.@bbcnews et al spread debunked #Corbyntaxreturn #fakenews as smearers retreat

As the SKWAWKBOX predicted last night, the mainstream media – including BBC News – have run prominent features this morning on the issue of Jeremy Corbyn’s tax return.

Even though it was debunked last night – to the abject humiliation of its originators.

Various figures who made themselves look foolish by jumping on the smear-bandwagon have been busy backtracking – or trying to cover their tracks – this morning.

Blairite MP Tom Blenkinsop couldn’t help himself – and then was obviously tipped off what an idiot he was going to look and deleted his tweet. Fortunately, Politwoops kept a copy:


Tory MP Steve Baker tweeted last year when Corbyn released his previous tax return – then panicked and re-found it to delete it last night:


Arch-tory blogger Guido Fawkes leaped in with a full-on smear about a ‘missing £40,000’:


Then, by this morning, he was singing a rather different tune:


Fawkes being Fawkes, there’s no retraction or correction, just a different angle of attack. So, Guido, ‘to be clear’ – these are figures from Corbyn’s PAYE (pay as you earn) numbers and descriptions shown on his payslips, just like the rest of us who pay tax through an employer. If you have a problem, take it up with the House of Commons salaries department.

The BBC meanwhile, did a half-retraction, but using wording that suggested there might still something fishy going on:

bbc conf.jpg

Some people might still be confused about the £40k vs £27k figures. This is simple: Corbyn only became leader of the opposition (LOTO) in late September 2015, so in the 2015/16 tax year (which ended 5 April 2016 and is the most recent completed tax year) he was only paid the LOTO supplement for a little over 6 months.

A couple of other things that you won’t hear blairites, Tories or the mainstream news mention: Jeremy Corbyn gave away at least £5,420 in donations to charity. Those are mentioned on page four of his tax return:


Those are just the payments he made under the Gift Aid scheme that allows charities to claim back part of the tax paid on donations. If Corbyn made other donations that weren’t under Gift Aid (for example to organisations that don’t qualify),those wouldn’t appear on his tax return – so the £5,420 is a minimum.

The other thing you won’t hear from the mainstream media or right-wingers is this little sentence from the summary page of his return:


Jeremy Corbyn paid more tax than he owed. Just like he did the previous year. So any suggestion otherwise exists only in the minds of people so desperate to smear Corbyn – or to deflect attention away from Chancellor Philip Hammond’s refusal to disclose a single line of his return – that they will leap onto any opportunity to throw mud.

And some are still doing so, even though they’re now known to be spreading ‘fake news’, presumably in the hope that some will stick anyway in the minds of many.

So, in summary, we have a situation in which Corbyn paid too much tax, lots of people picked up mud and threw it, some tried to cover their tracks, some tried to bluster their way out of it and the BBC corrected its own fake news in a way that appears designed to leave a stain – while ignoring that Corbyn actually overpaid his tax and gave away well over £5,000 to charity, while Philip Hammond, by hiding his tax return, suggests that he does have something to hide.

That’s the real news – and it’s up to you and me to get it out there.

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  1. I’m trying to make sense of this.

    Leader of Opposition allowance 2015/6 was £63,489


    By my calculations Mr Corbyn was in that post for 197 days, equating to £34,267, but let’s say £34k

    I understand that Mr Corbyn also receives a Local Government pension, but as that was omitted from last year’s declaration we don’t know how much that is but can assume it’s greater than zero.

    Mr Corbyn’s declaration for 2015/6 shows total public office pension as £27,192

    On the face of it the statement under declares by at least £7k.

    There’s a similar analysis here


    1. On the face of it, you’ve got your figures wrong, Graham. Even the most rabid were only claiming a £40k omission and the ‘public office’ entry was for the LOTO supplement, apparently put in that section by the HoC pay dept. It’s all irrelevant anyway – it’s PAYE, so the HoC arranges it all, not JC.

      1. Which figure(s) is (are) wrong?

        The £63k taken from a parliamentary website?

        The 197 days between Mr Corbin’s accession and the end of the tax year?

        My calculation of 197/365*63k?

        The figure taken from the tax return summary of £27k

        And are you really saying that it’s irrelevant if someone fills in incorrect figures on a tax return?

      2. I’m saying that Corbyn almost certainly did not fill in the return – and that if he did, he will have taken the figures from his P60, like the rest of us do, so he will have put whatever the HoC admin put in his P60. Grow up.

  2. I have set up a monthly donation. It’s not much but my income is limited.


    I note that you don’t address the arithmetical issues.

    You seemed to be saying that it was irrelevant if a tax return was incorrectly completed. We must differ – I think it’s extremely important to fill in tax forms correctly.

    It’s worth noting that David Cameron classed it all as income and earnings, and


    has a lengthy analysis from a tax expert.

    To avoid any doubt JC could, of course, publish the P60.

    1. Lmao re Maugham. Don’t have time to do important stuff, let alone jump through every ‘arithmetical’ hoop you obsessively throw at me. Media claimed £40k, that’s dealt with. Jog on.

    2. A propos of nothing, Corbyn – as did Miliband – waived the increases to LOTO’s supplement of the last few years. Hence the discrepancy in your figures.

  4. I’ve no idea what Lmao means.

    That’s a fair comment on the waiver, and just leaves the Local Government Pension as I’ve raised on the other thread.

    I must admit to obsessing about accuracy where figures are concerned. Is accuracy not high on your list of priorities?

    1. There’s accuracy and there’s nitpicking. I don’t have time for the latter on every comment made on this blog. Do you have a source for the pension?

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