MP Chris Williamson, who has been suspended by Labour amid trumped-up allegations of anti-Semitism, has held an event in Brighton – in the open air after hotels were put off hosting him by threats of violence.
But questions have been raised after one of the hotels failed to notify police about the intimidation its staff members had received, despite having a duty of care to those employees.
Mr Williamson gave his speech to around 200 supporters in Brighton’s Regency Square yesterday (August 8). It seems more would have attended but were put off by fears that they may also be photographed and targeted.
Protesters against the event did arrive and were spotted filming the crowd without permission.
The threats appear to have been made by people claiming Mr Williamson is an anti-Semite and are likely to stir up anti-Jewish sentiment. Prominent organisations that claim to be advocates for Jewish people or for the state of Israel have been accused although, with no charges laid, it seems unlikely that anything will come from those claims.
After the event, Mr Williamson tweeted the following, including an announcement that he plans to return very soon:
I love Brighton, one of the UK’s best #vegan hotspots. I admire its welcoming, inclusive and tolerant culture – and the people who live there are wonderful. I’m looking forward to returning next month! pic.twitter.com/g56vwQWDuj
— Chris Williamson (@DerbyChrisW) August 8, 2019
The Holiday Inn, the venue originally intended to host the event, had withdrawn after staff had received a torrent of abuse, including a visit by two people who told hotel receptionists that “there will be consequences” if the booking was not cancelled.
Skwawkbox takes up the story:
Staff were traumatised, with one so upset that she could not face coming into work the next day. The men were captured on CCTV and the footage has been viewed by hotel management – but when the Skwawkbox contacted Sussex Police for an update on the case, the force advised that no report of any of the incidents has been made by the hotel.
The Skwawkbox contacted the hotel management to ask why it had not involved police when it has video and documentary evidence and a statutory duty of care to its staff that would require full investigation and prosecution.
The management refused to comment on its duty of care or why it had not yet reported the threats to Sussex Police.
A second venue cancelled the event after a Twitter ‘storm’ believed to have been started by a criminal recently convicted of ‘disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress’ for his ‘aggressive, bullying behaviour’ toward pro-Palestinian protesters.
It seems an inactive account was resurrected in a clumsy attempt to make it seem a third venue had rejected Mr Williamson’s event, also.
This is a serious matter, involving intimidation with threats of violence – not just to hotel staff, but to people who attended Mr Williamson’s event, and the Holiday Inn’s managers are withholding evidence. Why?
EXTRA: It seems the Quakers were approached to hold the event in their Brighton Meeting House, but also faced threats of violence. Will they report the incident to the police?
— simon maginn (@simonmaginn) August 9, 2019
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