Disgraced conspiracy theorist Rev. Dr Stephen Sizer, who claimed that an Israeli conspiracy was behind 9/11, was due to speak at a “Charity Dinner for Gaza” on 3rd October organised by Ilford Momentum, before the hosts withdrew the invitation following an outcry.
Upon being made aware of Rev. Dr Sizer’s views and record, the organisation announced that “we weren’t aware of Stephen Sizer’s past comments. After having been made aware of them this morning we rescinded his invitation and cancelled the charity fundraiser within minutes…We deeply regret not checking the history of the speaker prior to promoting the event online,” adding that “we strongly oppose the harmful conspiracies spread by Stephen Sizer and antisemitism in all its forms. We sincerely apologise for any offence caused.”
The original invitation to the dinner presented praise for Rev. Dr Sizer by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn: “I do admire the excellent work that he does and personally.” This is not the first time Mr Corbyn has been associated with Rev. Dr Sizer. In February 2015, the reverend was ordered by the Church of England to stop using social media after posting the conspiracy myth that Israel planned 9/11. While the Church said the material that Rev. Dr Sizer posted was “clearly antisemitic”, the Daily Mail revealed that Mr Corbyn wrote to the Church defending Rev. Dr Sizer, saying that he was being victimised because he “dared to speak out against Zionism.”
Momentum is an influential grassroots organisation that supports Mr Corbyn and his wing of the Labour Party. Numerous controversial individuals have been associated with it, including Jackie Walker, a former Vice Chair who rejected the International Definition of Antisemitism before eventually being expelled from the Labour Party.
Campaign Against Antisemitism notes that Momentum has played an important role in the institutionalisation of antisemitism in the Labour Party. We struggle to believe that they did not know the views of their guest of honour, which are readily apparent from a simple internet search.