Jeremy Corbyn, the favourite for the Labour leadership, wrote a letter of support for a vicar who was banned from social media and commenting on Middle East issues after he posted a link to an article blaming Israel for the 9/11 terror attacks.
The MP for Islington North claims Reverend Stephen Sizer, who used Facebook to promote the article entitled “9/11 Israel did it” was ‘under attack’ by a pro-Israeli smear campaign.
According to Mail Online, Corbyn wrote to the Church, suggesting Sizer had been victimised for “speaking out against Zionism”. He added: “Reverend Stephen Sizer seems to have come under attack by certain individuals intent on discrediting the excellent work that Stephen does in highlighting the injustices of the Palestinian Israeli situation.”
Sizer, vicar at Christ Church in Virginia Water, Surrey, faced an investigation from the Diocese of Guildford where he is licensed. He later issued a statement through the diocese expressing regret and admitting that sharing the article was “ill-considered and misguided”.
The Bishop of Guildford Andrew Watson said: “It is my view that Stephen’s strong but increasingly undisciplined commitment to an anti-Zionist agenda has become a liability to his own ministry and that of the wider church.”
Corbyn, who described terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah as his ‘friends’, has also received the full backing of infamous Holocaust denier Paul Eisen, who claims to be a ‘long-standing associate’.
According to Mail Online, Eisen, who leads a pro-Palestinian group, said Corbyn attended ‘every single’ one of his annual anti-Israel events and has even donated to his virulently anti-Israel group, Deir Yassin Remembered.
A spokesman for Corbyn said: “Paul Eisen is not someone Jeremy Corbyn‘s office has any dealings with. Anyone can call themselves a ‘long-time associate’ when in fact that is not the case. Paul Eisen clearly holds some of the most extreme views that are entirely his, and Jeremy totally opposes them and disassociates himself from them.”
News of the firebrand backbench MP’s alleged links to Sizer and Eisen come asJoan Ryan , thenew chairman of Labour Friends of Israel acknowledged her “deep concerns” about Corbyn’s campaign.
The firebrand backbench MP’s alleged links to Sizer and Eisen come as his leadership campaign reached new heights, despite warnings from a string of senior party figures that choosing the veteran left-winger would be catastrophic for Labour’s electoral chances.
A YouGov survey this week found Mr Corbyn had nearly doubled his lead in a week to 32 percent. It gave him 53 percent – enough to win without a need to count second preferences – with Andy Burnham losing five points to 21%, Yvette Cooper slipping two to 18 percent and Liz Kendall down three on eight percent.