New poll finds Labour grassroots support reinstatement of Chris Williamson
A new poll conducted by Labour-supporting news website LabourList has found overwhelming support for the reinstatement of MP Chris Williamson. It also found that most party members think the party “should have an independent complaints procedure”, and that debate should continue on Brexit policy.
Opposition to Williamson’s suspension
Williamson was originally suspended in February after video footage emerged of him criticising what he considered to be the party’s disproportionate response in the face of criticism regarding its handling of complaints of alleged antisemitism. Williamson was then readmitted on 26 June with a formal warning per a disciplinary panel’s decision, before the party decided on 28 June to remove his whip again.
In the two-day period that Williamson was readmitted, a group of MPs led by deputy leader Tom Watson professed outrage at the decision.
In response to these events, LabourList asked the party’s grassroots “whether the Derby North MP… should be readmitted to Labour”. It released the following data on 2 July:
61% of 10,066 readers who took the survey said ‘Yes’ while only 31% said ‘No’.
And as Asa Winstanley reported for the Electronic Intifada:
The results are significant, both because LabourList is not associated with the left of the party, and because of the number of participants – more than 10,000 readers voted.
‘Labour needs an independent complaints procedure’
LabourList also asked if “Labour should have an independent complaints procedure”. It found:
nearly 74% of respondents saying the party should implement one and only 17% disagreeing.
It continued with an analysis that:
The call for an independent system is often heard from party members who are against Williamson being readmitted, but the result would suggest that people from across Labour are concerned about political interference in or influence on the disciplinary process.
Further analysis of the results shows that pro-Williamson respondents were 63% in favour of an independent process, while anti-Williamson respondents were almost entirely in favour at 94%.
The Brexit debate continues
Regarding Brexit, LabourList also asked:
whether and when Labour should come out in support of Remain as well as another referendum in all circumstances.
It found that:
Survey respondents were divided over the best course of action on Brexit. The biggest group, 34%, said Labour should “back Remain now”, while 33% said Labour should make the decision at a later date – either following further consultation or conference in September.
A total of 30% said the party should not back Remain, or should neither back Remain nor another referendum.
Though largely ignored by the corporate media, LabourList‘s polling has revealed some very interesting and important answers to Labour’s big questions today.
Featured image via screengrab/BBC
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