Labour complains over press treatment

Tuesday 21st August 2018 | Jake

On the 11th of August, the Daily Mail ran a front-page exclusive: “Labour leader at tribute to Palestinian ‘martyrs’… including plotters behind 1972 slaughter of Israeli Olympic athletes”. The news arrived as allegations of antisemitism in the party intensify. A number of newspapers picked up the story and Labour have now complained to Ipso, the official press regulator over the coverage.

The thrust of Labour’s complaint is that members of the press intentionally misrepresented an event Corbyn attended in Tunisia in 2014. Many papers alleged that Corbyn was attending a memorial ceremony remembering members of the Black September terrorist group behind the 1972 Munich massacre.

In fact, the terrorists who performed the massacre are buried in Libya, many miles from Tunisia. Corbyn says he laid a wreath at the memorial of victims of an Israeli air-strike on Tunisia that killed 47 Tunisians and Palestinians in 1985.

Despite the initial headlines being spurious, some papers noted that senior figures in the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) are buried in the same Tunisian cemetery Corbyn attended. The PLO has long been accused of having close ties to the Black September terrorist group (although the PLO strongly denies this). Corbyn insists he did not lay a wreath at the PLO graves, and Labour has included this accusation in its complaint to Ipso.

Ipso is more than capable of issuing strong verdicts if any newspapers are found to have broken rules on accuracy. Labour will be hoping for a front-page correction/apology, as has been issued twice by Ipso recently – to the Daily Mail and The Mirror, respectively.