Rachel Riley defends Corbyn T-shirt and thanks fans for support

22 November 2019, 13:04 | Updated: 22 November 2019, 18:40

Rachel Riley has defended herself and vows to continue to "raise awareness" after branding Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a "racist".

The Countdown presenter has faced calls to be sacked after sharing a photo showing her wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with an edited photo of Jeremy Corbyn at an anti-apartheid protest.

Following a backlash, after which she tweeted to say she wouldn't "dignify this with any further response", the 33-year-old returned to Twitter to justify her post.

Riley wrote: "Thanks for all the lovely messages of support, & all the silent supporters who've followed me, means a lot.

"Shows how counterproductive nasty pile-ons actually are. I made this promise I intend to keep it. If this is the price to raise awareness then sobeit. Lots of love".

Her original controversial post showed a photo of the Labour leader being escorted by two police officers with a doctored placard hung from his neck that reads: "Jeremy Corbyn Is A Racist Endeavour."

The image has been edited from an original photograph of Mr Corbyn being arrested at a London protest against racism in South Africa back in 1984, during his first year as an MP.

Shared on Tuesday - the same day as the TV debate between Corbyn and Boris Johnson - made reference to her "workplace being full of racists tonight".

The debate was broadcast from the same studios where Countdown is filmed.

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Riley, who is Jewish, has been an outspoken critic of Jeremy Corbyn and Labour, and has made a point of highlighting evidence of what she sees as evidence of antisemitism in the party.

Last month, she shared what she called a "heartfelt promise" on Twitter, writing "I will do everything in my power to try to ensure my baby, Jewish by blood, will not be born under an antisemitic government."

Riley's first child with former-Strictly dancer Pasha Kovalev is due in December, with the pair marrying in Las Vegas earlier this year.