Analysis Announcement

Guardian’s Elgot says misquote of Corbyn’s EHRC comments was ‘clumsily worded’ after challenge by SKWAWKBOX; article amended

Journalist’s quote on day of comments more accurate. Labour right has echoed claim that Corbyn accused EHRC of exaggeration

The Guardian has corrected – or at least improved – an article today by the paper’s deputy political editor, which accused Jeremy Corbyn of saying that the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) had exaggerated antisemitism. Jessica Elgot made the claim in a piece showcasing comments by right-wing Labour MP Margaret Hodge:

In fact, Corbyn made no such comment about the report, instead accusing political opponents and the media of overstating the scale of antisemitism in the Labour party. Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner admitted on television that this was true, yet still claimed Corbyn should not have said it:

But the EHRC report itself was careful to underline that comments about the scale of antisemitism in the Labour party were legally-protected free speech under human rights legislation – and even that elected representatives have an ‘enhanced’ right, so Corbyn was perfectly entitled to comment as he did. Keir Starmer’s decision to withdraw the whip, by contrast, was therefore a breach of the EHRC report that he promised to implement in full – based both on the EHRC’s protection of free speech and its ban on political interference in disciplinary processes and outcomes.

The Labour right has, naturally, freely misquoted Corbyn to accuse him of claiming the report exaggerates the scale of antisemitism. However, the original narrative was different – and Ms Elgot more accurately noted what Corbyn did say, in an article she wrote with colleague Peter Walker on 29 October, the day of his comments:

The SKWAWKBOX wrote to Ms Elgot to ask why she had misquoted Corbyn in her new article. She responded:

[I] agree it’s clumsily worded even if Mr Corbyn did say, in the same context, that he did not accept all of the report’s findings. I’ll ask the subs if we can change now and put in a correction note. Obviously it’s a delicate point and we should try to be exact.

Corbyn said that he did not accept all of the report’s findings, but did not specify which findings and said that he wanted Labour to implement the report’s recommendations.

The paper has now included a full quote of Corbyn’s comment and has added a footnote ‘clarifying’ its initial false claim:

The SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. The EHRC as all Tory inventions – Bliar’s, never support “the many”. Just watch how many racist atrocities the EHRC fails to even peep at in the Tory party and Blair itself when it made the anti-Semitic swipe at Walter Wolfgang at Conference with the ghastly Jack Straw. Just imagine seeing an elderly gentleman roughed up in broad daylight‼️‼️‼️ And making the vile remark warmonger Tony Blair made to the great Walter🚨🚨🚨

  2. The Guardian may now be worried that with the means to fight back now in Jeremy’s hands they’re thinking about the fallout from any legal action that may take place. The Guardian is also losing subscribers as it is running into the abyss in order to placate its hand-in-glove approach fed to them by the Blair witch project!

    1. People internationally, can’t believe Starmer’s antidemocratic machinations and extraordinary deceitfulness. Yes, Evans is unashamed at his 1% tooling … like Jessica Phillips MP boasting her threat to “knife Jeremy in the front!” They act like thugs. Saboteur Starmer however, tries to deceive…. it’s a different matter. Who is Starmer? What is he?
      If it looks like …. sounds like …. stands like …. then Starmer is a bollard shaped lump of _ _ _ _
      ANSWERS on a shovel.

  3. The NEC has today agreed a draft action plan to address the issues raised in the EHRC report.

    LabourList has also been told that the party is not allowed to publish the draft plan as it is not the action plan until it secures EHRC approval. Whether the final approved plan will be released has not yet been decided.

    It would seem to be a strange state of affairs if the members aren’t told exactly what is in the action plan once it is approved.

    1. Publishing the draft plan for open discussion would be the act of an honest leadership – hiding embarrassing stuff for the sake of public relations isn’t just pathetically weak, it’s bad faith and bad tactics.
      Like churches moving priests to different parishes to cover up child abuse, or corporates like Weinstein using NDA’s to stay out of jail, it should be beneath a Labour leader.

      1. David – I’m sorry if you misunderstood me but my understanding is that it is the EHRC that has forbidden the publication of draft plan. You can understand this from their perspective. I don’t think Labour had a choice in the matter.

        What does concern me is that they are even intimating that they may not publish the action plan in full. This issue has ripped the party apart and the idea that any action plan shouldn’t be wholly transparent and published in full is a complete anathema. Unless we all know what we have been signed up for I can only imagine it will turn into an ever shifting sands scenario.

      2. By “publishing for open discussion” I meant within Labour obviously – clearly the EHRC may not decide who within Labour may see it or contribute to it, whatever the fuck they might think are their powers.
        They scratch their arses for 18 months and demand a response in weeks? Fuck off and wait.
        Produced by Starmer and a few others it would carry nothing like the force of a document with party-wide input.
        If there’s antisemitism get it out there in the open. Any document of such significance should certainly go to Conference anyway.
        Hiding behind the EHRC’s skirts is pathetic.
        Don’t quote the fucking rule book back at me, I don’t give a shit – the rule book needs binning nearly as much as the EHRC needs binning.

      3. Oh… and Margaret Hodge has “considered leaving the Labour Party” (again) yadayadayada.
        And lose the minuscule scrap of tellyworthiness she has left?
        I don’t think so.
        This must be the second or third time she’s “considered” leaving us crying into our party hats as she disappears over the horizon.
        Just in case she means it this time get the wallpaper tables out of yer sheds and get down the offy – it won’t be the Dead Witch Street Party of 2013 but it’ll do, won’t it?

    2. I would have thought action plan by the NEC was a classic oxymoron from the rabble that brought us pill 💊 p?popping “actionc against Chris Williamson and kangaroo courts for the faithful..Makes me angry even thinking about the farce that went on under corbyns nose and the right wing being allowed to sacrifice the Labour party for a handful of Israeli silver.disgraceful and incompetent that reflects the Labour party of the knight.Even the right wing press sneer at the Labour party for the abstaining ,confused shower they are.The Labour party become more like the limp dems everyday.

      1. Joseph – Jennie Formby was appointed by Jeremy. It is difficult to believe that Corbyn didn’t know what was going on.

      2. He probably did know what was going on x..but by then he was knee deep in flak from your lot and dodged the bullets…..but you got him in the end didnt you….and just look what you are left with…a home for the criminally confused party.And another oxymoron “The official Opposition..??.m

  4. Meanwhile, the Dahl family, in a bit of anticipated-damage-limitation, get their apologies in early for their Dad when he’s safely dead and unable to answer for himself, but are quite happy to live on their inherited millions.

    Roald must be spinning in his grave!

    1. yes timfrom, as ever many hands make heavy work a bit less heavy. so much to do so grateful for your prompt. this very day, a rabbi from theresa may’s maidenhead i think, said he heard the apology. he claimed it was all over msm, and that was enough.

      he said he loved dahl’s stories despite being aware of dahl’s anti-semitism. also admitted reading dahl to his children. vanessa feltz and emma barnet both said same i think. vanessa, pointed out images she thought anti-semitic as the mural about which jeremy was harangued ceaselessly.

      vanessa spoke of hooked nosed characters in dahl’s book as in the mural. think rabbi said he did not believe anti-semitism should stop people enjoying dahl’s work. vanessa made your point timfrom : dahl’s family waited twenty years to apologise while enjoying his millions.
      i like vanessa but she was not hostile to the rabbi. i have heard her being disgustingly hostile towards naomi on more than one occasion. shameful browbeating.

      naomi has suffered atrocious bullying by vanessa on bbc london.
      emma barnet 5live this am interviewed what’s his face whose name slips me, the man said he received an award originally named after dahl, but was changed in time to make it suitable to accept… never mind the association with dahl.

      heard a few others, like barnet who is normally a good political interviewer, say how much they enjoyd dahl’s work. nb no theatrics of being afraid and ready to flee uk as anti-semitic dahl was allowed to flourish here. no talk of wanting to stamp out anti-semitism etc and all the hurt etc etc. the hypocrisy of the vexatious politically motived allegations against jeremy and thousands of members including jewish people of faith and none, is unforgivable. not one single person who was part of wicked heartless lies, will ever get my support. they have proven that they will do any evil thing just to further enrich the already super rich 1%. 🚨🚨🚨

      1. Ah! funny how memory works, barnet was interviewing badiel.⚠️⚠️⚠️

      2. Emma Barnet………’Adam’s Family THING with LIPSTICK’.

  5. I remember in the early fiftys a word used commonly amongst the children in my part of Lancashire “jewed” meaning cheating.We used that word unconsciously when playing marbles in the back streets.We didn’t know what a jew was or even realise what bigotry was.We were unaware that my mates were Poles Hungarian,and German and of course we knew who the Italians were.,they were the noisy ones,but good at drbling the leather case ball round the concrete playground..Racism,the very worst kind was rampant many years ago.But like life we have move onwards and upwards or go backwards to a time when we played marbles in the backstreets of Bolton,acepted that water in the tap was cold and we only had a bath on Friday,and the toilet was near the backyard gate..And we used the word jewed for cheating.Thats the world our betters want for us the working-class….and once again after just half a century of being civilised with hot water in the tap and a bathroom upstairs we will go backwards to the nineteen fiftys …NO Way jose…casual racism,No blacks no Irish,no dogs……thats the future if we allow the establishment to take us back to the future.

    1. The Tories’ ancestors couldn’t have got our ancestors to murder and torture other races without drilling racism and religion into them.
      All the evils in the world have always come from the greedy rich.

  6. Elected representatives have an ‘enhanced right’ to Freedom of Speech, under Article 10. So let me get this right; politicians are more equal in law than other people; more able to speak truth unto power? More ‘special’ people.

  7. Perhaps it would be wise for us all to acknowledge the severity of the crimes that Labour has been found guilty of by the EHRC.

    [The EHRC] cites just two cases in its Unlawful Act Notice of the Labour Party “committing harassment” against its members “in relation to Jewish ethnicity”.
    These involved Ken Livingstone, then a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC), and a Labour councillor in Rossendale in Lancashire, Pat Bromley.
    Leaving aside here the details of these cases, it is a fact that both were subject to a party investigation, with Pat Bromley expelled and Livingstone suspended for two years in April 2017 (after which he resigned).
    But this is not good enough for the EHRC. Ruling that Livingstone and Bromley were ‘agents’ of the party, what they did “must be treated as if it was done by the association [the Labour Party] itself. It does not matter whether the association knew about, or approved of, what the agent did

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: