Rachel Riley instructs Mark Lewis to pursue libel claim against Corbyn staffer Laura Murray

The Countdown presenter calls tweet about her an 'appalling distortion of the truth'


Rachel Riley has instructed a high-profile lawyer to pursue claims against a member of Jeremy Corbyn's staff who wrote that the Jewish Countdown presenter had claimed: “Corbyn deserves to be violently attacked because he is a Nazi.”

The JC understands that Ms Riley has instructed Mark Lewis, who came to prominence representing the victims of phone hacking, to pursue a claim against Laura Murray, whose job title is “stakeholder manager to the Leader of the Opposition”.

On Sunday, after Jeremy Corbyn was allegedly assaulted by someone who reportedly broke an egg over his head, Ms Murray tweeted: “Today Jeremy Corbyn went to his local mosque for visit my mosque day, and was attacked by a Brexiteer.

“Rachel Riley tweets that Corbyn deserves to be violently attacked because he is a Nazi.

“This woman is as dangerous as she is stupid. Nobody should engage with her. Ever.”

She was referring to a tweet Ms Riley posted on Sunday quoting leftwing journalist and activist Owen Jones, who had tweeted in January after a neo-Nazi had an egg thrown at him.

Mr Jones, a columnist for the Guardian, had tweeted: “I think sound life advice is, if you don’t want eggs thrown at you, don’t be a Nazi. Seems fair to me.”

Ms Riley described it as “good advice”.

On Monday, Ms Riley called Ms Murray’s tweet about her an “appalling distortion of the truth.”

She added: “My tweet was pointing out the hypocrisy of those on the left, who rightly identify right-wing thugs as just that, whereas the mirror on the left are excused as ‘activists’.”

She accused Ms Murray of “libelling" her.

Mr Lewis represented the family of Milly Dowler in their phone hacking case against News of the World, and Jack Monroe, the food writer and journalist, in a successful libel suit against far-right media figure Katie Hopkins.

Two weeks ago, Ms Riley and Tracy-Ann Oberman, a well-known Jewish actress, hired Mr Lewis to take legal action against up to 70 people they believe either posted libellous claims about them or sent them abusive messages.

Ms Murray is the daughter of Andrew Murray, an adviser to Mr Corbyn. He joined Labour in 2016 after 40 years in various iterations of the Communist Party.

Ms Murray has now deleted her account from Twitter.

Labour told the JC it would not comment on staffing matters.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive