Piers Corbyn may face police investigation over anti-vax Auschwitz poster

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Piers Corbyn may face police investigation over anti-vax Auschwitz poster

Climate change sceptic's name appeared on leaflet distributed in south London, as authorities look into whether it broke the law.

Piers Corbyn (2nd left) the brother of former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, speaking at a Stop New Normal protest at Portobello Green in London.
Piers Corbyn (2nd left) the brother of former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, speaking at a Stop New Normal protest at Portobello Green in London.

Piers Corbyn may be subject to a police investigation over posters on which his name appears comparing vaccines to Auschwitz.

The anti-vaccination activist’s name appeared on leaflets distributed in south London last week, with authorities investigating whether they broke the law.

“Police are aware of leaflets  in circulation containing information that appears to compare the Covid-19 vaccination programme with the Holocaust.”

The leaflets were distributed in the south London area in late January.”

Detectives from the Met’s Public Order Crime Team  are reviewing the leaflets to determine if any offences have been committed.  No arrests have been made.”

The poster depicts Auschwitz, but changes its infamous phrase at its gate from ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’, meaning ‘work sets you free’, to  “vaccines are safe path to freedom”.

Underneath the illustration, which uses the Evening Standard’s name and logo, it says ‘concept idea Piers Corbyn and drawing by Alexander Heaton’.

Labour’s Neil Coyle, MP for Bermondsey & Old Southwark, said he was “absolutely sickened by anti-vax conspiracy theory crackpot leaflets put through some doors in SE17 today. Sickening when people trying to stay home and safe. Hideous imagery and asking Southwark Police for action against these disgusting, dangerous cranks”.

Controversial poster whose ‘concept idea’ was Piers Corbyn’s

Mike Katz, National Secretary of the Jewish Labour Movement said on Twitter it was “beyond disgusting. Vile and dangerous. The only thing that isn’t surprising about the conspiratorial crank depths this sinks to is the fact that Piers Corbyn is behind it.”

An image of the poster was shared by the mayor of Lambeth, Philip Normal, who said on Twitter: “As if this came through our door. Antisemitism, racism, HATE.. is not tolerated in my house, or this country, or the planet Earth.”

Cllr Kieron Williams, Leader of Southwark Council, told Jewish News: “It is deeply disturbing that a very small minority is playing upon the fears and concerns of some of our residents by distributing wholly false and, in some instances, inexcusably malicious disinformation about the Covid-19 vaccine. I am personally appalled at the attempt to peddle dangerous conspiracy theories invoking imagery of Auschwitz. We will not stand for antisemitism in our borough. We have reported this incident to the police, who are investigating whether a crime has been committed.

“Councils and health partners are working extremely hard with community leaders to listen to and address the genuine concerns of our residents, and reassure them that the Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective. Shameful disinformation of this sort dampens our efforts to help save lives.”

Meanwhile, shadow culture secretary, Jo Stevens, told the Guardian: “The growth in dangerous and, in some cases, far-right and antisemitic anti-vax material is deeply worrying with coordinated attempts to spread fear and distrust both online and offline.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: