Jeremy Corbyn has withdrawn comments he made about a Banksy painting featuring chimpanzees after it was pointed out to him that it featured chimpanzees.
The painting hit the headlines this week after it was sold at auction for £9.9m. However, the MP for Islington North had earlier posted that he ‘wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about’ since the artwork merely depicted ‘ordinary human MP’s conducting their duties in the Commons chamber’ and that it ‘wasn’t remotely anti-MP’. It was later pointed out that the depiction of MPs in the artwork is distinctly simian-like, due to their black fur, long arms and short legs – all known chimpanzee tropes used to depict the animal throughout the ages.
The Labour leader said he was ‘shocked’ once he realised this, before insisting that he was in fact earlier commenting only on the depiction of the chamber and everything else except the apes, which he hadn’t noticed. Labour has now launched an enquiry into human/ape confusion within the party, releasing the statement: ‘we can argue all day over which MPs confused which humans with which primates… the fact is that this confusion affects only a tiny proportion of the party members, which mathematically amounts to as few as one.’