MSM accused of lying after savaging Corbyn over Remembrance Day bow

Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, lays a wreath of poppies at the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph in central London, November 8, 2015. © Toby Melville
British media outlets have seized upon a new Jeremy Corbyn “controversy” – this time criticizing the Labour leader for his “disrespectful” bow at the Cenotaph during the Remembrance Sunday ceremony.

Right-wing newspapers savaged Corbyn, who is a former chair of the Stop the War coalition, over his alleged refusal to bow after laying a wreath of poppies at Britain’s central war memorial in Whitehall, London.

Corbyn supporters defended the Labour leader, pointing to the absurdity of criticizing him over his bow while former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s appearance at the Cenotaph went largely unnoticed.

Some 2,000 people have signed an online petition on 38 Degrees calling for The Sun to apologize for falsely claiming Corbyn refused to bow during the Remembrance service.

The Labour leader was also attacked by General Sir Nicholas Houghton on Sunday, who told BBC presenter Andrew Marr that Corbyn’s refusal to use nuclear weapons is “worrying.”

Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid The Sun published a front page Monday featuring a picture of Corbyn standing at the Cenotaph with the headline: “Pacifist Corbyn refuses to bow – Nod in my name.”

The Daily Mail, owned by tax-avoiding billionaire Lord Rothermere, ran a headline: “Jeremy Corbyn barely moved his head during his Remembrance Sunday debut at the Cenotaph.”

Tory-supporting newspaper The Telegraph meanwhile interviewed “etiquette expert” William Hanson, who said Corbyn’s bow “should have gone down around 45 degrees from the waist.

He barely did anything. But that said, it is his right not to bow and the people he was there to remember fought for our rights to do, or not to do, anything,” Hanson added.

Some Twitter users launched savage attacks on the Labour leader for his “disgraceful” bow at the Cenotaph on Sunday.

But Corbyn’s defenders meanwhile criticized the “politicization” of Remembrance Day.

Others highlighted the hypocrisy of The Sun’s stance, given the newspaper’s parent company News International admitted in 2011 to illegally hacking phones belonging to relatives of dead soldiers.

Some supporters of the Labour leader also pointed out that Corbyn spent time after the ceremony speaking with veterans, while other political leaders allegedly went to a VIP luncheon.

Corbyn also came under attack from General Sir Nicholas Houghton on Sunday, who told the BBC he would be worried if Corbyn’s anti-Trident policy was “translated into power.”

The Labour leader strongly condemned the military chief for breaching a long-standing constitutional separation between the armed forces and politicians.

It is a matter of serious concern that the chief of the defense staff has today intervened directly in issues of political dispute. It is essential in a democracy that the military remains politically neutral at all times,” Corbyn said.

By publicly taking sides in current political arguments, Sir Nicholas Houghton has clearly breached that constitutional principle. Accordingly, I am writing to the defense secretary to ask him to take action to ensure that the neutrality of the armed forces is upheld.”

The former head of the Royal Navy defended Houghton by claiming that BBC journalist Andrew Marr had skillfully maneuvered the General into criticizing Corbyn.

Andrew Marr is [a] clever interviewer,” Lord West said. “He walked him gently down that route into saying those things.”