Piers Corbyn: why was the brother of Jeremy Corbyn arrested - and leaflet comparing vaccine rollout to Auschwitz explained

Piers Corbyn, brother of Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of Britain's opposition Labour party, was arrested on Thursday (Getty Images)Piers Corbyn, brother of Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of Britain's opposition Labour party, was arrested on Thursday (Getty Images)
Piers Corbyn, brother of Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of Britain's opposition Labour party, was arrested on Thursday (Getty Images)
Piers Corbyn has been accused of distributing a leaflet which compared the vaccine programme to Auschwitz

The brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been arrested for distributing leaflets comparing the vaccine programme to the holocaust.

Piers Corbyn, 73, is an anti-vaccination activist and is reportedly responsible for helping create a leaflet which featured the gates of Auschwitz concentration camp.

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In the doctored image the infamous phrase Arbeit Macht Frei – meaning work sets you free – which sits above the entrance of the prison camp was replaced with the words “vaccines are safe path to freedom”.

The poster featured a credit for Piers Corbyn and fellow activist Alexander Heaton.

At least 1.1million people were killed at the extermination camp, including 960,000 Jews.

What have police said?

According to Jewish News police confirmed “officers investigating reports of malicious material in the form of a leaflet being circulated in south London in late January have made two arrests.”

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A statement rad: “a 73-year-old man was arrested in Southwark on Wednesday, 3 February on suspicion of malicious communications and public nuisance.”

Another man, 37, believed to be Alexander Heaton “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.”

What do the leaflets claim?

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The flyers, distributed in South London, contain a slew of baseless claims and conspiracy theories relating to vaccines.

One claim states that the vaccines contain nanochip technology which enables recipients to be tracked.

The cover cartoon of Auschwitz was designed in response to an Evening Standard claim which read ‘vaccines are safe path to freedom’.

Reaction to anti-semitic anti-vaxxer leaflet

Labour’s Neil Coyle, MP for Bermondsey & Old Southwark reported the leaflet to police in late-January.

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He said he was: “absolutely sickened by anti-vax conspiracy theory crackpot leaflets put through some doors in SE17 today. Sickening when people trying to stay home and safe. Hideous imagery and asking Southwark Police for action against these disgusting, dangerous cranks”.

Mayor of Lambeth, Philip Normal tweeted: “As if this came through our door. Antisemitism, racism, HATE.. is not tolerated in my house, or this country, or the planet Earth.”

Shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens told the Guardian: “The growth in dangerous and, in some cases, far-right and antisemitic anti-vax material is deeply worrying with coordinated attempts to spread fear and distrust both online and offline.”

Who is Piers Corbyn?

Piers Corbyn is a climate change sceptic, anti vaccination activist and conspiracy theorist.

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He is the older brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Piers Corbyn has been an outspoken critic of coronavirus lockdown measures and was arrested at an anti-lockdown protest at London’s Hyde Park in December, for which he received a £10,000 lockdown fine.

He has previously labelled the coronavirus a hoax and attributed the pandemic to Bill Gates and George Soros.

Corbyn announced his intention to run for London Mayor in January 2021.