True to form, the Labour Party have lifted the suspension of the notorious Chris Williamson after just four months. PoliticsHome is reporting that NEC members overruled Labour Party officials to lift his suspension: “by a three-person NEC panel on anti-semitism, despite a recommendation from party staff that he be referred to the next stage of Labour’s disciplinary process.” He-who-must-not-be-named is back with just a “formal warning”…
Williamson was suspended in February after a litany of anti-Semitic incidents, far from showing any remorse he’s continue to embroil himself in regular controversy ever since then. Labour’s deadline for MPs to apply for re-selection is fast approaching, the Labour leadership have evidently decided that they want Williamson back. 38 Labour MPs signed a letter to Jennie Formby demanding Williamson was suspended back in February. Will they stand up against him now or just send a tweet, then turn a blind eye?
UPDATE: Former Labour MP Ian Austin, who quit the party in protest at anti-Semitism, says Labour has been “poisoned under Jeremy Corbyn”:
“It is a complete disgrace that Chris Williamson, who has caused huge offence to Jewish people, is let off with just a warning. This shows the extent to which a party which had such a proud record of fighting racism has been poisoned under Jeremy Corbyn. The only question is when decent Labour MPs will finally say enough is enough and do something about it.”
It is the key question. When will they act, rather than just talk?
UPDATE: Margaret Hodge says “Ignoring Chris Williamson’s vile track record of antisemitism just for a vote is disgusting! He should have been kicked out of the party for good months ago.”
UPDATE: The Jewish Labour Movement says the “decision stinks”:
UPDATE: Wes Streeting says:
“It beggars belief that Chris Williamson has been readmitted to the Labour Party given his pattern of behaviour on antisemitism. It doesn’t suggest that those taking decisions are taking the EHRC investigation seriously.
“The decision about whether the Labour whip is restored is a decision for Jeremy Corbyn. Restoring the whip will be received as a punch in the stomach to many Jewish members who’ve stayed to fight antisemitism and will reinforce fears that he doesn’t take antisemitism seriously.”