Shawcroft Remains on NEC Despite Losing Job For Defending Holocaust Denial Candidate

Christine Shawcroft’s resignation after she defended a council candidate who posted a Holocaust denial article online heightens the anti-Semitism crisis engulfing Jeremy Corbyn. Shawcroft and Corbyn are key allies who go back decades. Long before holding high office under Jezza, former PPC Shawcroft worked closely with Corbyn during his wilderness years in groups like CND, Labour Against the War, CLPD and Labour Briefing. She became close to McDonnell – who this morning refused to say she should quit the NEC – through his hard left Labour Representation Committee. Even by Corbynista standards she is known as a hardliner with a fiercely combative style, firing off sweary text messages to lesser commissars. She became a co-founder and director of Momentum alongside Jon Lansman; her name is figuratively on Momentum’s door as one of only a handful of trusted activists to hold a legal company director position there. She played a crucial behind the scenes role in selecting Corbynista candidates. It’ll take more than a last minute resignation to distance her from Corbyn, who has known her instincts and judgement well for many years…

Corbynistas thought Shawcroft was the perfect personality to enforce party discipline so they crowbarred her into position as NEC disputes sub-committee chair in January. Moderates warned at the time that the body, responsible for dealing with allegations of anti-Semitism, would have no credibility on the issue – her appointment was welcomed by groups such as Labour Against The Witch Hunt. Almost immediately Shawcroft hit controversy for conflicts of interest and clearing hard left activists accused of anti-Semitism. In her first meeting in the chair three anti-Semitism cases were considered: two were let off with a warning. Other cases were delayed. Now Corbynistas need to find a new disputes chief with a clean record on anti-Semitism, good luck with that vetting…

This morning Shawcroft remains on the NEC where she is a key Corbynista influencer. Unless she is removed Corbynistas are allowing someone who has defended a Holocaust denial disciplinary case to headline for them on the party’s most powerful body. Progress, LFI and moderates are calling for her to go. Corbynistas want her to stay until June when her seat is up for election. How can Corbyn be credibly seen to ‘stamp out anti-Semitism’ if Shawcroft remains in post?




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Rowan Atkinson tells The Times

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