Wes Streeting asked to give ‘factual statement’ in Corbyn libel trial

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Wes Streeting asked to give ‘factual statement’ in Corbyn libel trial

Labour shadow health secretary tells Jewish News:'I was asked to provide a factual statement of an event I chaired, which I have. It really is as simple as that.'

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Labour's Wes Streeting on BBC Question Time
Labour's Wes Streeting on BBC Question Time

Labour’s Wes Streeting has confirmed to Jewish News he has been asked to provide a “factual statement of an event I chaired” by lawyers representing former leader Jeremy Corbyn in a libel trial brought by blogger Richard Millett.

It was confirmed last week that Corbyn will give evidence at the High Court trial after Millett sued the former Labour leader over remarks he made during an interview on the BBC in 2018, about “Zionists” who “don’t understand English irony”.

Mr Justice Nicklin considered pre-trial issues at a High Court hearing in London last Monday.

Lawyers representing Corbyn, who is fighting the claim, said 41 people, including the former leader and Millett themselves, could give evidence.

Responding to a report on Sunday that claimed the Labour shadow health secretary would now “defend” Corbyn in the trial, Streeting said:”I was asked to provide a factual statement of an event I chaired, which I have. “It really is as simple as that.”

The QC Jeff Samuels was amongst those to deny claims made in a newspaer report that by giving a factual statement Streeting would “defend” Corbyn.

He said the MP was “not defending Corbyn but being called as a witness to factual matters.”

Samuels, who now lives in Israel, added: “For all we know he may be doing so unwilling under summons.”

The QC added:”This case is about Millett and only about Millett. People would be very foolish to seek to make it about anything more.”

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