Israel lobbyist funded Labour’s new leader

Trevor Chinn (left) at an event he co-hosted in 2018 with Israeli ambassador Mark Regev (second left). Chinn for years funded anti-Corbyn efforts. (UJIA)

A multi-millionaire pro-Israel lobbyist donated $62,000 to help Keir Starmer win the UK Labour Party’s leadership election, it was revealed last week.

The official register of lawmakers’ financial interests shows that Trevor Chinn donated the sum as part of Starmer’s leadership campaign.

During the campaign Starmer said “I support Zionism without qualification.” Since his election he has tilted the party sharply towards Israel.

Starmer came under criticism for not disclosing all his donors during the campaign itself, when Labour members were deciding who should replace Jeremy Corbyn.

The donation from Chinn was not registered until five days after Starmer won the election, although it was received in February.

Although there is no suggestion of illegality, Labour members may consider this a violation of their trust.

Trevor Chinn

A retired auto industry mogul, Chinn has in the past funded both Labour Friends of Israel and Conservative Friends of Israel.

He also plays a leading role in the Israel lobby groups BICOM and the Jewish Leadership Council.

In 2018, Chinn co-hosted a high-profile celebration of the life of late Israeli president Chaim Herzog, attended by Israeli ambassador Mark Regev. Published photos show that Tony Blair also attended.

He donated to the Labour Party during the Tony Blair years, but mostly ended that relationship after Corbyn, a lifelong Palestinian rights supporter, won the leadership in 2015.

The exception to this was Chinn’s funding of anti-Corbyn Labour members of Parliament, including deputy leader Tom Watson, former BICOM staffer Ruth Smeeth and Labour Friends of Israel’s then chair Joan Ryan.

All three played key roles in promoting the smear campaign that Corbyn’s Labour Party was a hotbed of anti-Semitism.

Chinn in 2016 also donated to Dan Jarvis, a Labour lawmaker who was at the time seen as a potential successor to Jeremy Corbyn.

Later that year Labour lawmakers staged a coup against Corbyn, hoping to remove him as leader. Chinn funded Corbyn’s rival in the resultant leadership election, Owen Smith.

Smith took donations for his campaign from Chinn totaling $33,000, the register shows.

During the 2015 leadership election, which ultimately resulted in Corbyn’s first victory, Chinn funded Liz Kendall, the Blairite candidate who came last with a mere 4.5 percent of the vote.

Top donor

In 2014, Chinn halted his annual donations to the Tricycle Theatre over its decision to decline funding from the Israeli embassy for a film festival it was planning to host.

“We can’t accept boycotts and whenever one comes along we have to fight it,” Chinn told The Jewish News at the time.

“The Tricycle is going to lose a lot of audience members and a lot of financial support.”

The North London theater ultimately reversed its decision after being threatened by Sajid Javid, then Britain’s culture minister.

Javid later boasted about this threat to the theater, which had been secret at the time. The Israeli ambassador also intervened in the affair, documents released under freedom of information law showed.

Chinn’s $62,000 donation to Starmer’s campaign was the fourth highest amount from an individual donor – not including trade unions and companies.

Public sector union UNISON and service workers union USDAW donated $39,000 and almost $31,000 respectively. Another major trade union, Unite, supported Starmer’s leadership campaign rival Rebecca Long-Bailey.

At more than $123,000 each, the joint-top donors were Robert Latham and Waheed Alli.

Latham is a lawyer who once worked in the same firm as Starmer, and Alli is a fashion mogul and Labour member of the House of Lords, Britain’s unelected upper chamber.

Several of these donors from the business world funded Labour before the Corbyn era, and are now doubtless happy to have the party back under their influence after Corbyn’s departure.




This is how democracy is traduced. All the research into the question, and there is plenty, at least suggests and at worst confirms that the rich have greater influence over law-makers than the voters. Starmer won a convincing victory, but only after years of lies about Corbyn and anti-Semitism. This is not to say there are no anti-Semites in Labour, but that the scale of the problem has been exaggerated beyond credibility and accusations levelled without evidence which stands scrutiny. Chinn's money has assisted this. On 27/2/2017 he donated £10,000 to Tom Watson, one of at least six donations to the then Deputy Leader. He has donated to Liam Byrne, Rachel Reeves, Ian Austin, Ivan Lewis, David Lammy and on 15/2/2019 gave £5,000 to the Lib Dems. Amply aided by a rank-closing media which in its collective propagation of mendacity is nothing but the Ministry of Truth, Chinn and people like him are the more or less invisible manipulators of our political life. Notice the matter of the Tricycle Theatre. This is indicative of the desire to control the whole of the culture, to ensure that nowhere does anything sneak through which Zionists like Chinn disapprove of. State funding of the arts since Thatcher has been linked to ideological obedience. The Merchant of Venice would never have been staged had it been written since 1979. Democracy? This is plutocracy. The grim rule of money. Look at the narcissism of Blair's demeanour in the photo. Labour is no good. Its leaders have given in to the interests of wealth, power and racism. Blair is the lapdog of the rich. Corbyn broke the deference and stood for the common people, including the Palestinians, which is why he had to be undermined. We need a movement funded by the common folk, well away from the corruption of wealth and the distortions of the likes of Chinn with their apologetics for Big Brother Zionism. It can be built and they know it which is why they work day and night against us. We won't give in.


Blairigula is back. Just when one thinks things can not get any lower. The Swamp Thing slimes out from under the ooze.


I think Keir Starmer might get a few nasty surprises IF he meant what he said. Because it's not the party leader but the party membership which makes policy. And the membership is predominantly Corbyn-oriented.
But Keir is a politician. He wants the party to win. And he can't get it into winning mode unless he plays along with people like Chin - or appears to do so. Just watch what happens, ok? For a start, although Keit's hands appear to be 'clean', Angela Raynor has appointed Corbyn followers (and Angela and Keir are presenting a united front).
I expect Keir to superficially toe the line until such time as he's fully-entrenched. Then see what he does. Like most politicians he has an eye out for the main chance and again, like most politicians (but not Jeremy) he will say what's necessary rather than what's true in order to get it.


Asa Winstanley's recent articles lay bare the extent of the nefarious shananigans of those within and outside of the Labour Party in their determination to personally and politically assassinate Jeremy Corbyn. But if the Labour Party, under Corbyn's leadership, had won the election it would have been hamstrung by the establishment; the result of which would have been a moderate tinkering with social provisions and income and wealth distribution such as to be almost unnoticable. This has been the standard playbook over the last century during the periods that Labour has been in government. But such is the insecurity and paranoia of the ruling elite nowadays that even the prospect of such bland reforms were enough to frighten the horses. But before the establishment had time to breath a sigh of relief, along comes COVID-19 which again lays bare the mendacious incompetence of late stage capitalism and our rulers are rattled once again. This system of capitalism is ripe for toppling. In fact it is imperative that it be replaced in order that people and the planet survive. But surely no one can any longer believe that such radical change can be achieved in a turgid supine Labour Party, led by a cardboard cut out of a politician. This reality check for the 100,000's of thousands of Corbyn supporters coupled with the pathological insecurity amongst the top echelon who are the 1% may be two reasons for optimism. How and where the change will come from is still problematic.


Oh dear. What exactly is Keir Starmer made of? He was by Jeremy Corbyns side a lot. Is he one of the good guys or duplitious?


Thanks ever so much for all the research you are doing to help shine a light on the truth of British politics. Could you though explain why the monetary amounts are all listed in dollars. Are these Singapore dollars, Australian dollars, or even those filthy North American type?

Asa Winstanley's picture

Although we are a global publication, we are headquartered in the United States, so our house style is to use US currency and spellings.


interesting how you fail to mention that Chinn was not the highest donor to Keir Starmer . Why would that be ?


From the article: "Chinn’s $62,000 donation to Starmer’s campaign was the fourth highest amount from an individual donor – not including trade unions and companies." Also: "At more than $123,000 each, the joint-top donors were Robert Latham and Waheed Alli. Latham is a lawyer who once worked in the same firm as Starmer, and Alli is a fashion mogul and Labour member of the House of Lords, Britain’s unelected upper chamber."


Keirs Fletcher Dervish was always the right and LFI's stooge, from resigning at the beginning of Corbyn's time and supporting Owen "I agree with Jeremy but" Smith to helping press the Tory Brexit wedge issue and ensuring Labour were on the wrong side of it at the end and wanting to go after the leakers rather than the actual offenders in the report released after (which he tried to surpress), this guy was always a 5th columnist now it's becoming apparent. I 'm glad I left the party the day he became leader.


The UK Establishment is mainstream media-grooming rightwing Sir Keir to be next Labour Party PM, safe in the knowledge he's a very-willing puppet of this totally corrupt system based on greed, privilege, gross injustices against the poor, sick, vulnerable etc. When Tory governments become toxic and a liability to the ruling elites, they allow the Labour Party with a rightwing leader to form a government. This fools the majority into believing this totally corrupt is real democracy and it rewards the Labour Party leadership with their turn at the trough

Asa Winstanley

Asa Winstanley's picture

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist who lives in London. He is an associate editor of The Electronic Intifada and co-host of our podcast.

He is author of the bestselling book Weaponising Anti-Semitism: How the Israel Lobby Brought Down Jeremy Corbyn (OR Books, 2023).