Jeremy Corbyn faces protest over Russia during human rights speech

Jeremy Corbyn faces protest over Russia during human rights speech
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Oh dear. Today Jeremy Corbyn tried to move the conversation from Labour's bad polling to human rights, with a speech to mark International Human Rights Day. However, while Corbyn wished to speak about championing women's rights across the world, Peter Tatchell and anti-war campaigners had other ideas.

As the Labour leader spoke at Methodist Central Hall, Tatchell interrupted to accuse of Corbyn of not doing enough to condemn the actions of Russia in Syria:

'What is happening in Aleppo is a modern-day Guernica. We haven’t heard the leader of the Labour party speak out enough to demand UK air drops to besieged civilians who are dying in their thousands.'

It then fell on Baroness Chakrabarti to suggest Corbyn vacate the stage and let the protest continue. After the speech, Corbyn supporters voiced their frustrations with Tatchell for interrupting the leader. One such attendee was caught on camera telling Tatchell that the White Helmets -- the civil defence volunteers in Syria -- are 'nothing but a propaganda piece paid for by America and this country to continue a civil war'.

Corbyn insists that his shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry has condemned the situation in Syria. However, given that his director of comms not so long ago rejected a call for anti-Russia protests over Syria because it 'diverts attention' from America, it's easy to see why such comments might not seem so sincere.

Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from London and beyond. Email tips to

Topics in this articlePoliticsjeremy corbyn