Judgement imminent on the suspension of anti-Apartheid MP Chris Williamson

Chris Williamson
Support us and go ad-free

Chris Williamson, MP for Derby North, was suspended by the Labour Party in February 2019. He took the party to the High Court to challenge his suspension on 12 September 2019.

A judgement is due on the legality of that suspension on 10 October.

The dispute

The Labour MP was initially suspended for ‘bringing the Party into disrepute’ over comments he made about the Labour Party’s handling of complaints of alleged antisemitism. Williamson says he responded in thorough detail to the party’s allegations against him, which were put to him only after his suspension, in April.

After Williamson’s submission of evidence to the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the advice of an independent lawyer, a three-person antisemitism sub-panel, authorised by the Labour Party’s NEC Disputes Panel, lifted his suspension on 26 June.

An intense campaign followed of pressure by opponents of Jeremy Corbyn in the media and behind closed doors targeting party officials. As The Canary‘s Frea Lockley reported at the time:

In a statement, JVL [Jewish Voive for Labour] called Williamson a “hard-working and diligent MP with great standing in his constituency and a strong record of anti-racist campaigning”. It also said that, although there’s “huge support for Chris within and outside the party”, this has not been “reflected by the media coverage of the story”.

The Labour Party took the unprecedented action of ‘re-suspending’ Williamson on 28 June. The judgment on 10 October will consider whether that decision was lawful.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The MP for Derby North will be present at the handing down of the judgment, which is expected at 4pm at the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre. He will make a full statement to media outside the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre afterwards.

Williamson says he has respected the party’s processes and confidentiality by refusing to speak publicly about his suspension since February, despite, he says, being regularly and viciously smeared in the press by opponents of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party.

Featured image via YouTube – Philosoraptor

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us