Craig Murray

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Murray speaking in 2007
Parroting squawkbox
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And a dirty dozen more

Craig Murray (1958–) is a former British diplomat and blogger who divides opinion. Murray is considered an expert on international affairs by his followers but is otherwise considered a conspiracy theorist with traces of antisemitism. He contributes entries to his own blog at but also for other fringe publications such as The Truth Seeker and has published a memoir, Murder in Samarkand (2006).[1][2] This book was adapted by David Hare for BBC Radio Four, starring David Tennant as Murray.

Murray is a defender of Julian Assange and has some unorthodox views on sex. And he is himself the subject of conspiracy theories, which claim conspiracies of Jews or the British state are trying to silence him.

Born in Norfolk in 1958,[3] the peak of his diplomatic career was his appointment in 2002 as British ambassador to Uzbekistan. He was removed from the job in 2004 and has claimed this was because he was of his criticism of human rights violations by the Uzbek government.[3]


Murray has argued that Britain's voting system is corrupt and fraudulent and election results are not to be trusted. He has raised concerns about the increasing use of postal votes.[4]

Murray disputed whether Russia was responsible for the 2018 chemical weapons attack in Salisbury, England.[5][2] Instead, he speculated Israel may be responsible and on Twitter suggested that the parliamentary group Labour Friends of Israel were involved in a cover-up to attribute blame to Russia.[6][7][8]

Legal disputes[edit]

In 2007, his blog was shut down in the UK by lawyers for Uzbek business magnate and football fan Alisher Usmanov,Wikipedia and in 2008 he was the subject of legal action from "private security contractor" Tim Spicer over a book he was yet to publish.[9]

In 2017, he was sued for libel by Jake Wallis Simons, then associate editor of the Daily Mail Online.[10] The offending article was taken down but seems to have been connected with allegations of antisemitism in the British Labour Party. Anti-Israel (and possibly antisemitic) blog Rehmat's World claims this is part of an organised campaign against critics of Israel[11] — presumably an international Jewish conspiracy (it isn't clear if Murray goes this far). The case was settled in November 2017 with a statement that "Mr Murray accepts that Dr Wallis Simons is not a liar, and Dr Wallis Simons accepts that Mr Murray is not an anti-Semite. They are both pleased to have resolved this dispute amicably."[12]

Murray supports Scottish independence. It is claimed by devotees of Scottish Nationalist conspiracy theories that he is being targeted by the powers that be as part of a wider scheme to destroy the independence movement.[13]

Murray was charged with contempt of court for material contained in his blogs in the run-up and during the trial of Alex Salmond, the former Scottish First Minister, for sexual assault and attempted rape in 2020. Salmond was acquitted. Murray was accused of trying to influence the jury via "jigsaw" identification of the complainants, i.e. providing sufficient information to allow the women to be identified. He was found guilty in 2021 and sentenced to 8 months imprisonment.[14][15][16]

Antisemitism or anti-Zionism[edit]

Murray blames Israel for many things well beyond the oppression of the Palestinian people (see above), while a book collecting his writings in this area was entitled Zionism is Bullshit: Selected Speeches, Interviews and Writings: Volume 1[17] (which Murray claimed he was banned from advertising on Facebook).[18] Because of this habit, he has been accused by sources other than Wallis Simons of associating with and defending anti-semites.[19][20][21] (He was also inadvertently caught up in an antisemitism scandal when SNP MSP Sandra White retweeted something containing an antisemitic cartoon and a separate link to a Murray article[22] but that does not reflect on his own opinions.)

Murray has said the use of term "antisemitic" has become overused as a slur or way of shutting down criticism of Israel, comparing attacks on critics of Israel to McCarthyism and calling Israel an "apartheid state".[23] He has also defended Ken Livingstone against the allegations of anti-semitism.[24]

Murray has used "Zionist" as an indiscriminate insult for his enemies, throwing the label at Christopher Hitchens, Nick Cohen and Melanie Phillips (in a 2011 blog post celebrating Christopher Hitchens' then-recent death).[25][26]


  1. Review: Murder in Samarkand, David Leigh, The Guardian, 12 August 2006
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam, Craig Murray, The Truth Seeker, 15 March 2018
  3. 3.0 3.1 See the Wikipedia article on Craig Murray.
  4. British democracy: no better than Uzbekistan's, Craig Murray, The Guardian, 8 April 2008
  5. UK's claims questioned: doubts voiced about source of Salisbury novichok, The Guardian, 15 Mar 2018
  6. Craig Murray Goes Conspiracy Again!, Harry's Place, March 15 2018
  7. [1] CraigMurrayOrg on Twitter, 7:58 AM - 15 Mar 2018
  8. Russian To Judgement, Craig Murray, Mar 13, 2018
  9. A national disgrace, a global menace, and a pre-democratic anachronism, George Monbiot, The Guardian, 15 July 2008
  10. Save Craig Murray, Craig Murray, 6 September 2017
  11. UK – Jew editor sues ex-diplomat for supporting Palestinian, Rehmat's World, 7 September 2017
  12. The End of the Affair, Craig Murray, 7 Nov 2017
  13. 'Save Craig Murray' — former UK Ambassador and Dundee Uni rector being sued by the Daily Mail for libel, Reddit, 2017
  14. Craig Murray loses contempt of court case over reports of Alex Salmond trial, The National, 22 March 2021 (paywalled)
  15. The World Darkens a Little More: I May Have to Spend Some Time as a Political Prisoner, Craig Murray blog, 22 March 2021
  16. Craig Murray has been sentenced to eight months in prison for contempt of court over the Alex Salmond trial - he is told he has 48 hours to hand himself in, although Roddy Dunlop is attempting to lodge an immediate appeal without warrant being granted, Philip Sim (BBC News), Twitter, 11 May 2021
  17. Zionism is Bullshit: Selected Speeches, Interviews and Writings: Volume 1 (Collected Political Works of Craig Murray), Craig Murray, ed Kirsten E MacDonald, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 23 Jun 2017
  18. Interview with Craig Murray, Randy Credico and Dennis J Bernstein, MintPress News, 1 Feb 2018
  19. Guardian legitimises Craig Murray's anti-Israel conspiracy theory on Russian spy poisoning, UK Media Watch, 18 March 2018
  20. My Anti-Racist Comments on Israel, Craig Murray, 29 Apr 2016
  21. [2], Marlon Solomon (supergutman) on Twitter, 26 Sep 2017
  22. Sturgeon says sorry for MSP's retweet of antisemitic image, The Guardian, 12 Nov 2015
  23. The New McCarthyism – The "Anti-Semitism" Hysteria Gripping the UK, Craig Murray,
  24. Ken Livingstone: Stubborn and Wrong, But Not Anti-Semitic, Craig Murray, 5 April 2017
  25. Christopher Hitchens RIP, Craig Murray, 16 Dec 2011
  26. Hitchens and the anti-Zionists, Dave Rich, Community Support Trust, 20 Dec 2011