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Rachel Riley – co-presenter on Channel 4 show Countdown – is facing calls to be sacked after she edited a photo of Jeremy Corbyn at an anti-apartheid protest to suggest the Labour leader was “racist”.

The controversial TV personality is under fire from both supporters and critics of Corbyn after posting an image of herself wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the negatively photoshopped picture of Corbyn, on which the Labour leader is seen being escorted by two police officers with a placard hung from his neck that reads: “Jeremy Corbyn Is A Racist Endeavour.”

The doctored image has been edited from an original photograph which pictured Corbyn being arrested at an anti-apartheid protest in London in 1984, during his first year as an MP. The original placard read: “Defend The Right To Demonstrate Against Apartheid Join This Picket.”

Riley shared the snap of her wearing the t-shirt on Twitter on Tuesday, ahead of Jeremy Corbyn taking part in a TV debate with PM Boris Johnson, which was being broadcast from the same studios where Countdown is filmed.

Her tweet was accompanied with the word: “I didn’t feel comfortable knowing my workplace was to be full of racists tonight. I don’t endorse Boris, but I do endorse #NeverCorbyn.” A member of the Jewish community and a long-term critic of Corbyn, she also wore a neck chain displaying the Star of David.

Countdown presenter Rachel Riley wears a photoshop doctored t-shirt deliberately altering an anti-apartheid message to attack Jeremy Corbyn Rachel Riley / Twitter
Countdown presenter Rachel Riley wears a photoshop doctored t-shirt with an anti-apartheid message deliberately altered to attack Jeremy Corbyn

Although Riley has attempted to justify her stunt by claiming the anti-apartheid group Corbyn campaigned with wasn’t  “mainstream”, the seemingly ill-judged stunt has prompted an angry response, especially from black activists and those associated with the anti-apartheid movement.

Andrew Feinstein, a former member of South Africa’s parliament for ex-president Nelson Mandela’s African National Congress party, described Riley’s action as “deeply repugnant”.

He tweeted: “As a former MP under Nelson Mandela, as the son of a Holocaust survivor who lost 39 members of her family in the camps, as a Sth African anti-racist, I find what Rachel Riley has done offensive, appalling & deeply repugnant.”

Award-winning Black activist and feminist Chardine Taylor Stone said: “You do not treat apartheid as joke to make a statement.”Chardine Taylor Stone
Award-winning Black activist and feminist Chardine Taylor Stone said: “You do not treat apartheid as joke to make a statement.”

Black activist Chardine Taylor Stone hit out at Riley, stating: “You do not treat apartheid as joke to make a statement.” Others accused her of having a “twisted agenda,” by smearing Corbyn as a racist, “while simultaneously erasing apartheid history.”

An online petition on Change.org – which described Riley’s actions “to weaponise the fight against racism in such a manner is abhorrent and clearly counter intuitive” –  has so far reached over 2,600 signatures with a target of 5,000.

The petition description continues: “Had this been a single lapse in judgement an apology would possibly have been an adequate response. However the persistent and unhealthy campaign based on clearly unsubstantiated claims means that Mrs Riley’s position working for your organisation is now untenable.”

Since pulling the stunt, 33-year-old Riley has been unceremoniously dragged by the Twittersphere, with many mocking her photoshop skills with their own satirical versions of her doctored image. Although Katie Hopkins was spotted coming to Riley’s defence, claiming a “Labour Muslim mob” was out to get her. Charming!


Here’s some highlights of Rachel Riley getting rinsed for her controversial stunt:


#1  “Channel 4, collect ya girl…”

#2  #SackRachelRiley

#3  Photoshopping the photoshop…

#4  Say what now?

#5  History lesson

#6  Selective anti-racism?

#7  Hopkins 2.0

#8  “Poundland Katie Hopkins”

#9  It’s fine, she’s good with numbers

#10  A miscalculation?

#11  Sums it up…

#12  Factcheck, anyone?

#13  “JC4PM” 

#14

#15  Is anti-racism racism a thing?

#16  Wiki-lols

#17  Career nosedive…

#18  Wrong, right, and far-right?

#19  Mystery solved?

#20  ‘Hold my drink…’

#21  ‘Cancelled’

#22  “I preferred Carol Vorderman anyways…”

#23 Reversed reversal of reverse racism?


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https://www.iambirmingham.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Rachel-Riley-photoshops-Jeremy-Corbyn-onto-Tshirt.pnghttps://www.iambirmingham.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Rachel-Riley-photoshops-Jeremy-Corbyn-onto-Tshirt-300x180.pngStaff ReporterBrumFeedElectionsGE2019HumourListNewsPoliticsRacismShowbiz2019,Andrew Feinstein,anti-apartheid,Anti-Semitism,apartheid,BJ,Boris Johnson,C4,Channel 4,Chardine Taylor Stone,controversy,Countdown,doctored,edited,Election Debate,GE 2019,GE2019,General Election,General Election 2019,image,ITV,JC,Jeremy Corbyn,Jeremy Corbyn anti-apartheid,Labour,Leaders Debate,Nelson Mandela,Photo,Photoshop,Political,political stunt,Protests,publicity,Rachel Riley,Racism,sacked,sacking,South Africa,studios,stunt,t-shirt,televised,tshirt,TV starRachel Riley - co-presenter on Channel 4 show Countdown - is facing calls to be sacked after she edited a photo of Jeremy Corbyn at an anti-apartheid protest to suggest the Labour leader was 'racist'. The controversial TV personality is under fire from both supporters and critics of Corbyn after posting an image of herself wearing a...The latest news, updates and events in Birmingham