There’s nothing in this claim of a donation to Jeremy Corbyn’s 2015 Labour leadership campaign, from a group supporting Palestine, that’s likely to get anybody’s knickers in a knot.
It’s covering old ground – possibly because allegations that Corbyn is lukewarm about supporting Jews are back on the news agenda at the moment.
So Ismail Patel once said something complimentary about Hamas. That doesn’t mean Jeremy Corbyn agrees.
And yes, we all know that Corbyn called members of Hamas and Hezbollah “friends” at a Parliamentary event in 2009. He explained it to Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee last month as follows: “It was about encouraging the meeting to go ahead and encouraging there to be a discussion about a peace process in the Middle East… To bring about a peace process anywhere in the world, you have to reach out.”
We may conclude that Mr Corbyn wants peace in the Middle East and should not be associated with any warm words about warmongers.
Let’s move on to the money itself. Did Mr Corbyn’s campaign fail to declare the donation? This would be illegal as amounts totalling more than £7,500 must be declared to the Electoral Commission.
No, there was no such failure because the Corbyn campaign didn’t receive the money – according to the information published in the Observer.
That’s probably why the donation was never publicised. Why would anybody mention a donation that never happened?
Finally, there’s a comment from John Woodcock, claiming that Mr Corbyn has questions to answer. What questions? An organisation whose affairs are its own business wanted to give money to Jeremy Corbyn but didn’t.
The worst that can be said is that, if claims about this organisation’s loyalties are accurate, it’s just as well that the Corbyn campaign didn’t accept the cash.
We’re all a little tired of this nonsense, by now.
It’s simply more silliness and spin from the anti-Corbyn brigade – and just a little bit desperate, too.
A Palestinian group, whose founder once praised the militant Islamist group Hamas, held a fundraising dinner at which it collected £10,000 for Jeremy Corbyn’s last leadership campaign, documents seen by the Observer reveal.
Friends of Al-Aqsa gave Corbyn’s team a cheque for £10,000 in August 2015, an investigation by [that] newspaper has found, although the gift has never been made public.
Corbyn’s campaign said it did not declare the donation because its bank subsequently rejected the cheque as it was made out to the wrong person. Any donation above £7,500 should be declared to the Electoral Commission.
A spokesman for Corbyn was unable to explain on Saturday what then happened to the cash raised. A spokesman said: “I’m told a second cheque may have been sent but this was not received by the campaign.”
A spokesman for Friends of Al-Aqsa declined to comment.
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