If political interference in anti-Semitism complaints is wrong, why was Chris Williamson expelled from Labour?

Chris Williamson: he was dismissed from the Labour Party after political interference – in extremely bad faith – by right-wing Labour MPs, some of whom are now among Keir Starmer’s chief lieutenants. Shouldn’t THEY now be suspended and investigated?

I called it at the time.

Last year, Chris Williamson’s Labour Party membership was suspended amid false allegations of anti-Semitism. There was an investigation, the charge was upheld (wrongly, in my view) and he was punished for it with a formal warning.

Then a roll-call of the usual suspects – bad-faith Labour MPs acting on an agenda (in my opinion), along with that fake charity the Campaign Against Antisemitism, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and others – demanded his re-suspension after the details were leaked to the press. They had their way and he was dismissed from the party.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report, published yesterday – ruling that there was no “institutional antisemitism” in the Labour Party during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership – has condemned political interference of exactly this kind.

Referring to the Williamson case, the EHRC report points out that Williamson “successfully challenged the decision to reopen the complaint in the High Court. The court found that: ‘it is not … difficult to infer that the true reason for the decision in this case was that members were influenced by the ferocity of the outcry following the June decision … the NEC should decide cases fairly and impartially in accordance with the rules and evidence; and not be influenced by how its decisions are seen by others. Internal and press reaction to a decision are not of themselves proper grounds for reopening a case that was not otherwise procedurally unfair or obviously wrong.”

The EHRC does not make any recommendations that could lead to those responsible for the reopening of the Williamson case to be penalised.

But it does call for the current leadership to implement clear rules and guidance that prohibit and sanction political interference in the complaints process, and to acknowledge the effect that political interference has had on the handling of antisemitism complaints.

It occurs to This Writer that such an acknowledgement should include punishment of those responsible in the Chris Williamson fiasco – for bringing the party into disrepute in the way they did.

They are [shadow ministers in bold]: Tom Watson, Holly Lynch, Stella Creasy, Anna Turley, Rosie Duffield, Louise Ellman, Ruth Smeeth, Jenny Chapman, Roberta Blackman-Woods, Stephen Doughty, Karin Smyth, Baroness Thornton, Lord McNicol, Baroness Morgan of Huyton, Lord Turnberg, Gloria de Piero, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, Yvette Cooper, Baroness Massey of Darwen, Baroness Kingsmill, Lord Soley, Madeleine Moon, Kate Green, Ruth Cadbury, Owen Smith, Seema Malhotra, Liz Kendall, Chris Matheson, Margaret Hodge, Stephen Kinnock, Jeff Smith, Chris Bryant, Wes Streeting, Julie Elliott, Lord Levy, Lord Knight of Weymouth, Lord Harris of Haringey, Ali McGovern, James Frith, Lucy Powell, Bridget Phillipson, Pat McFadden, Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall, Lord Triesman, Lord Dubs, Ian Murray, Darren Jones, Alex Sobel, Karen Buck, Neil Coyle, Lord Mandelson, Anna McMorrin, Chi Onwurah, Baroness Taylor of Bolton, Lord Willie Bach, Susan Elan Jones, Ged Killen, Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale, Lord Livermore, Kevin Barron, Dan Jarvis, Jess Phillips, Martin Whitfield, Rachel Reeves, Peter Kyle, Baroness Armstrong of Hilltop, Lord Young of Norwood Green, Ellie Reeves, Baroness Maggie Jones, Rushanara Ali, Debbie Abrahams, Daniel Zeichner, Lilian Greenwood, Graham Jones, Toby Perkins, Lord George Robertson, Baroness Mary Goudie, Barry Sheerman, Tonia Antoniazzi, Ian Lucas, Lord George Foulkes, Lord Wood of Anfield, Cat McKinnell, Ben Bradshaw, Lord Haskell, Lisa Nandy, Gareth Thomas, Lord Brooke, Sharon Hodgson, and Lord Kennedy of Southwark.

Will Starmer take appropriate action?

Or will he merely provide further proof of his own unfitness to be Labour leader?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.


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1 thought on “If political interference in anti-Semitism complaints is wrong, why was Chris Williamson expelled from Labour?

  1. Tim O'Connell

    I am also wondering when Starmer will take action against Stphen Kinnock after his 2020 speech On the occupied Palestinian Territories, he said nothing more or less than most others who has been suspended or expelled.
    Some of what Kinnock had said.

    That is absolutely a step in the right direction, although I think it needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, for the reasons that I have set out. The reality is that as long as the basis for the talks is the so-called Trump-Netanyahu plan, it is a non-starter, because that plan violates international law.

    We should explore the potential for the International Criminal Court to play a role. The Israeli Attorney General’s office has already warned the Israeli Prime Minister that annexation could trigger an investigation of

    “senior Army officers, civil service officials and heads of regional councils of West Bank settlements”.

    It is essential that the UK condemns any further creeping annexation, but condemnation alone will never be enough. To this end, the UK Government must take the following steps with urgency. First, they must immediately recognise the state of Palestine on the basis of the 1967 lines. The UK Government argue that recognition should follow successful negotiations, but the logic of this argument is deeply flawed and partisan. It suggests that we are happy to see a 53-year-old occupation persist, legitimising the illegal actions of the Israeli Government and contributing to the brutality and violence that shame us all.

    Secondly, the Government must ban all products that originate from Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. Profiting from such products is tantamount to profiting from the proceeds of crime, and it must stop. When we trade with these settlements, we are essentially telling the world that international law does not matter, and such trade legitimises and facilitates the existence and expansion of the settlements. In 2014, it was right that the UK, as part of the European Union, prohibited trade with Crimea following its illegal annexation by Russia. It is crucial that we are consistent in our application of international law.

    Thirdly, the Government must act to end the involvement of UK-based companies within the illegal settlements. In March, the UN published a list of companies that are involved in the settlements, which included JCB, Opodo and Greenkote PLC. Charities actively involved in illegal settlement projects should not be eligible for the privileges of charitable status, including tax exemption. What steps will our Government now take to hold these companies and charities to account? I look forward to hearing the Minister’s views on these points. These measures must be put in place immediately: no more excuses, and no more obfuscation from this Government.

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