Former Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn has accepted an apology and substantial damages from a councillor who published a fake picture of him appearing to endorse the Liverpool terrorist attack.
Paul Nickerson, who was a Conservative member of East Riding of Yorkshire Council but now sits as an Independent Conservative, said:” On 15 November 2021 a false defamatory statement, for which I accept full responsibility, was published on my Twitter account about Jeremy Corbyn MP. My apology is attached. I have agreed to pay substantial damages and legal costs to Mr Corbyn. Please retweet.”
Mr Corbyn said in a statement: “The post included a fake photograph of Mr Corbyn laying a poppy wreath at the site of a burning taxi outside the Liverpool Women’s Hospital where a terror attack had taken place on Remembrance Sunday killing a suicide bomber and injuring others.”
The fake photograph had been captioned by the word “unsurprisingly”.
Cllr Nickerson said: “This gave the completely untrue impression that Jeremy Corbyn supports terrorist violence including suicide bombings, which without any hesitation I wholly accept he does not.
“Without reservation I fully withdraw any suggestion or inference that Jeremy Corbyn is a supporter of terrorist violence. The tweet was wrong and I retract it. I unreservedly and sincerely apologise to Mr Corbyn for the hurt and distress that has been caused to him by the tweet.”
Mr Corbyn said Cllr Nickerson’s photoshopped Twitter post “failed to understand the seriousness of the threat and did a disservice to all those affected by the attack and their loved ones”.
He welcomed Cllr Nickerson’s apology, agreement not to repeat the offending image and to pay substantial damages and legal costs, and said he would donate the damages to charities, including one in Liverpool and one in his Islington North constituency.