Jeremy Corbyn has accused the BBC of spreading rumours and “fake news.”
The leader of the Labour Party is slowly coming round to US President Donald Trump’s idea that mainstream media is in the business of promoting fake news.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says “there is no news,” that all speculative stories put out by the BBC are just “absolute nonsense.”
He told BBC Breakfast: “I’m really surprised the BBC is reporting fake news. There is no news. There is no news.”
Donald Trump was heavily criticised last month for branding US news outlet CNN “fake news” during his last press conference before taking office.
Asked about the issue of so-called “fake news”, the Labour leader said: “There’s a lot of it about.”
BBC journalist Charlie Stayt asked Corbyn about rumours he’s set a date for his departure as Labour leader.
Corbyn said the claims had started “on IMadeItUpYesterday.com”, insisting it was “absolute nonsense.”
Stayt pressed him again, saying: “So your future as Labour leader is absolutely intact? You’ve not considered whether you as leader are damaging the party?”
Corbyn replied: “I’m really surprised the BBC is reporting fake news. There is no news.”
During last year’s leadership election campaign Jeremy Corbyn ’s team had set up a website called CorbynFacts, purporting to “fact check” inaccurate reporting of the Labour leader in the media.
But the Mirror revealed it contained a string of misleading claims and demonstrable falsehoods.
After the Mirror reported the inaccuracies, the website changed its name to “Behind the Headlines”, removing the word “facts” from the masthead.
Fake news has become a hot button issue in recent months.
The term was originally coined to describe deliberately falsified articles published online to attack political candidates and spread disinformation.
But the term has recently been co-opted by politicians including Donald Trump, and used to delegitimise critical reporting by focusing on minor inaccuracies.
Asked if he would meet Donald Trump on his state visit to the UK, Corbyn said: “My position is Donald Trump should not be coming to the UK. I think we have to have relations with the USA, I’m not sure he’s going to want to have a meeting with us.”
Asked if that was an answer to the question, he said: “No.”
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