After This Site highlighted the fact that the official record of Parliamentary proceedings had been ‘doctored’ to misrepresent Home Office minister Victoria Atkins’s smear against Jeremy Corbyn, we learn today that it has been quietly edited again.
Now the record presents her words as she said them, as this tweet from Leftworks shows:
Hansard has now been quietly corrected to reflect what Victoria Atkins actually said, rather than what it previously pretended she said.
— leftworks #WeAreCorbyn #IStandWithJeremyCorbyn (@leftworks1) July 15, 2021
Sadly, this has been done without a word of apology or explanation from the authorities, and this is not acceptable.
Furthermore, Atkins’s speech means she knowingly lied to Parliament – she misrepresented Jeremy Corbyn as a racist, wrongly using the EHRC investigation of the Labour Party as supporting evidence.
Lying to Parliament is a serious offence, and it is also considered extremely poor behaviour to accuse another member of Parliament in the way Ms Atkins has.
She should be dragged back to the Commons to apologise for her speech and explain why she thought it was acceptable to lie that Jeremy Corbyn was a racist in the same debate where she defended Boris Johnson, the prime minister, against the same charge, despite the many known occasions where he has exhibited such behaviour.
I have written to Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle to that effect. Here’s the text of my letter:
I published an article on my website Vox Political yesterday, referring to surreptitious editing of Hansard to misrepresent the debate on the Urgent Question about racism in the social media, in the Commons on July 14.
In that debate, Home Office minister Victoria Atkins stated, “I remind the House of the findings of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission under his [Jeremy Corbyn’s] watch: Labour ‘unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish’.”
This was edited in Hansard with three words added as follows (I have capitalised them for ease of identification): “I remind the House of the findings of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission under his [Jeremy Corbyn’s] watch, TO DETERMINE WHETHER Labour ‘unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish’.”
In the debate, Ms Atkins went on to say, “I will listen to many people about tackling racism and I will work with pretty much anyone, but I will take a long spoon with which to sup with this particular member.”
The effect of her speech as a whole was to falsely present Mr Corbyn, a lifelong campaigner against racism and discrimination of any kind – as I am sure you, being a Labour Party member, are awre – as a racist.
The effect of the editing of Hansard was to corruptly mitigate that falsehood in the record, making it seem she said Labour was only investigated by the EHRC when in fact she presented Labour, and Corbyn, as having been found to have committed the offence stated.
I notice that Hansard has now been surreptitiously edited for a second time, with the offending words removed. I welcome this, although I believe the people of the UK deserve an explanation as to why the falsehoods appeared in the official record in the first place. In fact, I am writing to demand one. How many other falsehoods have been edited into Hansard, unnoticed?
Additionally, the new version makes Ms Atkins’s false claim against Mr Corbyn clear again. It is unacceptable and hypocritical for a UK government minister, who defended the prime minister against allegations of racism in the face of documented historical records of it, to also falsely accuse a former Labour leader of racism in the way she has.
In addition to my demand for an explanation of the editing-in of falsehoods into Hansard, I am therefore also writing to demand that Ms Atkins be brought back to the Commons to apologise for smearing another member of Parliament in the despicable way she has.
Let me make myself clear: I am not requesting these things – I am demanding them. Ms Atkins’s behaviour has seriously harmed the reputation of the House of Commons and if you fail to act, that institution will suffer further reputational harm.
I await your confirmation that you will comply with my wishes and look forward to seeing them carried out.
I don’t expect Hoyle to comply with my demands.
Like all tribes, MPs tend to stick together when they perceive they are being attacked by someone else.
But he knows that this offence has been seen, and he’ll have to record that he received a complaint about it.
Whatever happens next, I think we should all follow some of the prime minister’s advice, and be vigilant.
Let’s make it clear to our MPs that we’re sick of their antics. They were elected to represent us in a responsible way – not to engage in playground insults and lie about it afterwards.
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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