WATCH: Jeremy Corbyn chats happily to Ruth Smeeth heckler

Posted On: 
1st July 2016

Jeremy Corbyn chatted happily to a man shortly after he abused a Jewish Labour MP at the launch of a report into anti-Semitism, it has emerged.

Labour's slogan at yesterday's event was 'Standing Up Not Standing By'
Credit: 
PA Images

Previously-unseen video footage also shows that Mr Corbyn knows Marc Wadsworth well enough to have his mobile phone number.

Mr Wadsworth, who claims to be a member of the pro-Corbyn campaign group Momentum, had earlier accused Ruth Smeeth MP of "working hand in hand" with the Daily Telegraph, prompting her to walk out of the venue.

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She later called on Mr Corbyn to quit because he "stood by and did absolutely nothing" while the incident was taking place.

The video footage, filmed by the Russia Today channel, shows Mr Corbyn being ushered away from the event by aides when Mr Wadsworth says to him: “I hope I don’t get knocked over by the police this time.”

Mr Corbyn replies: “I’m sorry about that.” The Labour leader responds to another comment from Mr Wadsworth by saying: "Yeah, I did. I sent you a text about that."

Mr Wadsworth then says to another person at the event "why are you pushing me?" and Mr Corbyn says: "Sorry about that."

As the Labour leader leaves, Mr Wadsworth says: “I outed Smeeth, bloody talking to the Torygraph." It is unclear whether Mr Corbyn heard that remark. At no point in the conversation did Mr Corbyn raise the earlier incident.

After watching the footage, a source close to Mr Corbyn told PoliticsHome: "Looks like him just trying to get past to me."

Human rights campaigner Shami Chakrabarti, who wrote the anti-Semitism report and was at yesterday's event, said Mr Corbyn shared her anger at what had happened.

She told Radio 4's Today programme: "I have been to see Ruth Smeeth and I've apologised to her because it was my press conference and I was chairing it and I'm really sorry she was treated in that way.

"I was chairing the press conference and I probably didn't give (Jeremy) a chance to jump in because I was so quick to jump in. 
 
"He concurred with me when I admonished the gentleman in question for heckling not just Ruth Smeeth but me and for abusing the privilege of asking a question at a national press conference and the leader concurred with me."