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.
How to make a Corbyn car crash even more catastrophic? You get Richard Burgon on the radio to explain what happened.— Stokey mum (@Stokey mum) 1574840326
@IanDunt https://t.co/Si5uUjiUzG— 'Sir' Nisar Mir ❤️🇪🇺🇬🇧 (@'Sir' Nisar Mir ❤️🇪🇺🇬🇧) 1574846371
‘We need someone to undo the damage from the Corbyn interview people....’ Richard Burgon: ‘Hold my beer’ 😩 #GE2019— Mikey🦖 (@Mikey🦖) 1574844763
Richard Burgon is trending. That can't be good.— David Webb (@David Webb) 1574842281
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.
Boris Johnson is a Tory. He wants us to forget this. But that’s what he is. He stands up for the billionaires b… https://t.co/yjXsugcnf4— Richard Burgon MP (@Richard Burgon MP) 1574802045
But here's the round of up the morning's interviews so you can make your own mind up how he handled things.
"He has apologised on a number of occasions." @KayBurley pushes the shadow justice secretary @RichardBurgon on wh… https://t.co/3WPRsRtdr5— Sky News (@Sky News) 1574840398
Why wouldn't Jeremy Corbyn apologise for Labour's failure to deal with anti-Semitism within the party? Speaking to… https://t.co/ITYBTV758i— LBC (@LBC) 1574843539
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