Billy Bragg Says Jeremy Corbyn Article Was 'Stitch Up' By The Murdoch-Owned Times

He asked everyone to 'please stay calm' about the piece.

16/08/2016 11:01 | Updated 16 August 2016

Billy Bragg has accused The Times newspaper of “twisting” his words by implying he has withdrawn his backing for Jeremy Corbyn.

The Times described Bragg a “formerly loyal supporter” of Corbyn after comments he made at the Edinburgh Book Festival.

The activist, who is a long-time supporter of the Labour leader, criticised Corbyn for being a “20th century Labour man” who was unable to reach the electorate, according to a Times article on Tuesday. 

He has since called out the newspaper’s reporting as “b/s” and says he has been “stitched up”.

Speaking at the festival, Bragg reportedly said: “I worry about Jeremy that he’s a kind of 20th century man, we need to be reaching out to people”.

Roberto Ricciuti via Getty Images
Billy Bragg says he still supports Jeremy Corbyn.

He claimed Corbyn was unable to reach the parts of the electorate he needed to build an effective political force, saying: “My hope is that the party does not split and we resolve this stalemate.”

The Times reported on his words using the headline ‘Corbyn is stuck in the last century, says Bragg’, and called him a “previously loyal supporter” of Corbyn.

Commenters on Twitter, including Daily Mail columnist Dan Hodges, said Bragg was the latest in a line of left-wing figures to criticise Corbyn, disproving claims from his supporters that it is only the right that is attacking him:

But Bragg himself tweeted and called The Times story “b/s”, confirming he was still supporting Corbyn.

He said he had been “stitched up” by the Rupert Murdoch-owned paper, and only wanted to talk about devolution and alternative approaches to voting: 

He asked people to “please stay calm” about the article, and not to let “Murdoch sow dischord”.

Commenters who don’t support Corbyn joked that his fans might now brand Bragg a ‘Red Tory’, despite Bragg being known as a long-time leftwinger.

And one tweeter summed up the whole confusing incident well in less than 140 characters:

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