POLL: Should Marc Wadsworth have been expelled from the Labour Party?

Marc Wadsworth: Falsely accused?

As detailed in This Site’s earlier article, Marc Wadsworth has been expelled from the Labour Party by its National Constitutional Committee, on two charges of “bringing the party into disrepute”.

The expulsion relates to incident involving the Mr Wadsworth and Labour MP Ruth Smeeth at the launch of the Chakrabarti Report on June 30, 2016.

He had been handing out leaflets calling for the mandatory reselection of Labour MPs, and had seen a Telegraph reporter passing it to Ms Smeeth for a comment.

So he said: “I saw that the Telegraph handed a copy of a press release to Ruth Smeeth MP so you can see who is working hand in hand.”

That is the sum total of the evidence against him. See for yourself:

Ms Smeeth promptly accused Mr Wadsworth of anti-Semitism, even though he had no idea that she was Jewish, claiming that he was using “vile conspiracy theories”. Do you think that was justified?

The BBC report on the NCC’s decision had to hide this fact – in my opinion, for fear that it would expose the decision to public ridicule. Instead, it stated:

“Marc Wadsworth accused Ruth Smeeth of working “hand in hand” with the media to undermine Labour.

“Labour’s National Constitutional Committee found he breached the party’s rules and should be thrown out.”

You can see that the statement is a lie. Mr Wadsworth did not say anything about anyone undermining anything at all, nor did he mention the Labour Party.

As yet, information on the reasons for the decision is scarce. Labour has not released any at all.

But I think it is worth asking the question, based on what we know Mr Wadsworth said to prompt the proceedings against him, and what has been said about it since:


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24 thoughts on “POLL: Should Marc Wadsworth have been expelled from the Labour Party?

  1. Simon Cohen

    Clearly there was absolutely no anti-semitic intent and that should be clarified.

    However, I do feel it was very poor judgement on Marc’s part to use that forum to say what he did ( attacking Blairite M.P’s and making the ethnic balance point). There was great glare of publicity at that moment so although I feel that the charge of bringing the Party into disrepute has some basis in reality-a statement should be issued to exonerate Marc completely from the taint of antisemitism which is clearly absurd. marc should have made the points about Blairite M.P’s elswhere (on his blog for example) and continued to work for change through other channels. To blurt things out in front of the media in that way when anyone with more nous would know it would be exploited was poor judgement.

    I think expulsion was too harsh, though as Marc is a great asset to the Party.

    1. joy1952

      My understanding is Smeeth dropped the anti-seminism charge before the hearing. I feel Marc had the right to express his concerns about all racism not only anti-seminism; he has this right as a man who had from an early age to endure racism due to the colour of his skin and just as importantly has spent his life fighting against all forms of racism not just anti-seminism.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        Ms Smeeth did not drop an anti-Semitism charge. Mr Wadsworth was accused of bringing the Labour Party into disrepute, because anti-Semitism was not an offence according to LP rules at the time of the incident.
        The claim, all the way through, was of anti-Semitic behaviour. And it was false.

    2. Gavin Sealey

      “To blurt things out in front of the media in that way when anyone with more nous would know it would be exploited was poor judgement”

      True. Wadsworth was clumsy, however Smeeth was cruel and intimidatory in addition to being also inappropriate.

      It surprises me that more people can’t see what this means to black people. To see Marc Wadsworth shouted down for daring to express an opinion, “How dare you, how absolutely dare you” like servant being berated by the white mistress of the house, makes me shudder. Do they every think how much courage it takes for a black person to stand up and speak honestly in a room full of powerful white people? And then that grim faced band of MPs marching to his hearing like a band of executioners. I joined the Labour Party to make common cause with people working for justice, equality and compassion but what I’ve been seeing in this AS row is the exact opposite of that. I’m not going to leave now because I know there are so many great people in the party and I don’t want to leave them to fight alone but to be honest I am beginning to feel uncomfortable being part of a party where I can’t express honest feelings respectfully and be responded to with human respect.

  2. TerryC

    As a member I feel this judgement has silenced rank and file members about any subject, this party is all about inclusivity I feel that was lost today. yes people say things out of place and I’m sure Marc would be more circumspect in the future, but lets stop this draconian treatment of members, have we learned nothing from the death of Carl Sergeant. I hope my Party can rise above this shameful decision and reinstate Marc on appeal, but I won’t hold my breath.

  3. foggy

    Thrown under the bus to placate a group of 30 odd individuals !!

    Get lawyered up Mike and ensure your solicitor asks the committee if any negative decision towards you would be upheld in a court of law. I’m sure you’re aware that you have a lot of support.

  4. john thatcher

    Simon,cease the damning with faint praise.Smeeth is a disgrace,and should not be in the Labour party,and Marc should be commended for calling these ne’er do wells publicly.

  5. Signor tbf

    MIKE

    Hate to say this, but Marc’s intrusion into the launch of Chakrabti gave the RW press a field day, didn’t it? I know different standards apply to MP’s mouthing off, and it damn well should not do,but if he hadn’t gobbed off when he did a whole segment of this anti-semitism debate, including any weaponising of it, could and probably would have been shut down two years ago.

    And would it have hurt him to have made a fulsome apology in that time? Yes, regardless of the truth or otherwise of what he said, he could have acknowledged that publicly calling out Ruth Smeeth in person like that was unacceptable and expressed his deep regret for doing it.

    Just think for a moment, if anybody called any of us out personally & publicly like that for your views, regardless of race, gender etc., how would we feel? Would we accept it happening at a local party meeting either to us or those we disagree with-and if the answer to that is no every time, then it might answer why Marc was considered to’ve brought the party into disrepute.

    And, simply to everyone who reads this, continue to do what we are always telling the blairites to do-direct YOUR anger at May & co and NOT at fellow party members. Tweet & retweet about the latest Amber Rudd revelation, the economic stats etc, not about the injustice here-remember too, Jeremy has very little control over the NCC’s composition and until Chakrabati is fully implemented, that is unlikely to change, end of.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      He didn’t know Ruth Smeeth was Jewish, so how could he possibly have been committing an anti-Semitic act?
      In light of this, it seems that he was owed an apology, rather than needing to make one himself. Publicly calling out Ruth Smeeth for doing something unacceptable was the right thing to do. The real question is, why did she walk out, rather than answer his charge?
      She wasn’t called out over her views, remember – she was called out for apparently colluding with the Tory press. Mr Wadsworth feared that she was speaking against Jeremy Corbyn, as I understand it. He would have been right to do so – consider the fact that her Facebook post attacking him for “vile antisemitic slurs” also demanded Mr Corbyn’s resignation.
      If anybody called me out over my views, my response would depend on whether they were mistaken about me or simply did not agree. I would defend what I had said; I would not have walked out and then created a media circus about it.
      It’s all very well to say, direct your anger at the Tories. While we’re doing that, creatures like Ms Smeeth will continue directing their fire at the rest of us. This is a problem that will not go away by itself. These people are a danger to the Labour Party and cannot be permitted to continue as they are.

    2. joy1952

      The Chakkrabarti Report looked not only at anti-seminsm but at all racism. Therefore in my opinion Marc had every right to voice his opinions at that press conference. There is probably more racism directed at black people and Muslim people too. Therefore he had every right to voice his opinions. Smeeth had a skirt flouncing moment and the result a man has experienced racism and campaigned all his life against racism of any sort has been expelled from the LP. Smeeth and the others in the gang should hold their heads in shame.

  6. Wanda Lozinska

    John Mann harassing Ken Livingstone while chasing after him in full view of TV cameras was surely more deserving of being charged with “bringing the party into disrepute” as are the actions of other anti-Corbyn Labour MPs.

  7. Wanda Lozinska

    In the above film clip, what does the chap sitting next to her say to Ruth Smeeth? I thought I heard the word “antisemitism”? Could he have been putting her up to basing her complaint on this?

  8. Florence

    As I recall the incident Smeeth arrived with a film crew (?)press, that were set up to monitor her reactions to Corbyn and the report, so it was obvious “something” was going to happen. Rather like Mann ambushing Livingstone with a accidental tv crew in tow, before Ken had even done the radio interview .Marc just walked into it, and as already said, may have shown poor judgement in using that time and place to air his views. He did not know Smeeth is Jewish he said afterwards, or that he meant anything more than his actual words said – no subtext. I believe him. It feels like McCarthyism in the 1950s.

    I feel this is all in danger of actually undermining genuine efforts to get to grips with with the real scourge of anti Semitism and racism. It’s taken many decades to get advances across and into society. Like we hear denigration of “political correctness” by the right, trivialising serious matters. Wolf, Wolf, Wolf – that’s how it goes. Followed by loss of rights we have fought so hard for.

  9. Growing Flame

    If he made a statement that is seen as bringing the Party into disrepute, how do we assess the statements of the right-wing MPs who regularly use the most bitter expressions to criticise Jeremy Corbyn and the labour Party? They are far more vindictive than Marc Wadsworth has been.

  10. david

    meanwhile on the Jewish Telegraph Twitter thread where some people are claiming all JC supporters [and specifically Momentum] are anti-Semitic, and some going as far as calling for a purge of the Labour party all the way to the top. Not sure if they’re trolls/bots, but it will be used as ammo nevertheless. I wouldn’t be surprised if they weren’t even Jewish.

  11. Paul Burrows

    There cannot be any fair hearing while the Labour Party is under this public scrutiny. This is a travesty, Sadly there will be more. I am very, very sad.

  12. Roy

    I thought this country was a place for free speech unless it’s a deformation i have voted Labour all my life as has my family and what is going in the party today is absolutely disgusting Jeremy corbyn has got to stop appeasing these Blairite Mps and start working for the genuine members of the social working class of this country this is is the only way to rid us of this vile stinking corrupt government..

  13. Gurbinder Gill

    No. The man has not in any manner made or spread any Anti Semitic bile. He has always been on the right side of history. He stood for honesty, truth, justice and equality. The female MP in question, behind closed curtains is politically affiliated to those bodies that openly support the Israeli Occupation and Mass Oppression of Palestinian children. Truth Hurts, and he told the truth, which these Blairite Blue Labour Red Tories did not like.

  14. binkerballs

    Anyone with an ounce of common can see that the agenda against Corbyn has had to resort to smear by association as they have not a leg to stand on. Nobody should feel intimidated and Labour must stand together over this. There is no place for anti semitism or any form of racism within socialism. Neither in a progressive political movement should we suppress free speech. The truth will out and a wiser Marc Wandsworth should be reinstated

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      A wiser Marc Wandsworth? [sic]
      I think a wiser Labour Party needs to reinstate Marc Wadsworth.

Comments are closed.