Corbyn: BBC documentary had 'many inaccuracies'

Labour leader responds to BBC documentary which revealed that his team had interfered with anti-Semitism probe.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn responded on Saturday to the BBC Panorama documentary about anti-Semitism in the party, saying there were “many, many, inaccuracies” in the documentary and adding the program adopted a “predetermined position” before it was aired.

Former officials, including the main opposition's former general secretary Iain McNicol, told the BBC program that members of Corbyn's inner circle had interfered with investigations into anti-Semitism in the party.

The Labour leader made the comments during a visit to the Durham Miners’ Gala. He said, according to The Guardian, “I watched the program and I felt there were many, many inaccuracies in the program. The program adopted a predetermined 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,” added Corbyn.

When asked whether he will publish Labour’s response to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission inquiry into allegations of anti-Semitism within the party, Corbyn said the investigation had not happened yet. However, he said he will fully cooperate with the commission.

“Anti-Semitism is a poison, it is vile, it is wrong,” he said. “It is a poison in our society and any other society … It is not acceptable in any form.”

Corbyn noted that anyone in the party who commits any act of anti-Semitism faces withdrawal of membership or expulsion, and “that we have done”.

“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,” added Corbyn, according to The Guardian.

“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,” he stressed.

The party has been shaken by accusations of anti-Semitism for several years, with dozens of Labour members having been suspended over their anti-Semitic statements.

Corbyn himself has been accused of holding anti-Semitic views by senior UK Jewish leaders. Corbyn has also been criticized for calling Hamas and Hezbollah his "friends" and for outright refusing to condemn those two terrorist organizations despite being urged to do so by local Jewish groups.

Much of the criticism against Corbyn is over his playing down the anti-Semitism in his party and alienating Jews, but he insists he is not an anti-Semite and claims he has opposed it his entire life.

A BBC statement on Saturday 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 program adhered to the BBC’s editorial guidelines, including contacting the Labour party in advance of the broadcast for a full right of reply.”