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Abuse: Here’s far-right Brexiteer James Goddard doing his best to rile Owen Jones in the incident last January that formed the basis for the Twitter attack.

Left-wing columnist Owen Jones has been the target of a Twitter ‘dogpile’ campaign – apparently organised by supporters of Countdown co-host Rachel Riley, who has attacked him in the past.

The aim was to target Mr Jones for abuse on the social media platform, using a hashtag with an offensive title that I shall not repeat here – although you can find it in Mr Jones’s own tweet below, in which he attributes the origin of the abuse campaign to a person going by the handle @SirBasilBrush:

The identity of the culprit is apparently confirmed in this tweet, using information from Laura Murray:

I did a bit of research into this individual and it seems he is a long-term supporter of Ms Riley. His timeline is littered with messages of support for her – including this one, in which he endorses a thread she wrote attacking a certain teenage girl. My own article on that particular saga has led to a libel suit (see the appeal to support my CrowdJustice campaign, below):

The Riley connection is important because other supporters of that person expressed their disgust when the offending hashtag was taken down – by linking it with one attacking their idol:

This Twitter user has also shown long-term support for Ms Riley:

But it also links those people with those on the extreme right wing of politics.

The clip used to trigger the hashtag attack was of far-right pro-Brexit protesters shouting abuse at him during and after a TV interview on College Green back in January.

Ms Riley’s antipathy towards Mr Jones is a matter of public record. To quote just one example, she attacked him in January this year – inaccurately, and shockingly – over his coverage of Holocaust Memorial Day.

She protested at the time that she is not a supporter of the far right. Maybe that’s true; I don’t propose to comment on it, one way or the other.

But questions need to be asked about why supporters of the far right seem so keen to link themselves with her.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.


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