Anti-vaxxer Piers Corbyn slams 'false' video purporting to show him accepting £10,000 from ‘AstraZeneca investors'

·4 min read

Watch: Anti-vaxxer Piers Corbyn pranked by YouTubers posing as AZ investors

Anti-vaxxer Piers Corbyn has slammed a YouTube video as "false" after it appeared to show him accepting a £10,000 donation from pranksters posing as AstraZeneca investors.

In the video, Josh Pieters and Archie Manners said they arranged a meeting with Corbyn to see if he would accept the money in exchange for agreeing to ease up his campaigning against the AstraZeneca jab.

Corbyn, the brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, has been extensively campaigning against all vaccines during the pandemic.

In February, he was arrested for distributing leaflets that compared the UK vaccine rollout to the Holocaust.

Piers Corbyn holds a placard outside the Houses of Parliament during the �We are the resistance� anti lockdown protest in London as Prime Minister makes a statement regarding extending existing lockdown restrictions that were due to be lifted on June 21st due to a spike in Covid-19 cases. (Photo by Dave Rushen / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Piers Corbyn holds a placard outside the Houses of Parliament during an anti-lockdown protest in London. (PA)

After the video's release on Saturday, Corbyn told Yahoo News UK that it had been "heavily edited with dishonest commentary".

He said he agreed nothing about limiting or changing his campaign messages about the various vaccines.

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In the video, Pieters said the duo wanted to "put to the test" whether anti-vaxxers like Corbyn are "people of principle".

He added that they offered Corbyn a "dodgy donation" in exchange for focusing his criticism on the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

Manners said that in order to the prank legally, Pieters actually did buy one share in AstraZeneca.

The YouTubers then met Corbyn at a restaurant in Sloane Square in London, filming the encounter using extras and hidden cameras. 

BILBAO, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 04:  Archie Manners attends the MTV EMAs 2018 at Bilbao Exhibition Centre on November 4, 2018 in Bilbao, Spain.  (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
YouTuber Archie Manners at the MTV EMAs 2018 at Bilbao Exhibition Centre in Spain. (Getty)

Pieters can be heard telling Corbyn that a fund he runs off the back of his family's restaurant business has an interest in AstraZeneca and Corbyn reacts by laughing loudly.

In a voiceover, Pieters said: "Piers didn't seem put off that I made money off AstraZeneca but shared some wacky views on the other vaccines."

Corbyn can be heard saying: "Moderna and Pzifer give those magnetic things, don't they? Well that is very, very scary."

Manners later shows Corbyn a wad of cash and the anti-vaxxer can be heard saying: "Wow".

But Corbyn then goes on to say that he can only accept the money if there's no "insistence" that he has to change his policies.

The pranksters persist, with Manners saying: "We appreciate we're not asking for a change of policy or anything but if there is anything that can be done to focus a bit more on Pfizer and Moderna."

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"That would be helpful for us," Pieters interjects.

Corbyn can later be heard saying "yeah" after they request for AstraZeneca to be ignored.

Pieters' girlfriend Ellie then comes up to the table and asks Corbyn for a photograph.

As they're taking a selfie, a friend of Manners' approaches the table and switches the envelope full of real banknotes with one filled with fake notes from the board game Monopoly.

The group then agrees that Corbyn will say the money comes from a restaurant businessman and not directly from AstraZeneca.

Corbyn then says protesters focusing on Pfizer and Moderna will "happen anyway without any interference".

He adds "that'll be fair" as they continued to talk about him easing his criticism of the AstraZeneca jab.

Reacting to the video, Corbyn said: "The video has been very heavily edited with dishonest commentary and leaves out my repeated statements that anything we accept has to be unconditional.

"It is false that I agreed any change in policy whatsoever and I stated to these imposters that all COVID vaccines are dangerous and we weren’t changing any of our views against vaccines and vaccine passporting."

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 17:  Josh Pieters attends the UK premiere of
Youtuber Josh Pieters pictured at the UK premiere of "Joe And Caspar Lee Hit The Road USA" in 2016. (Getty)

Corbyn added that the emails the pair sent to set up the meeting "said nothing at all about the interests of these gentleman," adding that this was only revealed at the meeting.

He also said that Pieters "claimed he made his money from a restaurant chain and later said he had an investment in a vaccine company which made him feel guilty and he wanted to give a gift because of his feelings of guilt.

"I agreed nothing about limiting or changing what we have been and will continue to say about the various COVID vaccines," Corbyn said.

The YouTubers have previously released a video revealing how they hoaxed US zookeeper Carole Baskin, who was one of the subjects of the docu-series Tiger King, into doing the interview by pretending to work for US TV personality Jimmy Fallon and his late-night show.

They also tricked four royal experts into giving an analysis of Oprah's interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry before they'd even watched it.

Watch: Anti-vaccine protesters arrested during London demonstration

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