Stay in touch!
Sign up to be updated with Evolve's latest stories, and for opportunities to get involved.
Rees-Mogg’s claim that Corbyn voted against the Good Friday Agreement is categorically untrue.
Brexit cheerleader Mogg was arguing a point on the ongoing issue around Brexit and whether or not it will see a return of a hard border in Northern Ireland, when he said:
“I’m unaware of any Brexiteer who is in favour of abandoning the Good Friday Agreement – it’s Jeremy Corbyn, incidentally, that voted against the Good Friday Agreement when it came to Parliament.”
In light of his outrageous lie live on Channel 4, arch-Brexiteer Rees-Mogg may well be sweating a little bit tonight – especially in light of Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to pursue legal action to force an apology from Rees-Mogg’s fellow Tory MP Ben Bradley just last week.
Bradley was forced to donate a five-figure sum to charity after falsely tweeting that Corbyn supposedly “sold British secrets to Communist spies” last week.
The Tory MP for Mansfield was also forced to write ‘please retweet this’ at the end of the apology tweet – leading it the apology racking up over 50,000 retweets, and hilariously becoming the most retweeted Tory tweet of all time.
— Cllr Ben Bradley MP (@BBradley_Mans) February 24, 2018
And, following his high-profile lie tonight on Channel 4 News, many Corbyn supporters on social media have already called on the Labour leader to instigate legal action against Rees-Mogg.
I’m sure @Jacob_Rees_Mogg will be tweeting an apology to @jeremycorbyn tonight for saying on Channel 4 news Corbyn voted against the Good Friday Agreement when it’s a matter of record he voted for it! A donation to a charity of Mr Corbyn’s choice would also be most welcome pic.twitter.com/qGxPQXIl5G
— Peter Stefanovic (@PeterStefanovi2) February 28, 2018
Channel 4 issued a correction for Rees-Mogg’s brazen lie live on air, but followed this up by also tweeting:
In a rush at the end of the programme we slightly mangled our correction about Jacob Rees-Mogg's assertion that Jeremy Corbyn voted against the Good Friday Agreement, he did in fact vote for the Good Friday Agreement, but against the Anglo-Irish Agreement.
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) February 28, 2018
And, as reported by Channel 4 Fact Check in 2017:
“…people are getting confused between the Anglo-Irish Agreement, which Corbyn voted and spoke against, and the Good Friday Agreement.
The Anglo-Irish Agreement was signed by the British government of Margaret Thatcher and her Irish counterpart Garret Fitzgerald in 1985, and is seen by some as an important stepping-stone in the peace process.
But at the time, the treaty was opposed by many unionists as well as Sinn Fein and the IRA, and it failed to stop paramilitary violence in the province.
Corbyn voted against it and spoke against it in parliament, saying: “We believe that the agreement strengthens rather than weakens the border between the six and the 26 counties, and those of us who wish to see a United Ireland oppose the agreement for that reason.
The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 was a deal involving London, Dublin and most Northern Ireland parties including Sinn Fein and unionist parties also linked to paramilitary groups.
It had a much more dramatic effect on reducing violence and is considered by many to mark the effective end of the Troubles.
Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the agreement and along with the vast majority of MPs in Westminster, he endorsed it by voting for the Northern Ireland Bill in July 1998, saying: “We look forward to peace, hope and reconciliation in Ireland in the future.”
As the inevitable social media pressure descends on Rees-Mogg after being exposed as a liar, he will almost certainly attempt to claim that his flat-out lie was simply a ‘mistake’. But the damage has already been done, and the millions of people who watched Channel Four News live will not read this article and not know that his claim was in fact a lie.
In order to undo the damage Rees-Mogg has caused, Corbyn must force the Tory MP to at the very least issue a full retraction and apologise for his outrageous lie. Or, if Rees-Mogg continues to persist in his provably untrue claims, Corbyn would be fully within his rights to take things further.