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Rachel Riley slammed after erasing anti-apartheid message to label Jeremy Corbyn a racist

Channel Four presenter Rachel Riley has been severely criticised on social media after posting a picture of herself wearing a t-shirt containing a photoshopped image of Jeremy Corbyn which intentionally erases an anti-apartheid message in order to brand the Labour leader as “racist”.

On Tuesday, the Countdown presenter published a tweet alongside an image of herself wearing a t-shirt adorned with a widely-publicised photo of Jeremy Corbyn being arrested whilst protesting South African apartheid in 1984.

However, in the image on Riley’s t-shirt, the message on Mr Corbyn’s placard – which previously read “Defend the right to protest against apartheid. Join this picket” – had been replaced with:

“Jeremy Corbyn is a racist endeavour”


Riley has been a controversial and highly vocal critic of the Labour leader amid claims of anti-semitism within the Party, but many – including some of her own supporters – felt her latest stunt was completely unacceptable.

Gary Spedding, who has also been a vocal campaigner against antisemitism, said that Riley’s t-shirt was “offensive” because “it erases a message against apartheid South Africa (which represents the systematic racial oppression of black South Africans)“, before adding in another tweet:

“erasure of an anti-apartheid message in order to convey the notion Corbyn is himself a racist is frankly ludicrous and in itself a racist act.

Whlist journalist Mike Williams said:

Imagine having the confidence to smear Jeremy Corbyn as a racist, while simultaneously erasing apartheid history for your own twisted agenda. Rachel Riley, everyone.

And radio presenter Olan McGowan said:

“Rachel Riley has crossed a line here. She has just sent her campaign against anti-semitism up in smoke. I’ve given her the benefit of the doubt for so long. No more. This is outrageous. Corbyn protesting apartheid was honorable and brave. to have it undermined like this is vile.”

And the criticism of Riley’s latest actions kept coming, with some even calling for Channel Four to review their association with the Countdown presenter:

The Countdown presenter was also photographed wearing the highly controversial t-shirt after leaving the ITV studios in Salford following Tuesday’s televised leaders’ debate between Mr Corbyn and Boris Johnson.

Channel Four have not yet commented on Ms Riley’s actions.

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