A crowdfunded legal fund, set up to back Jeremy Corbyn in a potential libel battle, has surged past £100,000 in donations in little over a day.
The GoFundMe page was set up by a Corbyn supporter after it emerged that Panorama reporter John Ware plans to take legal action against the former Labour leader.
Ware’s lawyer confirmed the possible libel action after Corbyn released a statement on Wednesday, which said that Labour agreeing to settle the party’s case against Panorama “risks giving credibility to misleading and inaccurate allegations” about action to tackle anti-Semitism.
Over 6,000 donors have already given over £114,000 to the fundraiser – which is not believed to have any official links to Corbyn.
Labour announced on Wednesday that it will pay “substantial damages” to whistleblowers who contributed to the Panorama exposé of the party’s handling of anti-Semitism, and issued an apology for “defamatory and false allegations” made following the investigation.
In his statement, Corbyn said that it was “disappointing” that Labour had settled the case, adding that it was a “political decision, not a legal one”.
Entitled ‘Jeremy’s Legal Fund’, the page says: “It is reported that John Ware a reporter for Panorama is taking legal action for libel against former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
“The relentless attacks on Mr Corbyn, a man of integrity, honesty and humility cannot be allowed to continue and we have an opportunity here to offer him support in a practical way.
“It will also let him know that his supporters have not forgotten him, nor have they gone away.”
‘Victims of the witch hunt’
Many donors – many of whom are contributing small donations between £5-15 – have left comments supporting Corbyn.
Marianne Gillott, who gave £5, said: “Jeremy made me believe a politician can actually be good. I wish he was the prime minister so bad. I cried when he lost, for the many not the few.”
Erica Lang, who donated £10, said: “Well done for doing this. It is great do many are supporting Jeremy but if not needed can I suggest the funds are used to help ordinary members who can not raise money for their legal cases and have been victims of the witch hunt.”
Razeenah Ahmed, who also gave £5, added: “Jeremy Corbyn is the most smeared politician in history because he can’t be bought unlike Starmer and the red tories within the Labour party. I will always stand with Jeremy Corbyn, our true leader.”