The Mail scrapes the very bottom of the barrel trying to smear Corbyn

Mail logo and Jeremy Corbyn
Fréa Lockley

The Daily Mail‘s latest efforts to smear Jeremy Corbyn are a new low. With this ‘shocking scoop’, its latest claim against the Labour leader shows just how desperate the right-wing press is getting.


On 9 September, a Mail “exclusive” claimed that “never-before-seen photographs” link Corbyn and John McDonnell to an IRA ‘terrorist’.

It ran pictures of Corbyn and McDonnell “smiling for the camera” at Paul Hill’s wedding in 1988. It claimed that Hill was “a convicted IRA bomber at the time”.

Start your day with The Canary News Digest

Fresh and fearless; get excellent independent journalism from The Canary, delivered straight to your inbox every morning.

But this desperate effort to smear Corbyn got short shrift. Because despite trying to link Corbyn and McDonnell to the IRA, even the Mail had to acknowledge that – a year later – the Guildford Four (which included Hill) had their convictions quashed. They were freed immediately.

So as many people pointed out, the Mail ‘scoop’ simply showed Corbyn at an innocent man’s wedding:

One Twitter user went even further, calling this smear “a piss poor effort”:

Wrongfully convicted

In 1975, Hill, Gerry Conlon, Paddy Armstrong, and Carole Richardson were wrongfully convicted of carrying out two bomb attacks in Surrey.

All four later retracted statements that led to conviction. It emerged that authorities had obtained these “using violence, threats to their family and intimidation”. Hill also gave further details about their ‘brutal’ treatment, saying:

I was stripped naked and threatened with firearms and mock executions. I was told I would be thrown from a window.

In 1989, police evidence against the Guildford Four was shown to have been entirely “fabricated” and based on “lies”.

As some people pointed out, Corbyn and McDonnell actually stood by the four. Both backed the campaign to prove their innocence:

Others, meanwhile, suggested this should lead to legal action:

The danger of right-wing smears

The Mail‘s latest effort to smear Corbyn was desperate and empty. Yet it prompted outrage from readers desperate to fuel anti-Corbyn hatred:

In fact, the Mail later appeared to close the comments section on this story.

This is just the latest smear against the Labour leader. Yet it has serious consequences. As The Canary reported, police arrested far-right agitator James Goddard outside a Corbyn rally on 2 September. And many people linked this to the ongoing right-wing media attacks on Corbyn and other left-wing figures.

While this latest Mail smear is both deceitful and pathetic, that doesn’t mean it’s any less dangerous.

Featured images via screengrab and Fréa Lockley

Since you're here ...

We know you don't need a lecture. You wouldn't be here if you didn't care.
Now, more than ever, we need your help to challenge the rightwing press and hold power to account. Please help us survive and thrive.

The Canary Support
  • Show Comments
    1. According to Wikipedia: “The Daily Mail has won a number of awards, including receiving the National Newspaper of the Year award from the British Press Awards seven times since 1995.”

      That illustrates how ‘awards’ are doled out in turn by trade associations.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.