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A FUNDRAISER set up to pay for Jeremy Corbyn’s legal fees surpassed £170,000 in a day today, after he was threatened with libel action by a BBC journalist.
The Islington North MP and former Labour leader is being accused of libel by John Ware, a reporter for documentary series Panorama.
It comes after Mr Corbyn criticised Labour’s “political decision” to apologise to seven former senior party employees and pay them damages, reportedly amounting to £500,000.
The staffers had claimed defamation following a Panorama investigation into allegations of anti-semitism within Labour.
At the High Court hearing on Wednesday, Labour also apologised and agreed to pay “substantial damages” to BBC journalist Mr Ware for falsely accusing him of “deliberate and malicious misrepresentations designed to mislead the public.”
Mr Corbyn, who was leader at the time of the 2019 documentary Is Labour Anti-Semitic?, said the decision to apologise and pay damages risked “giving credibility to misleading and inaccurate allegations” that Labour was unwilling to investigate anti-semitism claims.
He noted that an internal party report leaked in April showed that anti-Corbyn senior Labour staffers had conspired to sabotage the party’s processes to deal with anti-semitism allegations, as well as his chances of winning the 2017 election.
Mr Ware announced that he would be suing Mr Corbyn over his statement.
On Thursday a campaign to raise Mr Corbyn’s legal fees was set up on the fundraising website GoFundMe by supporter Carole Morgan, with a £20,000 target.
She wrote: “The relentless attacks on Mr Corbyn, a man of integrity, honesty and humility, cannot be allowed to continue and we have an opportunity here to offer him support in a practical way.
“It will also let him know that his supporters have not forgotten him, nor have they gone away.”
The target reached almost eight times the original amount by hitting £170,695 by the time the Star went to print yesterday.
A total of 8,980 people had donated by that point, making the average donation nearly £19 per person.
Ms Morgan wrote an update to express “deepest gratitude” for the “most amazing and overwhelming response.”
She added: “Although Jeremy did not know beforehand that I was going to start this campaign, Jeremy’s office has been in touch and he is deeply touched by this outpouring of love and support from you all.
“The funds on this campaign will not be touched and remain on hold by GoFundMe until the details for distribution have been established with Jeremy’s office and I will continue to provide updates as they become available.”
You find the GoFundMe fundraiser here.
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