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17 Aug, 2018 10:24

Corbyn’s wreath row crusade: Labour leader files complaint with regulator against right-wing media

Corbyn’s wreath row crusade: Labour leader files complaint with regulator against right-wing media

Jeremy Corbyn is set to face off with all of Britain’s right-wing press after Labour filed a complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) over coverage of the Tunis wreath row in six publications.

The party argues that stories published in the Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Telegraph, Metro, Times and Sun were both misleading and factually inaccurate. The stories have misrepresented the 2014 event at a Tunis cemetery, those buried there and the role of mainstream Palestinian leaders, Labour argues.

Labour’s complaint states that Corbyn laid only one wreath in commemoration of the almost-50 people that were killed by an Israeli airstrike outside of Tunis in 1985, and was not involved in any other laying of wreaths, as reported in the publications in question.

The complaint argues that the coverage of the event was misleading as the terrorists who carried out the Munich massacre are actually buried in Libya not Tunisia.

Photographs, taken in 2014 and published by the Daily Mail on August 11, show Corbyn holding a wreath at a service in the Tunis cemetery. The original story, headlined ‘Corbyn’s wreath at Munich terrorists’ graves,’ accuses the Labour leader of attending a “tribute event for Palestine ‘martyrs’ including plotters behind the 1972 slaughter of Israeli Olympic athletes.” That is a claim which was repeated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The original story, and its follow-ups, refers to the graves of four Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) leaders, including the resting place of Atef Bseiso, the PLO’s intelligence chief who had been accused by Israel of planning the Munich attacks, an allegation he and the PLO consistently denied. The PLO is a UN and Israeli-recognized representative of the Palestinian people, crucial to the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords.

IPSO has acknowledged Labour’s complaint and will now consider the case. The publications in question have been informed. Depending on the results of their own internal investigations, corrections and/or apologies could be issued to resolve the matter.

If Labour rejects any of the potential offers from the publications, a full ISPO inquiry will take place and the regulator will be tasked with taking the steps needed to resolve the matter.

IPSO has been increasingly willing to make bold rulings, ordering the Daily Mail and the Mirror to make front-page corrections in recent months.

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