Glastonbury cancels screening of Jeremy Corbyn film booked ‘in good faith’

Festival claimed it was ‘not appropriate’ to screen ‘Oh, Jeremy Corbyn: The Big Lie’

Mike Bedigan
Tuesday 20 June 2023 14:49 BST
Jeremy Corbyn gives a speech at Glastonbury Festival

Glastonbury Festival has said that it stands “against all forms of discrimination” after cancelling a screening of a film about former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Titled Oh, Jeremy Corbyn: The Big Lie and produced by Platform Films, the film was due to be shown at the arts festival’s Pilton Palais cinema on Sunday (25 June).

The film aims to challenge accusations of antisemitism made against Corbyn throughout his political career, claiming to “explore a dark and murky story of political deceit and outrageous antisemitic smears”.

It is narrated by left-wing Jewish comedian Alexei Sayle, and features contributions from writer Jackie Walker and filmmaker Ken Loach.

However, after the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BDBJ) expressed “deep concern” over the film, Glastonbury announced on Monday (19 June) that Oh, Jeremy Corbyn would no longer be screened at the event.

In a statement, a Glastonbury representative said: “Although we believe that the Pilton Palais booked this film in good faith, in the hope of provoking political debate, it’s become clear that it is not appropriate for us to screen it at the festival.

“Glastonbury is about unity and not division, and we stand against all forms of discrimination.”

In response, the BDBJ tweeted: “We are pleased that in the wake of a letter we sent earlier today, @glastonbury have announced the cancellation of the screening of this film. Hateful conspiracy theories should have no place in our society.”

However, many supporters of Corbyn’s criticised the decision by Glastonbury to ban the film, branding it an act of “censorship”.

Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis (left) and Jeremy Corbyn on stage at the 2017 festival

Previously, president of Jewish communal organisation the Board of Deputies Marie van der Zyl said it would be “profoundly sinister” to have such a film platformed at the festival.

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In 2017, the then-Labour leader appeared on the festival’s Pyramid stage, where he addressed the huge crowd alongside festival founder Michael Eavis, who referred to Corbyn as the “hero of the hour”.

Corbyn gave a speech about the power of unity over division, with the crowd chanting: “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” after he spoke.

Platform Films has been approached for comment.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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