Rachel Riley: Jeremy Corbyn 'trying to making himself a martyr' over anti-Semitism row

1 November 2020, 13:56 | Updated: 1 November 2020, 15:33

By Megan White

Rachel Riley has told LBC she believes Jeremy Corbyn is “trying to making himself a martyr” after he was suspended from Labour over comments he made about the EHRC’s anti-Semitism report.

The former Labour leader had the whip withdrawn on Thursday pending investigation over comments he made following the publication of the bombshell report.

He was widely criticised over a statement he posted on Facebook in which he rejected some of the report's findings and claimed the issue had been "dramatically overstated for political reasons" by his critics.

The damning report by the EHRC found the party was responsible for unlawful acts of harassment and discrimination.

But Rachel Riley told Swarbrick on Sunday that she believes Mr Corbyn “knew exactly what was going to happen” when he made the comments.

She said: “What the report said was that saying that the Jewish people were sneering and lying about reports of anti-Semitism constitutes unlawful harassment of Jewish people.

“Keir Starmer spoke to Jeremy Corbyn the day before the report was released, told him what was going to be in his speech that said anyone that still repeats this smear rhetoric is part of the problem, and a few minutes before Sir Keir Starmer went and made that speech, Jeremy Corbyn said just that.

“He knew exactly what was going to happen, I think he’s trying to make himself a martyr.

“But this shouldn’t be about Jeremy Corbyn anymore, this should be about vindication of Jewish people who have suffered great racism over the last five years and more, and extreme pain, and this is vindication.

“This should be the start of the healing process.”

In a broadcast interview, Mr Corbyn insisted he was not "part of the problem" over the party's handling of anti-Semitism.

He said: "The numbers of cases in the public perception had become overstated.

"The existence of the problem, I fully acknowledge, which is why I took action to end the problem in the party by introducing a process to get anti-Semites out of the party."

In response to Sir Keir Starmer's comments about those who deny the seriousness of anti-Semitism being part of the problem, Mr Corbyn said: "No, I'm not part of the problem."

More Tom Swarbrick

See more More Tom Swarbrick

Turkey could block Sweden and Finland from joining NATO claims Erdogan ally

Turkey could block Sweden and Finland from joining NATO, claims ex-Erdogan aide

Kwasi Kwarteng said people look at British buildings and “make a judgement” on “our standing in the world”

'We project world standing': Minister defends Govt plans to buy '£20m New York partyhouse'

Swarbrick On Sunday 18/07

Swarbrick On Sunday 15/5 | Watch again

Starmer's position would be 'strengthened' if cleared of beergate - former Labour manifesto writer

Starmer's position 'strengthened' if cleared of 'Beergate' - ex-Labour manifesto writer

Deputy PM Dominic Raab speaks to LBC's Tom Swarbrick on the NI Protocol.

'Nothing off the table': Raab says fixing Brexit deal 'critical' for Northern Ireland

Swarbrick On Sunday 18/07

Swarbrick On Sunday 08/5 | Watch again

Jeremy Corbyn: Keir Starmer Beergate investigation 'very serious'

Jeremy Corbyn: Keir Starmer Beergate investigation 'very serious'

American politician tied in knots over 'biblical' defence of abortion bans

American politician tied in knots over 'biblical' defence of abortion bans

Iain Dale on Sunday | Watch live from 10am

Iain Dale On Sunday Election Special 1/05 | Watch again

Angela Rayner lashed out at the "lies" being briefed about her

Rayner hits out at Tory MPs' 'desperate, perverted smears' after Basic Instinct claims

Swarbrick On Sunday 18/07

Swarbrick On Sunday 24/4 | Watch again

The Session with Tom Swarbrick - a new podcast from LBC

The Session with Tom Swarbrick - a new podcast from LBC

'No civilians were killed by Russian missiles': Watch Russian news host's outrageous interview with Tom Swarbrick

'No civilians were killed by our missiles': Watch Russian news host's outrageous interview

Swarbrick On Sunday 18/07

Swarbrick On Sunday 10/4 | Watch again

Swarbrick on Sunday | Watch LIVE

Swarbrick on Sunday 3/04 | Watch again

Alexander Temerko speaks to Tom Swarbrick

Top Tory donor who gave party '£1.6m' refuses to detail vetting process