The High Court in London has ruled that the Labour Party’s June “re-suspension” of one of its lawmakers was illegal.
But Williamson remains suspended because of new charges party bureaucrats slapped on him in early September, the week before his court hearing to challenge the earlier suspension.
The judge, Edward Pepperall, did not overturn the new suspension.
You can read the ruling in full below.
“The battle is won. The war rages on,” Williamson said after the verdict on Thursday.
“It’s clear that my ‘re-suspension’ was motivated by media hysteria,” the lawmaker said.
Williamson called Labour’s new case against him “a series of preposterous allegations that I answered fully and swiftly.”
That initial suspension was overturned on 26 June by members of Labour’s ruling national executive.
But days later, after a right-wing backlash, he was “re-suspended.” It is this 28 June re-suspension that the court ruled unlawful.
After the ruling, Williamson thanked his supporters, many of whom had backed his legal action through a crowdfunding campaign.
He called the decision a “damning indictment of our party’s internal disciplinary procedures, which require a total overhaul – towards a fairer, more independent and more democratic system. My suspension must now be lifted.”
The WitchHunt documentary looks at the smear campaign against Labour members over the last four years.
It has often involved fabricated allegations of anti-Semitism.
Williamson had been the only MP to openly challenge this campaign, saying in a 2017 interview that there have been “lies and dirty tricks” around the “anti-Semitism smears.”
Since then, he has been a prime target of the same witch hunt. Right-wing Labour MPs and pro-Israel lobby groups continuously call for him to be fired as a Labour MP.
Right-wing Labour lawmakers also hate Williamson’s campaign calling for fully democratic selection of Labour candidates.
With the tacit support of party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Labour’s bureaucracy finally bowed to demands for him to go in February.
When he was first suspended, there was immense pressure from the right and pro-Israel groups for Williamson to be dimissed as a Labour MP – to “lose the whip” in parliamentary jargon.
He remained an MP after the party suspended him, but he cannot represent Labour.
This means that unless his suspension is lifted once and for all, he will no longer be Labour’s candidate at the next election – expected within months.
This would make it very difficult for him to retain his seat.
This means that even if the charges against him are eventually dismissed, Williamson’s enemies could still force him out of Parliament simply by dragging out the disciplinary process through the next election.