Ex-KKK Leader David Duke Expresses Support for British Labour Party’s Jeremy Corbyn
Two of the international far-right’s most infamous figures on Friday leapt to the defense of Jeremy Corbyn — the far-left head of the British Labour Party whose three years in the leader’s post have been plagued by accusations of endemic antisemitism in the party’s ranks.
A tweet from Corbyn on Thursday urging an end to “the stranglehold of elite power and billionaire domination over large parts of our media” won plaudits from the former “Grand Wizard” of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan, David Duke.
“He’s right, you know,” Duke chimed in an hour later.
Duke — a gutter racist who referred to black people as “primitive animals” at the height of his career with the Klan — has described his discovery of supposed “Jewish control” of the US media as being at the root of his “political awakening.”
The ex-KKK leader has tweeted his support for Corbyn in the past. On Sept, 28, 2015, Duke approvingly tweeted a quote from Corbyn that the 9/11 terrorist atrocities had been “manipulated.” And on Jan. 17, 2017, Duke broadcast his backing for Corbyn’s proposed “investigation of Israel’s influence in British politics.”
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) September 28, 2015
— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) January 18, 2017
In the UK, however, Duke’s support for Corbyn was eclipsed by a declaration of solidarity from another far-right figure — Nick Griffin, the former leader of the British National Party (BNP), a neo-Nazi organization.
“Go Jezza!” Griffin tweeted on Thursday, citing the nickname for Corbyn used by his supporters. “I wonder how many Labour activists the hysterical #Zionist media campaign against #Corbyn is re-pilling?”
Griffin’s tweet came in response to yet another accusation of antisemitism against Corbyn, this time over a video uncovered from 2013 in which the then-backbench MP accused “Zionists” in Britain of not understanding “English irony,” despite having “lived in this country all their lives.”
In an irony that Corbyn would perhaps appreciate, the Labour leader and Griffin share the same political nemesis: the veteran Labour parliamentarian, Dame Margaret Hodge.
At the 2010 UK general election, Hodge easily saw off a challenge from Griffin, then the leader of a resurgent BNP, in the London suburb of Barking.
Hodge, whose family came to the UK to escape Nazi persecution, said that the vote — in which she doubled her majority — was a message to the neo-Nazi party to “get out and stay out — you’re not wanted here, and your vile politics have no place in British democracy.”
In July this year, Hodge took her plain-speaking style to Corbyn himself, telling the Labour leader that he was an “antisemite and a racist.” Under Corbyn, she charged, the Labour Party had become “a hostile environment for Jews.”
Corbyn announced that he would taking disciplinary action against Hodge following their private exchange in the British House of Commons, but backed down on Aug. 3 in the face of protests from her allies in Labour.