Corbyn carefully avoids mentioning antisemitism in interview with left-wing site

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Corbyn carefully avoids mentioning antisemitism in interview with left-wing site

Former Labour leader spoke about his political career during 50-minute discussion with The Canary.

Screenshot of Jeremy Corbyn speaking on the Canary's video
Screenshot of Jeremy Corbyn speaking on the Canary's video

Jeremy Corbyn criticised the mass media in an interview with a left-wing publication on Thursday night.

The former Labour leader made the comments in a pre-recorded video message aired on left-wing media platform, the Canary.

In the 50-minute recording, Mr Corbyn was interviewed by the website’s editor, Kerry-Anne Mendoza.

During the interview, they reflected on his political career – but avoided any reference to the antisemitism row that tarnished his tenure as Labour leader and led to his suspension from the party this year.

The interview with Mr Corbyn was part of the website’s “Frontline” fortnightly interviews with people described as being “on the frontline of the biggest battles of our time”.

Mr Corbyn, 71, reflected on his first day in Parliament, having a cup of tea with former MPs Joan Maynard and Harry Cohen, the former MP for Leyton and Wanstead.

He also spoke about his work with the striking miners, his campaign against the Iraq War and his support for the Black Lives Matter movement.  

He said a key concern going forward was: “The stress, the poverty and the fear that’s being brought about by the corona crisis.”

He criticised “mass media” publications like the Daily Mail and the Sun, calling on people to “look at refugees in a different way”.

In the conversational interview, Ms Mendoza spoke about her visits to the Middle East.

She said: “I used to date my radicalisation into, sort of, social justice warrior, as my first trip to Palestine. But then, actually, later realising that there were so many influences before that.”

She also recalled listening to Mr Corbyn campaign against the Iraq War.

“At that point in time, 2003, I was fresh back from my second delegation trip to Palestine,” she said. “So I had spent several months across 2002 in the occupied territories in Gaza and the West Bank, seeing just the most brutal oppression of people… hot on the heels of that was the decision to invade Iraq.”

Ms Mendoza asked if Mr Corbyn had a message for those who still see him as a “figurehead” of the socialist movement. He said: “Stay together, stay active, stay optimistic and above all, stay hopeful.”

Mr Corbyn was suspended from the party in October by current leader Sir Keir Starmer after his reaction to a report on antisemitism. The report found Mr Corbyn had failed to effectively tackle antisemitism in the party during his leadership from 2015 to 2020. Mr Corbyn described it as “dramatically overstated”.

This came after a long period in which Jewish members and prominent figures in the Labour Party, left over its failure to tackle antisemitism.

Mr Corbyn, who now sits as an independent MP for Islington North, has this week announced plans to launch a group in January. He has claimed that his Peace & Justice Project will “bring people together”.

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