Jeremy Corbyn blasts Canada's Justin Trudeau over 'offensive' brown-face incidents

Posted On: 
20th September 2019

Jeremy Corbyn has condemned Justin Trudeau after photos emerged of the Canadian Prime Minister in brown-face make-up.

Jeremy Corbyn and Justin Trudeau.
Credit: 
PA

The Labour leader said he had been "shocked" by the revelation that Mr Trudeau - who is currently fighting for re-election as Canada's PM - had donned the face paint in a series of incidents before he became the country's leader.

A photo obtained by Time Magazine shows the-then 29-year-old posing in brown-face make-up with friends at an Arabian Nights-themed event. 

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Further images have since emerged, including a video which shows the Liberal leader in black-face in the early 1990s.

Mr Corbyn tore into the Canadian PM over the footage in an interview with ITV News.

"I was shocked, quite shocked," he said.

"It's offensive at just about every level I can think of. And I'm actually very surprised."

The Labour leader's intervention comes after Mr Trudeau - who has made diversity a central plank of his pitch to voters - acknowledged that the 2001 incident was a "dumb thing to do".

"I shouldn't have done that," he told reporters. "I should've known better but I didn't. And I'm really sorry."

Pouncing on the images, the leader of Canada's own Conservative Party, Andrew Scheer said: "Wearing brown face as an act of open mockery and racism. It was just as racist in 2001 as it is in 2019.

"And what Canadians saw this evening is someone with a complete lack of judgement and integrity, and someone who is not fit to govern this country."