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Owen Jones Defends Jeremy Corbyn After Cathy Newman Describes Labour Candidate's 'Anger' At Questioning

18/08/2015 12:22 BST | Updated 18/08/2015 12:59 BST

Owen Jones has defended Jeremy Corbyn after Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman claimed his reaction to being accused of associating with a Holocaust denier was "angry".

The Islington MP told the programme that self-described Holocaust denier Paul Eisen was not a Holocaust denier when they met 15 years ago and denied having anything to do with him now.

Mr Jones, the left-wing polemicist who was one of Mr Corbyn's earliest supporters, disputed Ms Newman's comment that he had "angrily" reacted to her questions.

Mr Jones responded that Mr Corbyn, who is now the frontrunner to lead the party he has been rebelling against for most of his parliamentary career, was not "angry at all", prompting Newman to say he was angry "on and off" camera.

Mr Jones was not convinced, saying Mr Corbyn had been "firm", which Ms Newman rejected saying: "It looked pretty angry to me standing in front of him."

Towards the end of the interview, Ms Newman described Mr Corbyn's association with Paul Eisen and Raed Salah, an Islamic hate preacher who blames Israel for 9/11, as "misjudgements", prompting him to say: "Look, I'm sorry, you're putting an awful lot of words in my mouth about misjudgements.

"My point is that any form of racism in any situation is absolutely wrong. The need to talk to people is absolutely right."

Mr Corbyn claimed Mr Salah "did not at any stage utter any anti-Semitic remarks to me".

If Mr Corbyn was angry, it is not the first time Channel 4 News' line of questioning has annoyed him.

In July, he mockingly thanked Ms Newman's co-presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy for "tabloid journalism" after the host asked why he referred to "friends" in Hamas and Hezbollah, armed groups committed to Israel's destruction.

Ms Newman's report on Monday referenced criticism of Mr Corbyn for "failing to rein in the vitriol" of some of his supporters online.

The report prompted her to receive attacks online from Mr Corbyn's backers, who accused her of "blatant" dislike of their preferred candidate. Another called her an "evil little witch".

This left Ms Newman unimpressed, who said it was her job to ask direct questions.

Other journalists agreed.

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