Chris Williamson sues over “unlawful” Labour suspension

The lawmaker addressed an outdoor audience in Brighton. (Chris Williamson/Twitter)

Socialist member of the British Parliament Chris Williamson has begun a legal action against Labour for its “unconstitutional decision to ‘re-suspend’ me from the party I love,” he said on Tuesday.

At the time of writing, a crowdfunder has raised more than $26,000 in legal costs in less than 24 hours.

Williamson told The Electronic Intifada on Wednesday that he was “absolutely overwhelmed and inspired” by the support he’s received.

He said the campaign was not just about him, but about a long line of Labour Party activists who have been suspended or expelled since 2015 in the course of the right-wing backlash against leader Jeremy Corbyn – a veteran Palestine solidarity activist.

His suspension was “a line in the sand,” he said.

“Grassroots members have had enough,” he explained, “and they’ve said, this far and no further.” Members will “fight for the soul of the party, and for democracy and decency, and tolerance and free speech.”

Williamson has lodged legal papers with the High Court, the BBC reported.

He was suspended from the party earlier this year, before a disciplinary panel in June readmitted him with a warning.

Extraordinarily, this decision was overturned within two days, after an outcry by pro-Israel lobbying groups and the rest of the right-wing.

Labour bureaucrats had originally suspended Williamson in February days after he booked a room in Parliament for the screening of WitchHunt, a film about Labour’s anti-Semitism “crisis” and the long campaign against Jeremy Corbyn.

The Campaign for Chris Williamson said that “after months of personal distress, Chris has been forced to take legal action against the party that he has dedicated his life to. He is challenging his ‘re-suspension’ as unlawful.”

Williamson’s suspension by Labour has encouraged threats and harassment against him.

Three speaking venues in Brighton canceled on Williamson’s supporters, after they organized a meeting addressed by him this month.

At least two of the venues did so after “foul-mouthed abuse and threats, online, by telephone and in person,” said Greg Hadfield, a local left-wing Labour activist.

The meeting ultimately went ahead on 8 August, but was forced to do so in the open air.

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This is fantastic news. As a suspended member myself who has been treated with utter distain by the party, I fully support this action.

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"The meeting ultimately went ahead on 8 August, but was forced to do so in the open air."

The open air will prove to be the best venue for further meetings and discussions of the phony antisemitism crisis- because this business has been cooked in closed sessions and midnight rendezvous. It's time to raise our voices in those fields and streets where the Chartists met when they were denied the right to rent public halls.

To Chris Williamson, a word of thanks is due for refusing to fall on a sword not of his making. Everyone who can contribute to his legal fees, please give.

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In the video Professor Ilan Pappé says, in effect, that the LP should speak out about the many false allegations of anti-semitism, even if it's just two minutes on a TV station. So what happened to Ken (Livingstone), for example, each and every time he attempted to challenge the lies and distortions in relation to himself and, as such, explain that what he was alluding to, in passing, was an historical fact. Yes, they just vilified and condemned him AGAIN for repeating his 'vile anti-semitic nonsense', or words to that effect. And no matter what anyone said on TV - and that's assuming they got the chance - they would just be condemned themselves for trying to defend anti-semitism/anti-semites etc, etc, etc.

And just look what happened when the Labour Party DID speak out, when they denounced the Panorama hatchet job........ Talking of which, I hope the LP are taking them to court so as to expose all the glaringly obvious lies by the ten people who were presented as just ordinary Jewish Labour Party members, SEVEN of whom turned out to be executive committee members of the Jewish Labour Movement, and another one of them a former executive committee member of the JLM, and I dare say the other two were buddies of theirs. And I have little doubt that everyone else who participated in the program - ie the former staffers and the so-called experts - knew from the outset exactly who they were.

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Here's the full list of JLM committee members who appeared on the Panorama program posing as ordinary random Jewish Labour Party members (posted in a Jewish Dissident article) and, needless to say, were all lying through their teeth of course:

Stephane Savary (JLM joint National Vice-Chair)

Joe Goldberg (JLM joint National Vice-Chair)

Izzy Lenga (JLM International Officer)

Alex Richardson (JLM Membership Officer)

Adam Langleben (ex JLM Campaigns Officer)

Ella Rose (JLM Equalities Officer, former National Director)

Rebecca Filer (JLM Political Education Officer)

Joshua Garfield (JLM Local Government Officer)

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I just did a search regarding the Panorama program and happened to come across an article about it on the website of the so-called Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, which then led to me wondering if the JLM had posted an article about it on THEIR website at the time, my thinking being that given that seven current and one former executive committee members took part in the program, posing as ordinary members of the Labour Party, they probably DIDN'T post an article about it. And they didn't! But in looking through a list of their articles, I noticed that one of them was posted by Adam Langleben last November, which verified my suspicion that he had only left his position as Campaigns Officer for the JLM fairly recently, and I suspect he did so at the point where the producers of the Panorama program AND John Ware were first discussing putting such an edition of Panorama together.

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Alex Richardson was on Al-Jazeras the lobby alongside Joan Ryan (£1 million funds from Israel) and Ella Rose was crying because electronic intifada found out she had worked for the Israeli embassy, Iain Mackenzie McNicol also in the programme let Ella Rose of the hook for threatening Jackie walker.

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I just this minute came across the following article on the Jewish Chronicle's website posted three days ago. The funny thing is that it quotes Scottish Labour as saying "... it breached basic journalistic standards, invented quotes and edited emails to change their meaning”, but the JC doesn't appear to have any interest in ascertaining what the edited emails were, nor did they when the Labour Party initially said exactly the same thing, as with the rest of the MSM as far as I'm aware. But you can be absolutely certain that they ALL know about the doctoring of the Seamus Milne email which was done so as to completely change its meaning..... but what do they care:

https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-...

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Anti-Semitism; the stick with which MSM uses to keep on beating JC appears to have stopped beating. What has happened recently in the Labour Party to initiate such a change? Has JC changed his mind about something? What do the Blairites all have in common, including Mandleson; Hodge & many other Labour MPs & Peers? Just a coincidence?

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Asa Winstanley

Asa Winstanley's picture

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist and associate editor with The Electronic Intifada. He lives in London. Biography here.