Labour has complained to the press regulator about the coverage by six Fleet Street newspapers of Jeremy Corbyn’s controversial visit to a cemetery in Tunisia in 2014.
The party claims The Sun, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Express and Metro misrepresented the event, which has plunged the Labour leader into a fierce row over the past week.
In its complaint to IPSO, Labour accuses the newspapers of wrongly claiming the event was commemorating members of the Black September terror group or those who carried out the 1972 Munich massacre.
The party says the papers’ reporting of a wreath-laying ceremony at the cemetery, attended by Mr Corbyn, has:
:: seriously misrepresented the event
:: misidentified those buried in the cemetery
:: underplayed the role of mainstream Palestinian leaders conducting the ceremony.
Labour’s attack on the six national newspapers, confirmed to Sky News by senior party sources, is the second time Mr Corbyn has come out fighting in the wreath-laying row in the past week.
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He hit back angrily after the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed his laying a wreath “on the graves of the terrorist who perpetrated the Munich massacre and his comparison of Israel to the Nazis deserves unequivocal condemnation”.
Mr Corbyn tweeted in response: “Israeli PM @Netanyahu’s claims about my actions and words are false. What deserves unequivocal condemnation is the killing of over 160 Palestinian protesters in Gaza by Israeli forces since March, including dozens of children.”
It is also the second time this year that the Labour leader has declared war on Fleet Street newspapers after serious allegations were made against him.
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In February, Mr Corbyn warned “billionaire tax exile” owners of national newspapers in a video that “change is coming” if he becomes prime minister, as he dismissed claims that he met a Communist spy as “lies and smears”.
On the wreath-laying row, Labour says Mr Corbyn visited the cemetery in Tunisia to honour the victims of an Israeli airstrike in 1985 on the headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
The party says he did not lay any wreath at the graves of those alleged to have been linked to the Black September organisation or the 1972 Munich killings.
But Mr Corbyn caused some confusion when he said in an interview earlier this week: “I was present at that wreath-laying, I don’t think I was actually involved in it.”