Piers Corbyn railed against the ‘Covid con’ this morning as he arrived at his trial for allegedly breaching lockdown rules.
Speaking through a megaphone, he told around 20 supporters gathered outside Westminster Magistrate’s Court: ‘If we win, all the Covid convictions so far will be questioned.’
The former Labour leader’s brother unfurled a banner promoting anti-vaccine, anti-lockdown and 5G conspiracy theories, as dozens of police officers watched on.
Corbyn, of East Street, Southwark, denies two counts of participating in a public gathering of more than two people in England during the coronavirus emergency period.
Piers Corbyn ramped up his campaign to end the ‘Covid con’ this morning as he arrived at his trial for allegedly breaching lockdown rules
He arrived at court this morning clutching a plastic bag, before hugging a supporter and addressing the small crowd
He arrived at court this morning clutching a plastic bag, before hugging a supporter and addressing the small crowd.
He said: ‘Our basic slogan is “end the Covid con, save lives,” thank you,’ which prompted a a couple of people to clap.
Twelve members of Corbyn’s group, Stand Up X, sat at the back of court to support the controversial weather forecaster.
His barrister Ben Cooper blasted the prosecution for not making their evidence available to the defence, labelling it ‘an abuse of process’.
The court heard this footage was critical because it showed police arresting Corbyn for breaking lockdown rules while at the same time ignoring a well-known vegan activist.
Piers Corbyn hugs a supporter outside the court as he arrives for his trial this morning
Mr Cooper said: ‘It’s not accurate to say this was irrelevant material that could be left off the schedule, it was plainly relevant.
‘We have footage of someone called Danny Shine protesting on May 16 at Speaker’s Corner café right next to where Mr Corbyn was protesting with a megaphone.
‘The same officers who arrested Mr Corbyn were standing by without taking any actions whatsoever.
‘This footage must include that. The fact it hasn’t been disclosed is a dereliction of the Crown’s duty.
‘These proceedings should not continue further because they undermine the integrity of the criminal justice system.’
He went on to say the prosecution deliberately ‘mispresented’ their case at the last hearing and chose not to disclose the documents.
David Povall, prosecuting, said: ‘The Crown is clearly responsible for this. An apology if we were wrong about what was ordered.
‘It appears to have been an innocent error by the prosecutor on the day who was under considerable pressure.’
Corbyn, of East Street, Southwark, denies two counts of participating in a public gathering of more than two people in England during the coronavirus emergency period
But he maintained the mistake ‘was not deliberate’ and added ‘the defence have ample material on which to make their arguments’.
‘There is nothing that would prevent Mr Corbyn having a fair trial today,’ he said.
Mr Cooper also claimed police ‘must remain consistent’ and questioned why the Black Lives Matter marches counted as a reasonable excuse to break lockdown, but not his client’s process.
District Judge Sam Goozee has retired to decide whether to throw out the case against Corbyn.
The physicist has been a staunch opponent of the Government’s restrictions and has already been fined once for breaching rules.
Large gatherings are banned under emergency legislation to wrestle down the pandemic.
He was also arrested last week by Avon and Somerset Police when he took part in the Stand Up Bristol demonstration.
The force had repeatedly warned organisers that the event was not allowed and of the risks it presented of increasing the spread of Covid-19, it said.