Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said there were “many, many, inaccuracies” in the BBC Panorama documentary about antisemitism in the party.
Mr Corbyn said the programme adopted a “pre-determined position” before it was aired earlier this week.
Speaking during a visit to the Durham Miners’ Gala, Mr Corbyn said: “I watched the programme and I felt there were many, many inaccuracies in the programme.
“The programme adopted a pre-determined position on its own website before it was broadcast.
“We’ve made very clear what our processes are.
“Our party members do have the right to be heard if they’re accused of anything and our party staff have a right to be supported and they are supported.”
"There were many, many inaccuracies." @jeremycorbyn reacts to a BBC Panorama report that claimed senior Labour figures interfered in investigations into claims of antisemitism.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 13, 2019
A BBC spokesman said: “The BBC stands by its journalism and we completely reject any accusations of bias or dishonesty. The investigation was not pre-determined, it was driven by the evidence.
“The outcome shows the serious questions facing the Labour Party and its leadership on this issue. The programme adhered to the BBC’s editorial guidelines, including contacting the Labour Party in advance of the broadcast for a full right of reply.”
Mr Corbyn was asked whether he will publish Labour’s response to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) inquiry into allegations of antisemitism within the party but said the investigation had not happened yet.
The Labour leader said he will fully cooperate with the EHRC.
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“Antisemitism is a poison, it is vile, it is wrong,” he said. “It is a poison in our society and any other society.”
He added: “It is not acceptable in any form.”
Mr Corbyn said anyone in the party who commits any act of antisemitism faces withdrawal of membership or expulsion and “that we have done”.
He said: “We investigate every case that comes up.
“It’s less than 0.1% of our membership that have ever been involved in any accusation, never mind any resolution of the issue.”
He said: “We are processing them in a timely manner and I believe that anyone looking at our process will say actually this is a robust process and maybe we’ll invite other political parties to adopt the same diligence that we have adopted.”
Unite general secretary Len McCluskey drew the biggest cheer at the Miners’ Gala when he attacked Labour deputy leader Tom Watson in blunt language as he came to the defence of Jennie Formby.
Ms Formby, Labour’s general secretary, has been criticised since the Panorama documentary and Mr McCluskey said this would be wrong in normal circumstances – but is even worse given that she is fighting cancer.
He told thousands gathered in the rain on Durham Racecourse: “I have a simple message for Tom Watson and his pals in the media – a simple message to Tom and his pals: You should f****** well be ashamed of yourselves.
“Jennie, our message to you is that the Durham Miners’ Gala stands with you.”
— Len McCluskey (@LenMcCluskey) July 13, 2019
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