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JEREMY CORBYN’S backers continued to voice their firm support for the former Labour leader over the weekend while a fundraiser for his legal fees surpassed £270,000.
The GoFundMe fundraiser, with an initial target of £20,000, was set up earlier this week by supporter Carole Morgan.
It was in response to Mr Corbyn being accused of libel by Panorama journalist John Ware over a 2019 documentary made for the BBC about anti-semitism allegations within the Labour Party.
Mr Corbyn had criticised Labour’s “political decision” on Wednesday to apologise to seven former senior party employees who featured in the documentary and described paying them damages for defamation, reportedly amounting to £500,000, as a “misuse” of party funds.
Labour also apologised and agreed to pay “substantial damages” to BBC journalist Mr Ware for accusing him of “deliberate and malicious misrepresentations designed to mislead the public.”
Mr Corbyn, who was leader at the time of the documentary was made, said that the party’s decisions risked “giving credibility to misleading and inaccurate allegations” that Labour was unwilling to investigate anti-semitism claims.
Mr Ware announced that he would be suing Mr Corbyn over his statement.
Yesterday the Mail on Sunday reported that some ex-party employees involved in another case were ”poised” to drop their legal claims against Labour if Mr Corbyn is expelled.
The case relates to an internal party report leaked in April that showed named anti-Corbyn senior Labour staffers conspiring to sabotage the party’s processes to deal with anti-semitism claims.
More than 30 people whose identities were revealed in the report or said that they had faced “unfounded” allegations were considering legal action against the party, according to the Mail.
This includes Labour’s former general secretary Lord Iain McNicol.
Mr Corbyn’s former spokesman James Schneider slammed the situation as “lawfare.”
Howard Beckett, solicitor and assistant general secretary of Unite, promised to offer his legal services free of charge to Mr Corbyn.
“Money cannot be allowed to stand in the way of truth,” he said.
Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: “As my friend, Jeremy Corbyn, gets on with job of being an incredibly hard-working local MP and throwing himself into huge range of international, humanitarian campaigns, I see the campaign of character assassination continues apace.
“They just don’t get it. You’ll never break this man.”
Former justice secretary Richard Burgon praised the “wonderful show of grassroots solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn in recent days.”
He also offered his “full solidarity” to thousands of socialists “attacked in the media for nothing more than wanting to change our country for the better.”
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