Reverend and the Makers’ Jon McClure apologises for retweeting “defamatory” tweets about Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman

Riley and Oberman have accepted the apology

Jon McClure, frontman of Reverend and The Makers, has apologised for tweets and retweets about TV presenter Rachel Riley and actor Tracy Ann Oberman.

Riley and Oberman are outspoken critics of alleged antisemitism within the Labour Party. According to The Jewish Chronicle, McClure said that their views could lead to “someone on the left being physically harmed”, and he accused them of “setting gangs of far-right bullies against children.”

Retweeting the comments in March, Oberman implied that they would seek legal action against McClure. “This band are going to be sued for spreading libellous unsubstantiated smears,” she said.

Yesterday (June 26), McClure issued a formal apology.

“I’ll be the first to admit that I can be a dickhead on Twitter. A few weeks ago I made several mean spirited and unnecessary comments about Rachel Riley. The result was that I got into a political argument with the well known actress Tracy Ann Oberman, who had justifiably sought to defend her friend.

“This concluded with my retweeting defamatory tweets, including an article about both of them, which it transpires contained a number of factual inaccuracies. I did so in a rather childish spirit of point scoring and freely admit I ought to have read the entirety of the article before republishing it and believing it to be the truth.

“I’ve come to learn that much of what has been spread has been done by those with deeply held Antisemitic beliefs, which I wholly disown, and I truly regret my part in lending them false credibility through my own naivety and lack of research.

“With that in mind, I wish to apologise to both Rachel and Tracy for any hurt or offence that has been caused to them as a result of my actions. It is my sincere wish that the three of us may meet at some future date and discuss that which divides us and in the spirit of peace and reconciliation come to a mutual understanding of each other’s political views. The blame lies with me for causing the argument and this apology has been issued, not at their urging but of my own volition.

Both Oberman and Riley say they have accepted McClure’s apology.

“I’m pleased Jon McClure has taken responsibility for his actions and apologised,” Riley said. “@TracyAnnO and I wish to draw a line under this and accept this apology.”

Oberman said: “When @RachelRileyRR and I said we would not be silenced and intimidated by smears and lies we truly meant it. Legal machine takes time but with good grace Jon Mclure who posted vile abuse and antisemitism to us has issued an apology.”