April 28, 2018


Guests rebelled at Syria trip 'lunacy' (Dominic Kennedy, April 28 2018, The Times)

A British fact-finding mission to Syria led by sympathisers of President Assad backfired when guests on the trip rebelled against perceived pro-regime propaganda.

Baroness Cox, 80, who helped to run the trip, has become embroiled in a row with the BBC after Justin Webb, the Today programme host, claimed that she used the visit to have tea with mass murderers. In her complaint to Lord Hall of Birkenhead, the BBC director-general, which was seen by The Times, she relied on a website notorious for conspiracy theories to challenge Webb.

Her tour of Syria coincided with western bombing in retaliation for Assad's forces having gassed civilians.

Lady Cox -- who began the trip by telling travellers: "Welcome to the Crazy Club!" -- helped to lead the trip, which was hosted by the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate. An international campaigner for persecuted religious minorities, Lady Cox believes that many Syrians regard Assad as a bulwark who will save them from being slaughtered by Islamist terrorists.

Members of the 18-strong party of clergy, academics, journalists and peers included the Rev Canon Giles Fraser, the broadcaster. Some became increasingly irritated at being subjected to people they considered Assad apologists.

Posted by at April 28, 2018 9:12 AM