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Letter signatory John Reid spent weekend with mass murderer Karadžić – and failed to declare funding

Former Home Secretary Reid, now Baron Reid of Cardowen, spent cosy weekend with genocidal Serbian – and failed to disclose who paid for it
John Reid and (inset) the friend he ‘admired’: war-criminal Radovan Karadžić

John Reid, now Baron Reid of Cardowen, who held an array of Cabinet positions under Tony Blair and resigned when Gordon Brown became Prime Minister, is one of the Blairite peers who today took out a full-page ad at a cost of £18,000 to attack Jeremy Corbyn.

The move was timed perfectly to feed easy lines to Theresa May in her last Prime Minister’s Questions – even though she failed to land a blow – and to attempt to shore up the credibility of the BBC’s derided Panorama hatchet-job last week.

But Reid’s own history presents problems.

John Reid in his peers robes

In the early 1990s, with the Bosnian war raging, Reid struck up a friendship with Bosnian Serb nationalist leader Radovan Karadžić. Karadžić was convicted in the Bosnian Serb nationalist later convicted of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the mid-1990s.

And in 1993, Reid admitted spending a three-day weekend at a luxury lakeside hotel in Geneva as Karadžić’s guest. He also failed to declare that the trip had been paid for by a lobbyist.

Cambridge academic Brendan Simms, who wrote a book about the Bosnian horror, said of Reid:

He used to talk to Karadzic, he admired Karadzic.

To compound his poor judgment, Reid did not declare that the trip had been paid for by a lobbyist.

The Corbyn contrast

Unlike John Reid, Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition to the horrific behaviour of Radovan Karadžić is well attested in the public record. In 1992, a small group of MPs signed a parliamentary motion condemning the BBC for its lionising of the Serbian militarist.

The horrific conduct of Bosnian Serb forces in Bosnia was already well known a year before Reid was sipping drinks with the warlord in Geneva.

The wording of the motion read:

That this House reacts with disbelief and dismay to the absurdly sympathetic description of the Bosnian Serb warlord, Radovan Karadzic as a ‘poet’ in the Radio Times of 1st December advertising a programme in the BBC2 Bookmark series to be called Serbian Epics, together with the accompanying description of Serbian forces as fighting ‘to regain the land and glory of their medieval empire’; notes that the recent European summit in Edinburgh roundly condemned the savage campaign of military aggression, ethnic cleansing, and persecution and torture of civilians taking place in Bosnia and placed the primary responsibility for the conflict with the leadership of Serbia and the Bosnian Serbs; and believes that the BBC and the editors of the Radio Times have behaved with appalling insensitivity in describing the programme in this way.

Jeremy Corbyn was among the MPs to sign the motion.

Reid was not.

John Reid was contacted for comment. He had not responded by the time of publication.

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  1. Do we presume that these Lords funded this ad between themselves? Can they be done for using the Labour rose logo?

    1. 1. Logo. I thought this myself. It is not an official Labour document. I doubt that it is copyright. Although, Labour Party rule might say somenthing on gthis matter.

      2. It does not say who paid for it. Normally, in an advert such as this, it would be clear who paid.

      A totally despicable advert as far as I am concerned.

      I see that Peter Hain signed it.

      1. As, I believe, did Robert Winston, who then admitted it “wasn’t about anti-semitism”!

        Well at least he’s honest…

  2. John Reid, Largely kept is head down,must be somthing fairly ugly the funders of this chicken coup have on him.I don’t think a hard nut like john will be too worried by squawkeys revelations enlightening though they are..We need to know who the paymaster and whos orchestrated this coup.Corbyn needs to step back a bit and not give into pressure for mtgs to discuss fictional lies.Their needs to be minders appointed to stop this constant punishment of corbyn. Reids a good example of the type of person thats a complete wash out we have tolerated in the party .We were and are represented by scum for the most part,Can you hear the deathly silence from corbyns mps when he needs them. At least he has the membership and thats a winning hand!

  3. It’s not the failure to declare that pisses me off – Well it is a wee bit – but the fact that john ‘7 parliamentary pensions’ reid actually got funding to visit a mass murderer?

    But then again, it’s only typical of the bliarite freeloader class.

  4. Undoubtedly, some of the debris of the Blair years – like Reid – is falling back to earth, and on the heads of the Party that put it into orbit.

    Just listening to Dylan : ‘They’ll stone ya when … etc.” … What is clear – again – is that there – no point in false placation of those throwing the stones. Heard it once again from a Labour representative on 5 Live this morning.

    Tell it as it is … self-enriching liars pretending to virtue, and using those who were actual victims of horrendous crimes as cover. Despicable – not people worth placating.

  5. I may not have all the details correct but the first time I remember having doubts about Reid (doctor of African war masks) was when he refused to defend the pilot of a Chinook helicopter who had been accused of causing it to crash, when there were serious doubts about the evidence. It was later shown that the Chinook had an inbuilt fault in it’s control system.

    1. I don’t think anyone with knowledge has any doubt about Reid’s essential self-serving venality.

      He is typical of a certain class of political floater that comes to the surface with a Ruritanian title in the HoL.

  6. Let’s face it Karadzic has nothing on Reid’s great mate Toady B’liar, possibly the greatest genocidal leader the uk has ever had, best mates with most of the signees I would guess.

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