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Richard Aldrich talks fake news, politics and the Zinoviev letter on the BBC's Westminster Hour

Professor Richard Aldrich, of the University of Warwick’s Department of Politics and International Studies, has spoken to BBC Radio 4’s the Westminster Hour about the history of fake news, its impact on politics and the infamous Zinoviev letter.

Liz Wood, of the Modern Records Centre, also discussed Grigory Zinoviev’s original telegram denying any involvement in a fake plot, involving the titular letter, aimed at undermining the re-election prospects of the then Labour prime minster Ramsey MacDonald, the original of which is held in the Warwick archive.

Speaking to the BBC’s John Beesley at Warwick’s Modern Records Centre Professor Aldrich, the author of the Black Door: Spies, Secret Intelligence and British Politics, said that:

“Electorial specialists have looked at MacDonald’s campaign and that ‘really, MacDonald was going to lose anyway’, so the Zinoviev letter did not, in reality, change the outcome of the election. What really matters is that the Labour movement believed that this had changed the fate of the election and it poisons relations between Labour prime ministers, Labour cabinet ministers and the secret services – literally for generations.”

Click here to download or listen on the BBC iPlayer from 47:56:

Westminster Hour

3 April 2017


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