Jeremy Corbyn versus media bosses (round two) gets under way

Written by Dods staff on 21 February 2018 in Diary

Watch: Corbyn said Tory-supporting papers had 'gone a little bit James Bond'.

Five months after attacking “our more traditional media friends” in his Labour conference speech, Jeremy Corbyn is at it again.

In a video posted online, the Labour leader hit back at some of Britain's biggest newspapers after he was accused of passing secrets to a Czech spy at the height of the Cold War.

Corbyn said The Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and Daily Express "have all gone a little bit James Bond" in their coverage of claims by former Czech 'diplomat' Jan Sarkocy.

And he warned media bosses ominously: "Well, we’ve got news for them: change is coming."

Whatever could he mean? Labour sources said if they win the next election, the party will crack down on tax dodging, hike taxes on the rich, and set up the second part of the Leveson inquiry into media behaviour.

The party would also launch a review of media ownership in an attempt to increase "plurality" in the industry.

Naturally, the remarks have triggered something of a backlash - and not just from hacks.

In the Mail, Harold Wilson’s press secretary Joe Haines accuses Corbyn of "astonishing naivety" while the anti-Corbyn Labour MP John Woodcock has compared the Labour leader’s video to the rantings of Donald Trump.

"Are we really threatening the press with more regulation because they printed a story we didn’t like? This is not OK,” he wrote. “It’s horrible seeing America’s media debased in this way by Donald Trump and we shouldn’t accept it here either."

In his speech at the Labour conference in Brighton last year, Corbyn memorably attacked coverage of him in the Daily Mail in particular - but also claimed that it had strengthened support for Labour.

“The day before the election, one paper devoted 14 pages to attacking the Labour party. And our vote went up nearly 10%,” he said.

“Never have so many trees died in vain. The British people saw right through it. So this is a message to the Daily Mail’s editor: next time, please could you make it 28 pages?”






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