Jeremy Corbyn supporters were yesterday accused of preparing a Donald Trump-style ‘fight to the bitter end’ in the courts as Labour’s antisemitism controversy dramatically deepened.
Backers of the ex-leader have set up a company to fund his defence in legal battles connected with the antisemitism furore.
‘JBC Defence Ltd’ also has the aim of potentially paying the legal costs and damages ‘that any other person’ could run up by supporting Mr Corbyn.
Its existence emerged last week when the MP – whose full name is Jeremy Bernard Corbyn – disclosed: ‘I am likely to benefit from a legal fund managed by JBC Defence Ltd.’
Backers of Labour’s ex-leader Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) have set up a company – JBC Defence Ltd – to fund his defence in legal battles connected with the antisemitism furore
Last night, the manoeuvres were likened to Mr Trump’s threats to fight Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential election through the courts.
One Labour MP said: ‘It looks like the Corbynistas are so desperate they’re now copying Donald Trump and planning a fight to the bitter end in the courts.’
Corbyn allies dismissed that as nonsense, pointing out he was merely exercising his right to defend himself against legal action from other people.
Mr Corbyn was suspended by Labour last month for claiming that antisemitism in the party was exaggerated and appearing to undermine an Equalities and Human Rights Commission report that found Labour guilty of ‘unlawful’ harassment on his watch.
‘JBC Defence Ltd’ also has the aim of potentially paying the legal costs and damages ‘that any other person’ could run up by supporting Mr Corbyn (pictured)
He faces the prospect of two libel actions, including one for seeming to question the accuracy of BBC Panorama reporter John Ware’s 2019 documentary on Labour’s handling of antisemitism complaints.
A crowd-funding page, set up by Corbyn supporter Carole Morgan to meet that potential action, has reached nearly £370,000.
Mr Corbyn is already being sued by Jewish blogger Richard Millett, who claims the ex-leader defamed him by accusing him of being ‘disruptive and abusive’ at a 2013 meeting featuring a Palestinian speaker.
In the MPs’ register of interests last week, Mr Corbyn revealed that JBC was ‘set up on 16 October 2020 to help meet any legal costs which I or my supporters incur in relation to allegations of defamation’.
A crowd-funding page (pictured), set up by Corbyn supporter Carole Morgan to meet that potential action, has reached nearly £370,000
The firm lists its objectives as paying legal costs and damages in the cases ‘that Jeremy Corbyn may either be unable to recover… or be ordered to pay in defamation proceedings…’
The firm states it could also cover legal costs incurred by any other person ‘as a result of support expressed by that person for Jeremy Corbyn’.
There was fresh embarrassment for Labour last night as Left-wing activist Gemma Bolton – elected to the party’s ruling National Executive Committee last week – faced calls for disciplinary action over alleged remarks made about Israel in 2018. She was accused of tweeting: ‘If I run the risk of getting suspended for calling Israel an apartheid state then so be it. Suspend me.’
After leading Jewish Labour MP Margaret Hodge called for an investigation, a party spokesman said it took all such complaints ‘extremely seriously’.
Mr Corbyn and Ms Bolton were approached for comment.