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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