Riley writes for The Big Issue – so readers vow to stop buying it

The Big Issue: This Site is temporarily without image editing capability, otherwise there would be a big ‘No Entry’ sign across this logo.

The standout line in Rachel Riley’s Big Issue interview wasn’t about anti-Semitism, you may be surprised to learn.

It’s where she states: “If someone was ringing up your house phone and saying these things you would block that number. If someone came up to you in the street, you wouldn’t accept it. So there’s no reason why you should have to on social media either.”

What a coincidence that she should say such a thing at a time when I have been receiving abusive messages on my house phone! I sincerely hope it’s a coincidence, anyway, what with Riley being set to go into a civil trial against me over alleged abuses on the social media by herself and her Twitter friends and followers.

Needless to say, I haven’t blocked the number. I have saved the messages and reported the abuse to the police. We’ll see what comes of it.

The rest of the article is shockingly one-sided.

Riley is said to have become active against the Labour Pary’s handling of anti-Semitism accusations during Jeremy Corbyn’s tenure as leader, but no mention is made of the fact – revealed in the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report, published almost exactly a year ago – that Corbyn and his general secretary Jennie Formby hugely improved Labour’s response to such allegations after it had been allowed to grow lax by the party’s Governance and Legal Unit under previous GenSec Iain McNicol.

She states that new leader Keir Starmer has a “tough job” because Mr Corbyn “gave the worst result in 80 years for Labour”. This is debatable as the number of seats won did not reflect the number of votes cast. In fact, Corbyn won more than 10 million votes – more than previous leader Ed Miliband in 2015 (9.34 million) Gordon Brown in 2010 (8.6 million) and Tony Blair in 2005 (9.5 million).

Mr Corbyn is the Labour leader who scored the highest number of votes for Labour in the 21st century (so far) in 2017 (12.87 million).

It would be right to say that Labour won its lowest number of seats since 1935 – but that is more correctly attributed, not to Mr Corbyn, but to Starmer – whose insistence on a bad Brexit policy led to the loss of the so-called “Red Wall” seats in northern England to the Conservatives. It was Starmer who lost the 2019 election for Labour.

“In terms of antisemitism he’s definitely tackling it,” Riley said. Er, no.

He is suspending left-wing, socialist Labour Party members on hearsay accusations – for political reasons that have nothing to do with their attitude towards Jewish people. For proof of that, consider the fact that, according to campaigning Jewish organisations that Riley supports like the CST and the Campaign Against Antisemitism, the worst threats to Jewish people are on the right of the political spectrum – yet not a single complaint about anti-Semitism by right-wing members of the Labour Party (who all happen to be supporters of Keir Starmer) has been investigated. Not one.

Meanwhile, under Starmer, Jewish Labour Party members are now five times more likely to be accused of anti-Semitism than non-Jewish members. How does Riley reconcile that with her pro-Starmer attitude?

The interview goes on to discuss abuse that Riley says she has received after she “became more outspoken on social media”. It does not mention any of the evidence that her behaviour there has caused her followers and supporters to abuse others, that is the basis of the court action between her and This Writer.

And Riley is said to now be an ambassador for the grandly-titled Centre for Countering Digital Hate. Let’s have a look at that connection, shall we?

What a tangled web. Perhaps The Big Issue would have been wise to investigate these connections between the organisation for which Riley is now an ambassador and these people and organisations that are all connected very closely to Sir Keir Starmer.

Could it be possible that her statements about him may come from a position of… I don’t know… bias?

This Big Issue piece is a mockery of journalism. One would have expected at least some effort to provide factual accuracy – and where is the right of reply for people she has misrepresented?

The result is clear: People are boycotting The Big Issue.

It is a potentially problematic decision. The Big Issue is sold by people who are homeless and they receive a proportion of the money that is given to them.

Boycotting the magazine could harm homeless people – a point made very well by Shaun Lawson, whose articles about Riley’s unacceptable behaviour towards a teenage girl with mental health issues led to This Writer’s current court case:

He’s right to ask that we don’t make the homeless suffer. But here’s a solution, suggested by Jackie Walker – a person who knows very well how it feels to suffer a “false flag” attack on claims of anti-Semitism:

That’s the answer, for the time being.

Instead of buying The Big Issue, just give the money direct to the vendor and make it clear that it is for them, and not for the magazine. None of that money should go to The Big Issue.

And remember to do it when the next edition comes out because it will again feature Riley.

“Heavygusto”, below, makes a good point about it:

I would also urge everybody to contact Big Issue publisher John Bird and demand a balancing article. I would happily contribute and I’m sure others who have been victims of anti-Semitism-related falsehoods would also be keen to have their voices heard – for a change.

Riley’s lawsuit against me is still going on (and on, after nearly three years!) so if, after reading the above, you are interested in supporting my defence against her, please do one or more of the following:

Consider making a donation yourself, via the CrowdJustice page.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Oh – one last point: Starmer’s approval rating is -40.

He won’t be winning any elections – especially with the likes of Rachel Riley cheerleading for him.

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.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


4 thoughts on “Riley writes for The Big Issue – so readers vow to stop buying it

  1. Julia

    That would be (I may be paraphrasing a bit here but I think not) Ms Rachel ‘people are surprised because I don’t look like your typical Jew’ Riley? Wonder if anyone has tackled her as to what a ‘typical’ Jew looks like…. What a piece of work she is.

  2. Barney

    Appalled that Ian Austin and Neil Coyle are trying to claim the Big Issue is being boycotet because people are opposed to Riley being anti-racist – nasty nasty dishonest spin. We oppose Riley’s article due to her whitewashing Starmer’s anti-Palestinian stance. Heck he even refuses to recognise Palestine’s right to exist as a state – something Austin clearly supports: from 2014: -Pro-Israeli Labour MPs like Ian Austin, Louise Ellman and John Woodcock have signed an amendment calling for recognition of Palestine to be delayed until the “conclusion of successful peace negotiations”

  3. Barney

    despicable of Ian Austin and Neil Coyle to suggest the Big Issue is being boycotted because Riley is fighting racism. That would not be the reason anyone is boycotting it and it is debatable that she is doing that. My beef with the article is that it is airbrushing Starmer’s anti-Palestinism. Heck he doesn’t even accept Palestine’s right to exist. Of course this is no issue to Austin who himself says no one should accept Palestine’s existence until Israel agrees.

Comments are closed.