Chris Williamson has Labour whip removed again after backlash from other MPs

The Canary

The whip has again been removed from Labour MP Chris Williamson. This comes amid a backlash which followed the party readmitting him after a formal warning on Wednesday.

The Canary understands that the whip was automatically restored on Wednesday, but has now been removed again as a result of a fresh investigation being launched, pending a decision by the National Executive Committee (NEC).

‘The party leader cannot overturn decisions made by NEC panels’

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A Labour Party source said: “Jennie Formby has written to the NEC to inform them that the issues raised in Keith Vaz’s email will be on the agenda for the NEC disputes committee’s next meeting.

“Under the party’s rule book, the general secretary and the leader of the party cannot overturn decisions made by NEC panels, which are advised by independent barristers. Only the NEC has the power to do so.

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“Subsequently, the whip is not restored as the decision is still pending.”

The Derby North MP 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.

Cases of anti-Jewish prejudice in Labour reportedly relate to 0.1% of the party’s 540,000-strong membership. And since Jeremy Corbyn became party leader, the number of Labour voters agreeing with antisemitic statements has reportedly fallen. Academics at the Media Reform Coalition, meanwhile, previously concluded that corporate media coverage of Labour and antisemitism was a “disinformation paradigm”.

Parliamentary group seeks to push Williamson out

More than 60 MPs have signed a motion calling for a vote in the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) on withdrawing the whip from Williamson for 12 months for allegedly bringing the party into disrepute.

The MPs’ motion calls for the case to be referred to the parliamentary committee – the influential backbench body which meets weekly with Jeremy Corbyn – at its next meeting on Wednesday. If approved, under standing orders, it would then go to a vote of the full PLP at Westminster.

Under party rules, Williamson would be entitled to make representations to the parliamentary committee before his case is referred to the PLP.

Responding to the news on 28 June, Williamson tweeted:

I’m naturally concerned by the lack of due process and consistency in how my case is being handled. I’ve been a loyal Labour member for 43 years, and will do my utmost to fight for my membership.

“Wholly inappropriate for a leader to pick and choose cases”

A Labour source insisted that Corbyn was not involved in the party’s disciplinary processes or individual cases, saying:

It would be wholly inappropriate for a leader to pick and choose cases in the way that is being demanded.

Several of the MPs who have signed (Mr Watson’s statement) have in the past argued against political interference.

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  • Show Comments
    1. will we be expecting the same vote by MPs on the conduct of Dame Hodge?…this is going to run longer than Brexit the only way round it is to begin wholesale de-selection.

      1. I tend to agree there are a range of Labour MPs who show very little humanity . John Mann is a very nasty piece of work . Need to get shot of him. Ruth Smeeth has showed no support for LP . Wes Streeting has already left but he should have been removed a long time ago. Joan Ryan is another. Hodge should have been removed for her foul mouthed tirade against Corbyn . Watson should be removed as deputy leader as he is always undermining his leader behind his back . There are many others who show little empathy or compassion . They should be deselected and replaced with descent humane MPs . It will be traumatic but this has to be done . In the long run it will make to LP a party to be proud to be a member
        , At the moment as a person whose mother was of Jewish descent I find the whole campaign to vilify descent proper labour MPs by the old right wing Blairites and members of Labour Friends Of Israel a most dispiriting episode in my 50 years on and member of LP.
        We must start to fight back against these back stabbing MPs and confront them. They have done more to undermine the LP than Chris Williamson Livingston put to gather. If they had got behind the LP when Corbyn was over whelmingly elected we would have been much further ahead than we are. These MPs should be ashamed of themselves . Many like Ruth Smeeth have written articles in the right wing press condemning Corbyn . Hodge should have gone long ago. This dreadful woman is still there. Yet descent MPs are being hounded out of the LP . It is a witch hunt orchestrated by LFI and a range of old Blairites. It has to stop. If it means deselection so be it.
        False accusation’s of A/S must be properly investigated and dealt with without any further intimidation by LFI et el. Most people know that A/S is increasing certainly on the right . In Labour party it is there and is a disgrace. But it is very small around 01% among members..
        Corbyn and LP know that and are dealing with it . what is happening is any episode whether true or not is being exaggerated and than the media reinforce the idea that the LP is infected with A/S from top to bottom. This narrative is continued and reinforced and undermines what is actually happening.
        On the right and in society generally A/S is on the increase . So the exaggerated attention given to LP to the exclusion of what is happening around the word /UK has not been helpful to the problem of A/S generally.
        But for a range of reasons whatever Corbyn and LP do will not be enough. As I say there are political reasons for that . There is a agenda. The danger is that it is becoming a form of McCarthyism and is undermining the real A/S out there.
        What needs to happen is all parties need to cool down objectively examine facts not myths and false accusations. People like Watson Mann need to stop fanning the flames for whatever ideological reasons and listen to other people such as Jewish voice for Labour, as they and others have a different take on this and other issues.

    2. It will only get worse with these greedie ones who are causing this termoil within the party they are the ones with bias regards hmm Blair’s left behinds won’t keep quiet get rid of them

    3. It’s absolutely disgraceful that someone who criticised a response, while saying in the same speech that anti Semitism is unacceptable, should have been suspended in the first place, while Hodge who gave a foul mouthed unfounded abusive tirade in public about a democratically elected leader, bringing the party into disrepute, is let off with a slap on the wrist. There is no doubt that anti Semitism in Labour is being used and exaggerated for ulterior motives. Terms like “anti Semitism is rife” and “institutional anti Semitism” on an incidence of 0.1% calls into question either their understanding of proportion or their motives. This is lower than in the general population and in other parties yet Labour is singled out. We know why. It is also true that a media which singles out Labour while ignoring a Tory party which is led by the most vocal racist probably outside the BNP and with an incidence of Islamophobia approaching 50% in the membership gets a free ride needs to seriously recalibrate themselves on what good journalism should be. The ones in parliament now baying for Chris Williamson’s blood now are the ones who were braying like donkeys behind Corbyn in parliament. They are the ones bringing the party into disrepute. They are the ones who are deflecting from the Tories and giving them a free ride instead of doing their jobs. They are the ones who need to decide whether to get behind our leader and do their jobs working for a better Britain or join change and change again or the Lib Dems whose broken promises to students and backing of Tory austerity must be more to their taste.

    4. What the MSM fail to tell you is that Chris WASN’T suspended for anti-semitism but for being critical of the LPs stance on the current “crisis”.

    5. This is a disgrace Hodge has brought the party down in a much more serious way than anything Chris has said. As for Watson it is time to get this man out of the position of dep leader. He is a snake . he never supports his leader and behind his back is campaigning against him . I think it is time for members to start to stand up to these people who are more seriously undermining LP than anything that Chris has said or done. I am of Jewish Descent vis my mother and support what JVL argues . They are never portrayed or allowed on the media yet the others are. The media certainly has a part to play.
      We seriously need to get rid of these MPs. We the majority of members who are just pissed off re these people hounding a very good MP who has done more the Labour cause than any of the likes of Watson . Chris is a anti racist always has been. He apologised for a unfortunate choice of words He did if any body cares to look or listen say the scourge of antisemitism He has campaigned re the rights Jews as well as criterzised Israel which is not anti SEmitism
      We need more like Chris The LFI {which a range of Blairites are a part } needs to be investigated for encouraging this witch hunt that undermines LP and reminds one of the McCarthyism of the 1950s.

    6. the only way around this for the membership is to trigger de-selection ballots. they have an opportunity to do this shortly and much as the Blairites and their friends in the MSM will squeal like stuck pigs but in the current climates it’s the only way out of the impasse.

    7. the Corbyn smear machine has gone into overdrive…the Times has published a story declaring Corbyn is menatlly and physically unfit for the job of PM…he’s too frail to be PM. But the real worry in this story isn’t Corbyn’s health but the fact the Times based their story on information supplied by 2 serving servants. Isn’t that treason or a breach of the official secrets act….first a serving general and now civil servants…the establishment must be s***ing themselves…who next Prince Charles?

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