In 2016, Labour’s shadow justice secretary and Corbyn ally Richard Burgon was asked a rather simple question by Andrew Neil when he appeared on the Daily Politics. The show took place shortly after allegations were made in the Daily Mail that the MP has said ‘Zionism is the enemy of peace’. As you would expect, in the midst of Labour’s ongoing issues with the Jewish community, Burgon was therefore given the opportunity to correct the record by Neil, and asked if the reported remarks were correct.
In response, Burgon shrugged off the accusations, replying at least three times when pressed that he ‘didn’t say that’, ‘didn’t make those comments’ and ‘would not have said that.’
Unfortunately for Burgon, though, it appears that he has been caught saying on camera saying exactly that. The freelance journalist, Iggy Ostanin, uncovered video footage today of Burgon speaking at an event in 2014. In the video, Burgon is seen proclaiming with enthusiasm that:
‘the enemy of the Palestinian people is not the Jewish people. The enemy of the Palestinian people are Zionists, and Zionism is the enemy of peace and the enemy of the Palestinian people…’
Before launching into a bizarre attack on the Labour Friends of Israel group.
Exclusive: Richard Burgon repeatedly lied to @afneil when he denied saying “Zionism is the enemy of peace”. He said over and over that he wouldn’t have said that because it’s not his view. This video I discovered shows him saying just that in 2014. Watch the whole thing. pic.twitter.com/RRW1M6yxzz
— Iggy Ostanin (@magnitsky) April 16, 2019
Mr S looks forward to Burgon’s response…
UPDATE: Richard Burgon has responded to the allegations. In a statement the MP has said he ‘did not recall’ making the remarks:
‘When it was put to me in August 2016 that I had made these remarks I did not recall doing so and therefore asked for the full quotes to be provided to me, and asked when and where I had said it. I received no reply, so I believed it was inaccurate to have claimed that I had used that phrase. It is now clear that I did and I regret doing so.’