Public interest in Corbyn 'spy meeting' story is 'blindingly obvious' says Sun after Labour's Tom Watson accuses papers of 'propaganda' - Press Gazette

Public interest in Corbyn 'spy meeting' story is 'blindingly obvious' says Sun after Labour's Tom Watson accuses papers of 'propaganda'

The Sun has said that public interest in the Jeremy Corbyn “Agent Cob” stories are “blindingly obvious” after Labour’s Tom Watson likened national news coverage of it to “propaganda”.

The Sun’s exclusive lead story on Thursday, headilned: “Corbyn and the Commie Spy”, alleged that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn met with a communist spy during the Cold War and “warned him of a clampdown from British intelligence”.

In a column today for the Independent, Watson attacked newspapers including the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and The Times that have run stories following up on the claims against Corbyn.

Watson wrote: “Over the past week some Tory-supporting publications have published a string of completely false and ridiculous smears, calling Labour politicians traitors and linking them with Soviet bloc spies.

“Let’s call these stories out for what they are – propaganda, not journalism. They are not worth the paper they are written on.”

He added: “Newspaper proprietors in this country abuse their power. It’s a unique kind of self-harm for a newspaper to print a story they know is poorly sourced, decide to run it regardless because it suits their political agenda, and pass it off as news.

“There are many reasons for declining newspaper circulation but there can be no doubt the public is beginning to tire of the fact that too many papers routinely present smears, lies and innuendo as facts.”

A Sun spokesperson told Press Gazette: “We stand by our exclusives, which are based on archived documents found in the Czech security archive. Mr Watson is welcome to see them at any time.

“It is blindingly obvious that it is in the public interest for there to be transparency around the activities of the Leader of the Opposition before he came to public prominence.”

A Daily Mail spokesperson said: “Fact – Let’s not forget Tom Watson is a master of smear campaigns.

“He enthusiastically promoted the fantasist ‘Nick’, whose anonymous and unsubstantiated allegations of a Westminster paedophile ring led to the trashing of the reputations of  Lord Bramall, Lord Brittan, Lord Janner, Edward Heath and Harvey Proctor.

“Fact –  Tom Watson is bankrolled by former Formula One boss Max Mosley, who has given him £500,000.

“Fact – Max Mosley has launched legal complaints against four national newspapers, demanding they expunge all reference to the fact that he took part in an orgy that led to the most high-profile privacy trial of the last 20 years, and that he bankrolls the state-approved press regulator Impress to the tune of nearly £1m a year.

“Fact– Jeremy Corbyn had a series of meetings with a Czech spy, who described him in official records as a ‘person of interest’, and said ‘he has an active supply of information on the British intelligence services’.

“Question – When will Mr Corbyn authorise the release of any information on him held in the Stasi files?”

Press Gazette has also contacted the Times, Telegraph for comment.

Picture: Reuters/Darren Staples



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7 thoughts on “Public interest in Corbyn 'spy meeting' story is 'blindingly obvious' says Sun after Labour's Tom Watson accuses papers of 'propaganda'”

  1. Is it, though, Shahid? The PM may have lost her majority at the last election but Labour still came nowhere close to winning.
    Watching the Labour Party at the moment is a frustrating experience. There are simple changes which need to be made, which would make the party immediately more electable – but Corbyn is too stubborn and reactionary.
    The margin for a Leave victory in the EU referendum was so slim, and so much has changed since then – but he refuses to back a second referendum, even though Labour members want it.
    He refuses to ditch Diane Abbott from his core team, even though she fluffs all her important interviews and massively undermines the party – particularly during elections.
    His attitude towards the press is poor. He seems to back censorship and regulation of the press – as the Labour benches in the House of Lords do – and has this week given the impression of threatening the press with regulation because of some negative stories they’ve run about him. He is prone to throwing childish tantrums when journalists ask him questions he doesn’t like and has on more than one occasion behaved aggressively towards female reporters, which makes him look terrible in the eyes of voters.
    So whilst his fanatical followers may insist that Tory power is declining, the revolution is coming, bla bla bla – the fact is, he lost the last election. The Tories did worse than expected, but they were still the biggest party by a wide margin and Labour was still nowhere close to achieving power.
    ‘Change is coming’, warns Corbyn. Not, I fear, unless there is change within his party – and in his own attitude, especially – first.

  2. => Mark Andrews

    Who was that “spy” and which organisation was he/she working for ?

    Where did they meet ?

    What was he/she arrested for ?

    SIS and SS don’t know everything. Some things slip under their radar – that’s why they need informants/agents.

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