‘Desperate’ Corbynistas plot to fund former Labour leader’s anti-Semitism legal battles

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Mr Corbyn was suspended from the party after 55 years last month following his response to a report into Labour anti-Semitism. He said the scale of the problem had been “overstated for political reasons”. Now a company called JBC Defence Ltd has been set up to help with the legal costs and damages he may face.

In the MPs’ register of interests last week, Mr Corbyn, said that JBC was “set up on October 16, 2020 to help meet any legal costs which I or my supporters incur in relation to allegations of defamation”.

Mr Corbyn added: ‘I am likely to benefit from a legal fund managed by JBC Defence Ltd.’

The company aims to pay legal costs and damages in the cases “that Jeremy Corbyn may either be unable to recover… or be ordered to pay in defamation proceedings…”

Legal costs incurred by any other person could also be covered by the firm “as a result of support expressed by that person for Jeremy Corbyn”.

But this move has faced criticism and been likened to Donald Trump’s threats to take Joe Biden to court over his victory in the US presidential election.

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.”

However, allies of Mr Corbyn reportedly responded this was “nonsense” as he was just exercising his right to defend himself against legal action.

Last month, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission report found Labour guilty of “unlawful” harassment while Mr Corbyn was leader.

Following the announcement, he said anti-Semitism was “absolutely abhorrent” and “one anti-Semite is one too many” in the party.

But he then added: “The scale of the problem was also dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media.”

Just six minutes later, Labour released a statement saying they had suspended Mr Corbyn from the party.

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It read: “In light of his comments made today and his failure to retract them subsequently, the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn pending investigation.”

Mr Corbyn is also facing two potential libel actions, including one for appearing to question the accuracy of BBC Panorama reporter John Ware’s 2019 documentary on Labour’s handling of antisemitism complaints.

However, a crowd-funding page, which was set up by Mr Corbyn supporter Carole Morgan over this potential action, has reached nearly £370,000.

Labour has also suspended a group of members from Bristol West Labour after it passed a motion criticising the treatment of Mr Corbyn.

The chair, co-secretary and a number of other members are facing disciplinary after saying Mr Corbyn’s suspension was “a politically motivated attack against the left of the Labour Party by the leadership”.

Current leader Sir Keir Starmer’s new general secretary David Evans wrote to local parties last week warning them not to “have discussions about, or pass motions in relation to any aspect of individual disciplinary cases”.

Express.co.uk has contacted the Labour Party for a comment.

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