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Corbyn 'Mispronounces' Epstein as 'Epschtine', Ignites Anti-Semitism Row on Social Media

© REUTERS / Amy Brammell/ITVBoris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are seen on a screen as journalists watch tonight's debate in the 'Spin Room' ahead of general election in London, Britain, November 19, 2019
Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are seen on a screen as journalists watch tonight's debate in the 'Spin Room' ahead of general election in London, Britain, November 19, 2019 - Sputnik International
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Tuesday witnessed the first face-off between Conservative Party head Boris Johnson and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. The two sparred over Brexit, the NHS, the economy, trust in politics, Jeffrey Epstein, and the monarchy in the first televised debate of the election campaign.

Jeremy Corbyn has stirred up another anti-Semitism row with Twitter user criticising the Labour Party leader for his pronunciation of Jeffrey Epstein's surname, accusing him of deliberately making the paedophile’s name sound “more Jewish.”

The Labour leader and Prime Minister Boris Johnson went head-to-head on Tuesday night during an ITV election debate.

As the two rivals answered questions on Prince Andrew’s friendship with disgraced billionaire Jeffrey Epstein – an issue that has been in the media spotlight recently - both expressed sympathy for the victims of the convicted sex offender who purportedly killed himself while facing trafficking charges.

While Boris Johnson pronounced Epstein’s surname correctly, Corbyn made it sound like “Ep-schtine”, giving it what has been described as a “Germanic twist.”

The incident sparked immediate fury on social media.

When Twitter user Alec Feldman speculated that Corbyn, whose party has been fending off accusations of anti-Semitism, had made Epstein sound “more Jewish", comedian David Baddiel tweeted:

“Every Jew watching noticed that.”

The response from viewers at home was prompt.

Some people leapt to the politician's defence, claiming this pronunciation of Epstein’s name was the “German way.”

​Others were quick to brand Corbyn an anti-Semite.

​Others on social media were left perplexed.

The Labour Party has been consistently facing allegations of anti-Semitism. Jeremy Corbyn has rejected the accusations, pledging to redouble efforts to fight anti-Semitism within his party's ranks.

The current incident unfolded during the debate as Johnson and Corbyn refused to back Prince Andrew when asked whether he was fit for purpose in light of the Epstein scandal and the resulting allegations.

During a quickfire round in the last segment of the debate the two party leaders were asked about the Duke of York, who has been facing heavy criticism this week over his friendship with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The host of the leadership debate in Salford, Julie Etchingham posed the question:

“Is Prince Andrew fit for purpose?”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“All our sympathy should be with the victims of Jeffrey Epstein and the law must certainly take its course.”

Jeremy Corbyn responded:

“Before we discuss Prince Andrew, I think we should discuss the victims that are there because of what Epstein was doing and I think there are very, very serious questions that must be answered and nobody should be above the law.”

The question had followed an earlier one sent in by a viewer at home that was: “Is the Monarchy fit for purpose.”

Corbyn said that it “needs a bit of improvement” as Johnson followed with “the institution of the monarchy is beyond reproach”.

Earlier, Queen Elizabeth’s second son the Duke of York appeared in what has been branded a “car-crash” interview with the BBC’s Newsnight to give details about his relationship with the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and address allegations about sex with a teenage girl.

© AFP 2022 / LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHAIn this file photo taken on November 03, 2019, Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York leaves after speaking at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in Bangkok, on the sidelines of the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
Corbyn 'Mispronounces' Epstein as 'Epschtine', Ignites Anti-Semitism Row on Social Media - Sputnik International
In this file photo taken on November 03, 2019, Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York leaves after speaking at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in Bangkok, on the sidelines of the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.

The prince has been in the media crosshairs since allegations emerged about his controversial friendship with Epstein.

The member of the British monarchy has been emphatically rejecting all allegations levelled at him.

Who triumphed in the debate?

With just over three weeks until the general election in the UK set for 12 December, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sparred over Brexit, the NHS, the economy, trust in politics, the monarchy, and Jeffrey Epstein in the first televised debate of the election campaign.

Just hours before the TV debate kicked off, Johnson penned a letter to Corbyn with a list of four questions to answer regarding the latter's Brexit policy, a subject Johnson claims Corbyn has evaded.

© REUTERS / Jonathan Hordle/ITVConservative leader Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are seen during a televised debate ahead of general election in London, Britain, November 19, 2019.
Corbyn 'Mispronounces' Epstein as 'Epschtine', Ignites Anti-Semitism Row on Social Media - Sputnik International
Conservative leader Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are seen during a televised debate ahead of general election in London, Britain, November 19, 2019.

Following the debate, polling showed a neck and neck result with 51 percent saying that the prime minister had won and 49 pefrcent saying that the opposition leader won.

A snap YouGov poll suggested the public were evenly split on who had won the debate, "with most Labour voters thinking Jeremy Corbyn won, most Conservative voters thinking Boris Johnson won."

A separate snap poll gave Corbyn an edge over Johnson, with 67 percent of respondents saying he did "well" in the debate, and 59 percent saying the prime minister did well.

 

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