Richard Burgon defended Jeremy Corbyn on the radio and people are asking what Labour were thinking

Andy Gregory
Wednesday 27 November 2019 10:15
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Labour supporters doubtless awoke this morning nursing their wounds from Jeremy Corbyn’s arguably disastrous Andrew Neil interview, during which he failed to give a fresh apology for antisemitism within the party.

Unfortunately, for many, their sense of despair was compounded as they heard the dulcet tones of Richard Burgon doing the damage limitation rounds on Radio 4, Sky News and LBC.

Many felt the shadow justice secretary might not be the best choice of candidate to restore faith in the Labour Party.

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Not least because of his own record on antisemitism.

Despite trying to fob it off as a story made up by The Express during his own car-crash interview with Andrew Neil in 2018, footage unearthed by investigative journalist Iggy Ostanin later showed Mr Burgon declaring in 2014:

The enemy of the Palestinian people is not the Jewish people. 

The enemy of the Palestinian people are Zionists, and Zionism is the enemy of peace and the enemy of the Palestinian people.

While it’s worth pointing out that anti-Zionism is not inherently antisemitic, and to suggest otherwise does Palestinians a grave injustice, a statement like that made above arguably doesn’t sound benign.

Mr Burgon later clarified he had been criticising Israel’s “aggressive, expansionist policies" and that "the terminology has different meanings to different people and the simplistic language used does not reflect how I now think about this complex issue and I would not use it again today."

Despite seemingly moving on from his own controversial moment, it seems many people felt Mr Burgon wasn’t the strongest candidate to call on in hard times.

While many were likely referring to the two bruising interviews he faced with Kay Burley earlier in on in the election campaign, others pointed to a baffling comment he made in the wake of the Corbyn-Neil broadcast, suggesting Boris Johnson didn't want people to know he was a Tory.

But here's the round of up the morning's interviews so you can make your own mind up how he handled things.

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