Countdown star Rachel Riley faced backlash as she put on a T-shirt with a doctored photo of a young Jeremy Corbyn, whose original anti-apartheid poster was swapped for a placard reading: “Jeremy Corbyn is a racist endeavour”.
“I didn’t feel comfortable knowing my workplace was to be full of racists tonight. I don’t endorse Boris, but I do endorse #NeverCorbyn. Please see my pinned thread if you still don’t understand why”, the TV presenter, who has repeatedly accused the Labour Party of anti-Semitism, tweeted, commenting on the leader debate.
I didn’t feel comfortable knowing my workplace was to be full of racists tonight. I don’t endorse Boris, but I do endorse #NeverCorbyn. Please see my pinned thread if you still don’t understand why. #LeadersDebate #LabourAntisemitism https://t.co/X93TcqOGjX pic.twitter.com/m8yZimVnHY— Rachel Riley 🍊 (@RachelRileyRR) November 19, 2019
Her anti-Corbyn merchandise, previously seen during a rally against anti-Semitism in London this September, angered many, lambasting Riley for smearing the Labour leader, whose message on the original photo was, in fact, anti-racist: “Defend the right to demonstrate against apartheid; join this picket”.
And yet the picture of him on your T-Shirt is the one where he is protesting against Apartheid🤔— James (@jamesbears85) November 19, 2019
@channel4— Lady and the Frog (@ladyandfrog) November 20, 2019
Ms Riley, the picture on your t shirt is of Mr Corbyn protesting against apartheid, in defence of Nobel Prize winner Nelson Mandela, being arrested for it.
Corbyn being arrested for protesting against racism.
I try very hard to stay polite...https://t.co/A7bGjqYUFe
is photoshopping over an anti-apartheid slogan a joke to you? pic.twitter.com/EpwV1ctQzk— saeen (@saeen90_) November 20, 2019
However, the TV star, who is now expecting a baby with her husband Pasha Kovalev, defended her post.
“Without feeding individual ignorant trolls, this is why I have no qualms using this photo to highlight Corbyn’s racism. He was actually a member of CLAAG... ‘a front’ for a violence prone Trotskyist group known as the Revolutionary Communist Group (RCG)”, she tweeted, sharing a Telegraph article claiming that “Nelson Mandela declined to meet Jeremy Corbyn's anti-apartheid movement”.
The article cited the book Youth Activism and Solidarity: The Non-Stop Picket Against Apartheid by Gavin Brown and Helen Yaffe. But she did not stop at this, tweeting: “Why would Nelson Mandela be advised by actual anti-apartheid heroes not to meet Corbyn and his extremist group if they were so fantastic? Because that’s more leftist revisionism.
Along with inviting the IRA and friends from Hamas for tea in parliament somehow helps people”.
She also took aim at her critics, saying they “are ignorant of the facts” and slammed the attempts to brand her racist.
“Trying to brand me as racist for this, whist lauding themselves as anti-racist heroes, shows just how little regard many people have for anti-Jewish racism, and why I and many others speak so loudly. It’s a hatred which unites the far right, far left and is having a resurgence”, she posted.
Trying to brand me as racist for this, whist lauding themselves as anti-racist heroes, shows just how little regard many people have for anti-Jewish racism, and why I and many others speak so loudly. It’s a hatred which unites the far right, far left and is having a resurgence.— Rachel Riley 🍊 (@RachelRileyRR) November 21, 2019
Riley’s offensive against Jeremy Corbyn came as the Labour leader has stirred up another anti-Semitism row on Twitter. The Labour leader and Prime Minister Boris Johnson went head-to-head on Tuesday night during an ITV election debate, and Corbyn’s pronunciation of Jeffrey Epstein's surname prompted some to accuse the politician of deliberately making the paedophile’s name sound “more Jewish.”