A top Corbynista can be revealed as a convicted criminal who was given a suspended sentence for his role in a violent bank attack. Aaron Bastani, who runs Jeremy Corbyn’s favoured ‘new media’ outlet Novara Media, has had a string of brushes with the law. During the anti-cuts protests in March 2011, Bastani was filmed ramming a bin into a branch of HSBC before beckoning rioters inside. The bank was then smashed up. Bastani has admitted to Guido that he is the man in the grey t-shirt wearing a bicycle snood, and confirmed he was convicted of a public order offence and received a suspended sentence.
Later that year, Bastani was arrested for his role in another protest, this time against the then Tory education minister David Willetts at SOAS university. The photos below show Bastani involved in a brawl inside the building, and him being arrested and handcuffed on the ground outside. Bastani was charged but the case was later dropped.
Bastani confessed to Guido:
“I do regret it because it brought an immense amount of pain and anxiety to my loved ones, my friends and my family. I wouldn’t do it again, I do regret it. Politically I’m still the same person in terms of how I want to change things, one of which does include tax avoidance and does include a bank, HSBC, which is involved in billions of pounds worth of business with arms dealers and drugs cartels. I believe just as passionately about those but I would refrain from doing that sort of thing and I would tell other young people to refrain from doing it because of the pressure and anxiety it brings to their loved ones.”
Bastani has been booked by Question Time as a Corbynista spokesman. Perhaps Dimbleby could ask him about this…