Piers Corbyn has been arrested over leaflets comparing Britain’s vaccination programme to Auschwitz.
Police said the Covid-19 conspiracy theorist, 73, was detained for ‘malicious communications and public nuisance’.
The brother of former Labour leader Jeremy came up with the ‘concept’ for a pamphlet which features a cartoon drawing of the Nazi death camp.
Above the gates leading into Auschwitz – where 1.2million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust – a sign reads ‘vaccines are safe path to freedom’.
Below is an Evening Standard article with the same headline and a caption reading: ‘This cynical newspaper headline is in the tradition of the Nazi slogan ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ (work sets you free) whereas in reality, the truth is the opposite.’
Corbyn is credited for the ‘concept’ and Alexander Heaton – who was charged with breaking restrictions during protests in May – for the drawing.
The brother of former-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, 76, (left) came up with the ‘concept’ for a pamphlet which features a cartoon drawing of Nazi concentration camp
Covid-19 conspiracy theorist Piers Corbyn has been slammed for a ‘disgraceful’ leaflet comparing Britain’s vaccination programme to Auschwitz (pictured)
Corbyn voluntarily went to a London police station to answer questions today after receiving a phone call urging him to do so.
He was arrested there but has not yet been charged. Corbyn said officers also searched his flat but did not remove any leaflets, The Evening Standard reports.
He said the police asked him whether the leaflets had ‘malicious intent’ – but didn’t question whether handing them out during lockdown broke the rules.
Corbyn confirmed his arrest but said it was ‘completely absurd’ to call him anti-Semitic because he was ‘married for 22 years to a Jewess’.
The term ‘Jewess’ is highly-outdated and has accumulated negative connotations – but it is not widely considered a slur.
He told The Jewish Chronicle: ‘Obviously her mother’s forebears fled the Baltic states just before the war because of Hitler or the Nazis in general.
‘I’ve worked with Jewish leading world scientists over the last 30 years.
‘I’ve also employed Jewish people in my business Weather Action, one of whom was a superb worker.’
Labour MP Neil Coyle – who complained to the police about the leaflets being handed out – said: ‘This is good news for those who want everybody to get vaccinations and be made safe as quickly as possible.
‘And it is good news for those who do not want vile Holocaust imagery shoved through our letterboxes by crackpots.’
A 37-year-old man has also been arrested today. Police have not officially confirmed either man’s name.
Auschwitz-Birkenau (pictured) was a concentration and extermination camp used by the Nazis during World War Two
A police spokesperson said: ‘A 73-year-old man was arrested in Southwark on Wednesday, 3 February on suspicion of malicious communications and public nuisance.
‘A 37-year-old man was arrested earlier the same day in Bow, east London, on suspicion of a public order offence.
‘Both men were taken to a south London police station. They have since been bailed to return on a date in early March.
‘The leaflet contained material that appeared to compare the Covid-19 vaccination programme with the Holocaust.’
The document, which has Corbyn’s name and website address on the back, was put through the doors of homes in Barnet and Southwark, prompting outrage online.
The leaflet also appears in digital form on Corbyn’s website ‘Stop New Normal’ – which links to his fund to help pay off the fines incurred by repeated lockdown breaches.
Mayor of Lambeth Philip Normal shared a picture of the leaflet to Twitter and said: ‘Anti-Semitism, racism, hate is not tolerated in my house, or this country, or the planet Earth.’
The picture sparked outrage online, with many horrified onlookers slamming the spread of disinformation and the comparison to the Holocaust as ‘disgraceful.’
One user, Nick Pettigrew wrote: ‘To be dangerously stupid about vaccines is one thing.
‘But to use concentration camp imagery while you’re doing it is disgraceful.’
Another commented: ‘My great grandmother died of sepsis in a concentration camp.
‘To equate life saving medicine with them is absolutely one of the most enraging things I’ve ever seen.
‘Anti-semitism truly knows no bounds.’
The picture sparked outrage online, with many horrified onlookers slamming the spread of harmful disinformation and the comparison to the Holocaust as ‘disgraceful’
A Jewish charity slammed the leaflets as ‘despicable’ and said it is not about concerns over vaccines but about ‘trolling Jews’.
Director of enforcement and investigations at Campaign Against Antisemitism Stephen Silverman said: ‘Piers Corbyn is an arch conspiracy theorist who was among the first to claim anti-Semitism allegations against his brother were part of an Israeli plot.
‘Comparing the lockdown to the Auschwitz death camp, as former BNP leader Nick Griffin and others have done, is despicable.
‘To deliberately distribute leaflets making that comparison is vintage Piers Corbyn harassment and baiting of Jews, and demonstrates that this is not about protesting lockdowns, it is about trolling Jews.’
His brother Jeremy was suspended from the Labour Party after saying anti-Semitism in Labour was ‘overstated’ in the wake of a damning Equality and Human Rights Commission report into anti-Semitism in the party.
The report ruled that Labour had broken equality law under his leadership. But he was reinstated as a member by the National Executive Committee three weeks later.
Another leaflet posted alongside the Holocaust comparison featured baseless and false claims that vaccines cause a range of conditions such cancer, autism and infertility.
Mr Corbyn was fined by police after leading a New Year’s Eve anti-lockdown protest in Central London
Mr Corbyn, 73 was among 17 people who were arrested for breaching Health Protection Regulations at a demonstration at Speaker’s Corner on January 2
Former-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) was suspended from the party after saying anti-Semitism in Labour was ‘overstated’ in the wake of a damning Equality and Human Rights Commission report into anti-Semitism in the party
Piers has been arrested at lease twice in 2021 for repeatedly breaching lockdown to protest against lockdown measures intended to slow the spread of Covid-19.
On January 2, he was among 17 people who were arrested for breaching Health Protection Regulations at the demonstration at Speaker’s Corner, in Hyde Park.
A crowd of between 200 and 300 people gathered to protest against lockdown restrictions and their civil liberties being curtailed.
It came after Corbyn was fined and arrested on New Year’s Day after leading a New Year’s Eve anti-lockdown protest near the London Eye, in the centre of the capital.
Corbyn posted a video of what was dubbed the ‘NYE Party of Parties’ on his Twitter feed, proclaiming: ‘TOTAL SUCCESS! #NYEPartyofParties by London Eye.
‘Over 1000 defied all threats +chanted #LetLondonLive! & #Corbyn4London after I announced I will stand for Mayor! Thank you +well done all!’
The conspiracy theorist has now been arrested at least five times since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and has received fines totalling more than £10,000.