Jeremy Corbyn reported to Commons sleaze watchdog over wreath trip funding

Posted On: 
15th August 2018

Jeremy Corbyn could face a parliamentary probe into claims he failed to declare who paid for the trip to Tunisia which created a wreath-laying storm.

Labour said the trip fell below the reporting threshold
Credit: 
PA Images

The Labour leader was reported to the Commons sleaze watchdog after his party admitted the 2014 trip to a Middle Eastern affairs conference had been funded by the Tunisian government.

Labour insisted the visit fell below the £600 threshold for reporting in the parliamentary register of interests at the time.

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At the end of the conference, Mr Corbyn took part in a cemetery visit at which he is accused of commemorating the graves of alleged Palestinian terrorists thought to be behind the Munich Massacre.

Mr Corbyn has admitted he laid a wreath at the cemetery but insisted he was there to remember those who died in an Israeli airstrike in 1985.

The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAAS) and Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen both reported the Labour leader to the parliamentary standards commissioner over the alleged expenses omission.

Stephen Silverman, director of CAAS, said: “He has a track record of receiving donations from people with close links to terrorist organisations and extremists.

“If he received funds which he has not declared for this trip then that needs to be investigated.”

He added: “The parliamentary commissioner for standards must tell the public who is pulling his strings.”

It has also emerged that Conservative peer Lord Sheikh attended the conference - which was allegedly attended by extremists including members of the Hamas group.

WREATH ROW

The row over the cemetery visit emerged when the Daily Mail published photos showing Mr Corbyn holding a wreath at the graves of Salah Khalaf and Atef Bseiso.

Both have been accused of having links to Black September - which carried out the Munich atrocity - while Khalaf is accused of masterminding the attack.

A Labour spokesman told the Guardian that “both have been accused by Israel of having had links with Black September in the early 1970s, though they always denied it, as has the PLO”.

They added: “Both were senior Fatah and PLO leaders of the time, and Palestinian officials continue to pay respects to them.”

But they continued to argue: “Jeremy did not take part in laying wreaths on their graves.”

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday became the latest Cabinet minister to comment on the row - branding the actions of the Labour leader “unbelievable and shocking”.

He added on Twitter: “If Jeremy Corbyn thinks terrorism is justified for the causes he believes in, how would he as prime minister have the moral authority to condemn terrorist murders of British citizens?”