James O'Brien clashes with caller over Jeremy Corbyn suspension

30 October 2020, 11:49

By Sam Sholli

This is the moment James O'Brien clashed with a caller over Jeremy Corbyn's suspension from the Labour Party.

The exchange comes as a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) found the party was responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination.

Mr Corbyn rejected some of the equality watchdog's findings and claimed the issue had been "dramatically overstated for political reasons" by his critics - a stance that put him at odds with his successor Sir Keir Starmer and led to him having the whip removed on Thursday.

Naz from Bedford told James: "Unfortunately, the Labour Party and especially Keir Starmer [have] got it completely wrong. Jeremy Corbyn has been a long upstanding member of the Labour Party.

"His support for the Palestinian people has unfortunately got him into this mess."

However, James took issue with the caller's argument and responded: "So Jeremy Corbyn's support for Palestinian people is the reason why Ken Livingstone harassed a Jewish person?"

Later in the exchange, Naz said: "James, all I'm saying to you is there's a video [that has] been released by Chris Williamson -"

James replied: "That, I think, is the point at which we probably part company, isn't it?"

James then asked the caller why Mr Corbyn couldn't leave out the part of his response to the report which said the scale of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party during his tenure as leader had been "overstated for political reasons".

However, Naz didn't answer the question, prompting James to say: "You can't even hear me, Naz.

"You've got your fingers wedged so far into your ears, you're live on national radio talking to another human being who asked you a really straightforward question...and you didn't even hear it, did you?"

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