog, reveal Mr Corbyn asked staff to "keep it cheap" to ensure the trip came under the £660. Otherwise, he feared, it "has to be referred to debates etc".

"It sounds alright but will need to be very clear who is paying for it as I will have to declare anything over £600 [sic], unless thy [sic] can keep it cheap," he wrote to his office staff about the trip.

The trip, funded by the Tunisian government, ended up costing £656 - £4 below the threshhold.

Amid the fallout of the scandal in August 2018, Mr Corbyn's office sought to deny much of what was reported in the press.

It descended into a row over whether Mr Corbyn had laid the wreath himself, in which the Labour leader said the infamous and widely mocked claim: "I was present when it was laid, I don’t think I was actually involved in it."

"I was there because I wanted to see a fitting memorial to everyone who’s died in every terrorist incident everywhere because we have to end it," he said.

"You cannot pursue peace by a cycle of violence. The only way you pursue peace is a cycle of dialogue.”

His comments were condemned by Labour Friends of Israel, which said his remarks were "a further insult to those savagely murdered at Munich and their bereaved relatives" given "clear photographic evidence of him holding a wreath at the grave of the terrorists themselves".

Mr Corbyn's office took various newspapers to Ipso, the press regulator, over their coverage only to quietly withdraw the complaint later. 

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