Harry Potter author JK Rowling has declared that Jeremy Corbyn is ‘no Dumbledore’ over his links to Iranian TV channel Press TV, as he defended them to PinkNews.
In a live Facebook Live Q&A with PinkNews today, Mr Corbyn was pressed over his time as a host for the channel, owned by the Iranian government, during his time as a backbench MP.
According to a register of interests, Mr Corbyn accepted up to £20,000 after hosting five shows on the channel between 2009 and 2012.
Press TV is tightly-controlled by the Iranian government and is seen as a propaganda outlet. It was banned in the UK in 2012, when broadcast regulator Ofcom found it had repeatedly breached the broadcasting code.
JK Rowling brought up the links when a fan compared Corbyn to the benevolent bearded Hogwarts headmaster.
She wrote: “Corbyn. Is. Not. Dumbledore.”
The Harry Potter author, who is a Labour Party donor, added that has been barraged with abusive messages due to her opposition to Mr Corbyn, with some even likening her to the Devil.
She lamented: “Lots of people in my timeline have resolved the issue by deciding I’m Satan.”
In his interview with PinkNews, Mr Corbyn said: “I did some programmes for Press TV quite a long time ago.
“I refused to do any more because there was a change in the process they were operating.
“I presented other programmes in which I was able to raise a number of human rights issues, not just in Iran but other countries as well – and the money I was paid, which wasn’t an enormous amount actually, went into my constituency office.
“Obviously, they are free to make the criticism they wish.
“I used the opportunities to address the issues of the Western relationship with the whole region, address the issues of Iraq, and also address issues of human rights.
“Even in a very difficult atmosphere when you’re dealing with countries and governments that clearly don’t have the same human rights agenda that I do or we do around this table.
“Everywhere I’ve ever travelled I’ve always raised the issues of human rights, however easy or difficult it is.”
Pastor Kevin Swanson – who has also called for gay people to be put to death – urged people to “repent of Harry Potter”, adding: “For tens of millions of parents it would be better that a millstone be hung around their neck and they be drowned at the bottom of the sea.”
Responding to the criticism, Ms Rowling said: “My critics are at liberty to claim that I am trying to convert children to Satanism… and I’m free to explain that I’m exploring human nature and morality.
“Or to say ‘You’re an idiot,’ depending on which side of the bed I go out on that day.”