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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Labour walk open-eyed into another anti-semitism controversy

It is getting to the stage where we are beginning to question whether the Labour Party really do have a desire to self-destruct. Their inability to deal with anti-Semitic tendencies within their ranks is becoming legion, while even when they have taken some steps to put an incident to bed, they cannot see it through to the end.

Chris Williamson is a case in point. As the Guardian reports, Labour MPs have expressed fury at his re-admission to the party after having been suspended for suggesting the party had been “too apologetic” about anti-Semitism.

The paper says that party investigators recommended the Derby North MP face a sterner sanction, but were overruled by a panel from the party’s national executive committee, made up of the MPs Keith Vaz and George Howarth and constituency rep Huda Elmi.

They quote a Labour source as saying that a party panel, advised by an independent barrister, had found Williamson breached party rules and issued a formal sanction, though chose not to refer him to Labour’s highest disciplinary body, the national constitutional committee, which considers possible expulsions. “He could face further, more severe, action if he repeats any similar comments or behaviour,” a party source said. Reaction has been swift:

Labour’s Ruth Smeeth called the decision “disgusting” and said colleagues did not want Williamson in the party. “I am horrified,” she said on Wednesday. “It says a great deal about how seriously we’re taking anti-Jewish hate.” She added that she was “not comfortable being in the same room” as the Derby North MP.


Labour MPs including Stella Creasy, Jess Phillips and Wes Streeting, all expressed disgust at the decision. Phillips said she was “disgusted but not surprised anymore” and suggested she would have been expelled had she said similar things to Williamson.

Creasy said it was “the best example yet of why we need an independent process for antisemitism and sexual harassment complaints.

The Jewish Labour Movement also criticised the decision and said it showed the “moral turpitude” the party was currently in. Chair Mike Katz said: “How dare the Labour party deny it is institutionally racist against Jews when it decides to take no action against Chris Williamson?

“It seems the decision to let him off is because he represents a marginal seat and there might be a snap election. It’s good to know that a party of anti-racists, led by an avowed anti-racist decides it’s OK to ignore anti-Jewish racism if there’s a vote to be won.”

The problem is of course that these MP are talking a good game, but what are they actually doing about it?
Good morning Peter. Perfectly legitimate criticisms the actions of the Israeli government are now being branded as "anti-Semitic. It's an utterly ludicrous situation and the people throwing these sort accusations around like confetti should be utterly ashamed.
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