People react angrily to Labour throwing Chris Williamson under the bus yet again

Chris Williamson
Ed Sykes

The Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has reportedly barred Chris Williamson from standing for re-election as its candidate in the upcoming general election. And supporters of the pro-Jeremy Corbyn campaigner have responded to the decision with dismay.

No Labour endorsement for Williamson

On the afternoon of 6 November, the NEC failed to endorse the former MP for Derby North due to the fact that a disciplinary case against him is ongoing. As The Canary reported previously:

The party first suspended Williamson in February, over comments he made about its handling of complaints about alleged antisemitism. The party readmitted the MP on 26 June after he submitted evidence to the National Executive Committee (NEC). Then followed a furious backlash from some Labour MPs, and the party removed the whip from him again on 28 June. Another suspension came on 3 September, over separate claims of misconduct.

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A July poll, however, found overwhelming support from party members and activists for Williamson’s reinstatement. And as The Canary reported, “over 100 members of the Jewish community, including Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein, signed a letter of support for Williamson”, stressing:

Chris Williamson did not say that the party had been “too apologetic about antisemitism”, as has been widely misreported. He correctly stated that the Labour party has done more than any other party to combat the scourge of antisemitism and that, therefore, its stance should be less apologetic. Such attacks on Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters aim to undermine not only the Labour party’s leadership but also all pro-Palestinian members.

Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, has previously insisted:

 Chris Williamson is a very good, very effective Labour MP. He’s a very strong anti-racist campaigner. He is not anti-Semitic in any way.

Widespread disappointment

Williamson has been a consistently firm opponent of far-right extremism, destructive regime-change wars abroad, and secretive government-funded smears of the left. He has also campaigned vigorously for greater democracy within the Labour Party. For those reasons and more, many supporters expressed anger at Labour’s failure to endorse him for re-election:

Despite the anger and disappointment, though, some reflected on Williamson’s previous words:

I will be focussing my energies, as we all should, on winning the next election. Because a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government could transform the lives of millions, by bringing about an irreversible shift in the balance of wealth power and income in our country.

In short, Williamson may not be a Labour candidate in this election. But he still has massive support from ordinary people and activists. And after this highly important election, the battle to clear his name will continue.

Featured image via Mohamed Elmaazi

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  • Show Comments
    1. Why would anyone who knows the injustice by using a fake antisemitic issue played upon Williamson by the NEC vote for those Labour candidates who threw him under the bus?
      They will simply keep dissolving the vision Corbyn has for the party which so many young voted for while carrying this low mentality of ineptitude into the coming parliament.
      I’d say the Labour vote who are upset by this will move elsewhere.

    2. Dame Hodge is going to be a Labour MP again. Williamson is not. Just let that sink in. Beggars belief that we are in this position on the cusp of having a truly socialist manifesto for the country. Good luck standing as an independent Chris. What the f… are the NEC playing at, I am dismayed and angry that the membership is being side lined by these traitors. You will never appease these witch hunters.

    3. Wonder if Rees-Mogg would have been barred if he were Labour?
      Man says Labour being too apologetic about accusations of antisemitism: gets barred from re-standing for his seat.
      Man says people burned to death because they weren’t as clever as him and didn’t question the advice of fire authorities: Oh, he made a “terrible gaffe”…
      But then Rees-Mogg didnt defend his party from accusations of antisemitism!

    4. Imagine telling the electorate Chris Williamson who they elected to represent them isn’t allowed to run as their candidate.
      Why the NEC is playing the same game as Boris. I suppose the sense of power is so close that being dictatorial is the preferred manner in political survival to ensure a win by not having Williamson run.
      Even when Corbyn describes him above as a very good, very effective MP he is ignored by his own NEC.
      What kind of person is the NEC playing to?
      It isn’t what people voted for last ime.

    5. Well, he’s now resigned from the LP and is standing as an independent.
      Nearly 44 years of loyal service. Maybe this is the best way he can serve the party…
      And maybe, as they did with the wonderful Red Ken, they will welcome him back one day.
      Where are you Canary? I found this out from The Electronic Intifada!
      (I don’t follow the usual rags.)

    6. I can’t wait to see who gets to stand against Chris Williamson on a Labour ticket, how about Dame Hodge? Can’t see this seat going Labour again, against an Independent Chris Williamson.

      Heard that Tom Watson has run away from West Brom since George Galloway is running against him as an Independent.
      Perhaps this is the way to go, Get rid of the idea of safe seats- and hold these MP’s more accountable.

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